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Gay marriage – it’s all about the child

In response to the ugly article by Courier Mail resident writer Paul Syvret, the Family Council Of Qld was able to get a right of reply – and my article can be read online HERE. At last count it had 400+ comments and 1600+ Facebook ‘Likes’, which I am told counts forsomething.

It starts:

Gays are not second-class citizens (Viewpoint 9/11) but a gay man certainly makes a second-class mother. Two lesbian women may be model citizens, but neither of them can be a Dad to a little boy. The most serious objection to gay marriage is that it means gay parenting, and gay parenting means depriving a child of either his mother or his father. The gay marriage debate, at its heart, is not about the rights and needs of the adults, but of the child.

As with all opinion pieces, choice of title is the subeditor’s prerogative; beyond that, there was only a little editing.

How strange it is that if somebody today dares to suggest it is wrong for society to deprive a child of a mother or a father, that suggestion is shouted down. The hurt and flailing about by so many in the comments section to this opinion piece in the Courier Mail was a sorry sight. The abuse (and this was mild compared to other less mainstream sites) and calls for the thought police (aka ‘human rights’ commissions) to silence such arguments – as they tried with Family First Senate candidate Wendy Francis – is shameful. Most of the criticism was irrelevant to what I wrote: importantly, I said nothing about the social science, because even if we found that children from same-sex households do just as well in maths, or social skills, or whatever ‘outcome’ you choose to measure (which we do not, in most studies) that says exactly nothing about the harm we have done to that child’s inner life by denying him a mother. That act, that premeditated political decision that two men or two women can “marry” and therefore adopt a stranger’s baby, decrees that certain babies will live their life without a mother, or without a father. That is a grave offense against the child, and that is why we must oppose gay marriage, gay surrogacy, and gay adoption.

This is a struggle of political assertions: between those who defend the deep things of human nature, asserting that a baby has a fundamental right and profound need for a mother and father – unless tragic circumstances rob them of that right – and those who say adults must have just whatever they damn well want, including two blokes getting a baby to call their own by whatever means they like.

What has encouraged me has been the extraordinary response from strangers and friends – always along the lines of gratitude for giving voice to a sane position, the child’s perspective, which almost never gets heard.

UPDATE:

A fuller version of this argument is at Online Opinion, link HERE. It takes the opportunity to rebut some of the arguments raised in the ‘comments’ from supporters of gay marriage:

“At this point the curious argument is always raised that it is better for a child to have two loving same-sex carers than a dysfunctional pair of biological parents. But neither of these scenarios is in the interests of a child – and only the same-sex scenario is preventable. It is a fallacy to argue that because a child in one household has abusive parents, we are therefore justified in placing another child in another household where there are two “married” men and no mother. No, we must reject both scenarios for the sake of the child, restraining and retraining those parents who would inflict abuse – or even removing the child from harm’s way – and also denying those adults who would wilfully deprive a child of a mother or father.

“Another irrelevant argument is that children from same-sex households score equally well in outcomes such as maths, sport, and social skills. Even granting that highly dubious claim (Ed. I clarified in the OO discussion forum that serious research does in fact soldly indicate that the wellbeing of the child is best served by a mother-and-father family – but that is not the heart of the argument), such research would say precisely nothing about the primal harm we have done to the inner life of a developing child by depriving him of a mother.

“Finally, the child-centred argument against gay marriage is mistaken for an argument against homosexual relationships per se. Not so, as the child-centred argument also opposes single men obtaining a baby by surrogacy, as allowed under Queensland law, and it would oppose even a pair of celibate monks obtaining a baby “of their own”, since that still deprives the child of a mother.”

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STEM CELLS & EMBRYOS: ABC LATELINE AUGUST 2002 SURROGACY: KERRI-ANNE SHOW JANUARY 2011 SBS INSIGHT ON GAY MARRIAGE 2013 (see post Aug 15 2013) EUTHANASIA & THE 'DUTY TO DIE', 2014 THE HARMS OF HOMOSEXUAL 'MARRIAGE', 2014 ABORTION - 'the silent innocence of the unborn', 2014 SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: SYDNEY UNI 2012 (start 2min20) SURROGACY BILL QLD JANUARY 2010
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