Roger Carrier's assertion (Readers' Forum, July 23) that "gay marriage will not increase the number of gays in our society" does not square with the sociological evidence.

Pro-gay researchers Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz of the University of Southern California examined 21 psychological studies covering a 17-year period and noted in the American Sociological Review (2001) that children raised by homosexual couples are more likely to experiment with homosexuality than children raised by heterosexual parents and to exhibit differences in their gender identities, gender expectations and gender behavior.

Redefining marriage to include homosexual couples would inevitably lead to more adoptions and more children being raised by homosexual couples, leading more children to experiment with homosexuality, shaping more children's views about gender and making it more likely that those children would choose the homosexual lifestyle.

Gregory M. Hess