Warning: by reading this article you are engaging in a controversial act. The gestopo of political correctness and tolerance have instructed us not to question the adult desires now being enshrined in same-sex marriage rulings across our country. And while I have done precisely this in numerous newsletter articles, arguing that we are not defined by our desires and that some desires must be warred against, the question I’m about to raise is perhaps even more taboo by the enforcers of PC and tolerance. Simply by raising it I will be labeled a bigot, a homophobe, a religious fundamentalist, and a hater. Ironic, isn’t it, how those who supposedly espouse tolerance are so intolerant of those who hold different views?
But on to the controversy: In the name of the adult desires that many in the LBGTQ (lesbian, bi, gay, transgender, questioning) are insisting everyone affirm, are we overlooking the desires of children for a dad and a mom? In the name of the adult desires that our courts and legislatures are legitimizing in same-sex marriage, are we overlooking the legitimate need children have for their dad and mom? Should our laws or our societal norms force children to give up their father or mother?
Research has already decisively shown that same-sex parents are not interchangeable with a child’s father and mother. In fact, in his landmark study, Mark Regnerus found the following: compared with children raised by their married biological parents, children of homosexual parents
- Are much more likely to have received welfare
- Have lower educational attainment
- Report less safety and security in their family of origin
- Report more ongoing "negative impact" from their family of origin
- Are more likely to suffer from depression
- Have been arrested more often
- If they are female, have had more sexual partners--both male and female
But now adults who were raised in same-sex parental arrangements are starting to speak out and their words are worth hearing. We will hear from one in the following paragraphs.
Katy relates, “I was raised by two lesbian parents… [who] continue to be a loving and supportive fixture in my family,” but she adds, “I oppose gay marriage.” Why? She says her opposition is centered “in the rights and well-being of children.” She argues that for generations governments understood that their primary interest in marriage was children. She cites DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), which our government has chosen to ignore:
At bottom, civil society has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage because it has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing.
Katy asks us to consider a newborn baby, specifically what we know to be absolutely true about that child simply by looking at him or her. She answers,
What you know as you gaze at that wondrous and precious child is that she IS. What did that require? It required that nine months earlier a man and a woman came together to provide the ingredients for her existence. That is all.
She therefore argues that children have two rights simply by existing: “First, the right to live. Second, the right to have a relationship with his/her father and mother.” Abortion denies the first and the institutionalizing of same-sex marriage denies the second. Katy observes,
When we institutionalize same-sex marriage… we move from permitting citizens the freedom to live as they choose, to promoting same-sex headed households… Now we are normalizing a family structure where a child will always be deprived daily of one gender influence and the relationship with at least one natural parent. Our cultural narrative becomes one that, in essence, tells children that they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires.
If marriage is a child-centric institution, then, we do right by children when public policy reflects this biological reality. Children are made by a man and a woman. In the optimal scenario, they are also raised by them. As a society, we should make policy to reflect that reality. The ideal.
“But,” some object, “two caring men is certainly better than an abusive father or drugged-out mother.” Katy’s response is again perceptive:
Brokenness finds children and the people in their lives do their best to pick up the pieces. However, we do not institutionalize, incentivize or promote the grandparent-headed household, the aunt-and-uncle-headed household or the single-parent headed household. Why? Because public policy should not encourage or endorse the breaking of the parent/child relationship because a couple… wants to have a family. Children are entitled to parents. Not the other way around.
Others reply, “But marriage is about an emotional bond between adults, not children.” Katy simply asks, “If marriage is for adults, then what institution is for children?” Some reply that “public education is for children,” but she observes,
If you get the family right, then you get a higher likelihood of academic health thrown in with the deal. In fact, a married ‘intact’ home is the single greatest weapon that society has in the fight to lower incarceration rates, to reduce the number of children living in poverty, curtail child trafficking, promote mental and physical child wellness, and so on.
Katy continues by asking some insightful questions:
If society’s interest in marriage is children, then why are we promoting a family structure where a child would have to be denied a relationship with their mother or father so the adults can have the ‘family’ they desire? Why, if some believe that they are ‘born gay,’ do many in the gay lobby seek to legally sever the much more self-evident truth that children are ‘born’ to both a mother and a father? Why, if one popular gay-marriage mantra is that they do not want the government to tell them ‘who to love,’ would they tell children that being loved by one of their natural parents is unnecessary?
“When gay couples have ‘equal access’ to the institution of marriage,” Kay concludes, “it means that children will not have ‘equal access’ to parents influencing and raising them the way nature intended. You must either side with adult desires or side with children’s rights. You cannot do both.”
Space prevents a full treatment of Katy’s words, so I will simply point out that Katy never cited the Bible in her defense of marriage. She argued from what’s called “natural law,” which are basically self-evident truths. One doesn’t have to know a single Bible verse to argue for true marriage from natural law. Obviously, in church we argue from Scripture – and the Bible is clear on God’s design for marriage – but in secular society it is also very useful to know how to reason from natural law. We would do well to learn from Katy’s approach as we turn the conversation away from adult desires to the needs and rights of children. – Pastor Conner