Noted anthropologist George Murdock defines family as a social group characterised by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It contains adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially and legally approved sexual relationship, and have one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults. It can also be described as a group of people affiliated by a consanguinity wherein the adults care for the young (consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person).
Consanguinity is an important legal concept in that the laws of many jurisdictions consider consanguinity as a factor in deciding whether two individuals may be married or whether a given person inherits property when a deceased person has not left a will. One of the primary functions of the family is to produce and reproduce persons, biologically and socially.
The family is a haven from the world providing absolute fulfilment to the individual. It ensures natural intimacy, love and trust where individuals may escape the competition of dehumanising forces in modern society from the rough and tumble of the industrialized world and possess a place where warmth, tenderness and understanding can be expected from a loving mother along with correct guidance and genuine protection from the doting father.
WHAT IS A FAMILY SYSTEM?
A society that accepts the above traditional understanding of a family and conducts its affairs by framing its laws accordingly can be said to have a family system in place.
Three main kinds of family system are:
1) Joint family
2) Nuclear family
3) Matri-focal family
Joint family: is an extended family arrangement prevalent among Hindus of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of many generations living under the same roof. All the male members are blood relatives and all the women are mothers, wives, unmarried daughters, or widowed relatives. The family is headed by a patriarch, usually the oldest male, who makes decisions on economic and social matters on behalf of the entire family. The patriarch's wife generally exerts control over the kitchen, child rearing and minor religious practices. All money goes to the common pool and all property is held jointly.
Nuclear family: Are a family group consisting of most commonly, a father and mother and their children, different from what is known as an extended family. Nuclear families can be of any size, as long as the family can support itself and there are only children and two parents. In China, the most populous nation in the world, the nuclear family is considered the most common family arrangement.
Matri-focal family: consists of a mother and her children. Generally, these children are her biological offspring, although adoption of children is a practice in nearly every society. This kind of family is common where women have the resources to rear their children by themselves, or where men are more mobile than women.
Homosexuality refers to sexual behaviour with or attraction to people of the same sex, or to a homosexual orientation. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to “an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affection, or romantic attractions primarily to” persons of the same sex.
TWO VIEWS ON HOMOSEXUALITY
The traditional view holds that homosexuality is an aberration, the orientation is a disorder, and the behaviour is pathological. However with changing social norms and the development of a politically active gay community in the United States, the Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 decided to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It was a huge success for the gay community who could now openly advocate their view that homosexuality is a normal variant in the human condition that is determined before birth and that homosexual behaviour is natural for those so oriented.
GAY POWER CHALLENGES THE FAMILY SYSTEM
From being criminalized, hated and punished; homosexuals have slowly but steadily built up their power. Gay advocacy groups are active in almost every country and are pushing lawmakers to legalise homosexuality. Same sex marriages are next on their agenda and as of now it is legally permissible in seven nation states and about six states in the US. In some countries it is recognised but not performed and in many states it is accepted by categorizing it under Civil Unions and Registered partnerships. In Sweden, the Feminist Initiative, a new political party, has already essentially called for the abolition of marriage as the next step of “progress” in their nation, promoting instead a cohabitation law that ignores gender and allows more than two people in a partnership.
EFFECT ON FAMILY AS BEDROCK OF CIVILIZATION
Homosexuality destroys the lives of women whose husbands leave them in pursuit of this perversion and they, in turn, try to find a way to satisfy their sexual needs. Opinion polls bear out that 5 % of all US adults are gay resulting in a straight sex ratio of 53:47. In a country that frowns on polygamy, this social imbalance leads to many more broken marriages and a society with a growing shortage of husbands. It is a well known and statistically proven fact that children of divorced parents and mother-only families have higher rates of antisocial behaviour, aggression, anxiety, and school problems than children in two-parent families. These children tend to experience short-and long-term economic and psychological disadvantages; higher absentee rates at school, lower levels of education, and higher dropout rates (with boys more negatively affected than girls); and more delinquent activity, including alcohol and drug addiction.
SOME DISTURBING STATISTICS
Three per cent of homosexuals admit to minor/adult sex. Homosexuals commit more than 33% of all reported child molestations in the United States. Seventy-three per cent of all homosexuals have had sex with boys less than 19 years of age. Many homosexuals admit that they are paedophiles: “The love between men and boys is at the foundation of homosexuality”. Homosexuals account for well over 50% of the AIDS cases in the United States. Forty-one per cent of homosexuals say they have had sex with strangers in public restrooms, 60% say they have had sex with strangers in bathhouses, and 64% of these encounters have involved the use of illegal drugs. Homosexuals account for 3-4% of all gonorrhoea cases, 60% of all syphilis cases, and 17% of all hospital admissions (other than for STDs) in the United States.
Islam goes with the rule that opposites attract and that Allah the Almighty created man and woman to propagate the human species. For one to be sexually attracted to someone of the same sex is a deviation from this rule. This is why Allah says in the Holy Qur'an with reference to the People of Lot, who were indulging in homosexual acts some 4000 years back in parts of the present Palestine, “Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)! (26:165-166)” Allah thus considers such activities to be a transgression. The ill-effects of this menace are well known and well documented in the countries that gave it a free rein. If we do not check this peril in time then it will destroy our family system and sap the energies of our young nation. We don’t want our ambition to become a world superpower turn into a pipe dream. We cannot allow this reprehensible abomination in our country.