Kids + Married Mothers & Fathers = Good

Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy on Zenit on “Why Kids Needs Married Mothers and Fathers.”

Q: How would same-sex marriage hurt any one’s marriage?

Gallagher: This is not just a discussion of benefits. If it were, we could come to some accommodations. The logic of gay marriage is that there is no difference between same-sex and opposite sex unions, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is either irrational or bigoted.

I’m not sure that same-sex marriage proponents are actually promoting this. It seems to me they’re saying that permanence and commitment in a relationship is desirable. Also, that the philosophy of serial sexual partners or promiscuity does not suit their spirit. Additionally, if people are born SSA, why would they not have the same basic human urging to a nurturing, protective, and permanent relationship recognized in law?

Same-sex marriage advocates thus seek to use the law to force everyone to dramatically and permanently alter our definition of marriage and family.

I don’t completely buy this reasoning. The Church continues to define marriage. Family might be a bit more broad than mother + father + children. There are various family relationships when a parent has died, a grandparent returns home for care, siblings or cousins room together, not to mention extended families living together or near enough that a more substantial bond exists than usual. Aren’t these all good developments?

The law will teach your children and grandchildren that there is nothing special about mothers and fathers raising children together, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a bigot. It’s going to be extremely hard to raise, say, young men to be good family men in a society that teaches the idea that anyone who thinks fathers and mothers should raise children together is a bigot.

Well, this seems to be a stretch from what I’ve read and heard from same-sex-union proponents actually say. I think we can agree that children of both sexes need both father and mother figures in their lives. I know a few single mothers who have adopted children and pretty much all of them are attentive to the father image for their children. Anyone passing a social worker’s home study will know that.

And anyone who says otherwise may get subjected to legal punishments of various kinds.

They say this is a problem, and though I’m open to being convinced, I wonder. When people are careful to express their beliefs with the formula, “I believe …” I think they’re pretty much untouchable legally. Trouble comes when the language lapses into “You should …” and gets into a matter of intimidation. That is clearly wrong, and in extreme cases, probably should be punishable by law.

I think Gallagher and others publicly musing on this issue might do well to consider the very best of their opponents’ arguments, rather than the weakest. Without same-sex union legal protections, I don’t think a gay couple can at present adopt a child. One of them adopts legally. My understanding is that considerable legal obstacles must be surmounted before the second parent can be a legal parent. The best interests of adoptive children should be paramount in crafting the legal situation, especially since the adoption of children by SSA people is a fait accompli.

Marriage is in a lot worse trouble from societal attitudes about fidelity and poor preparation of couples. Those of us in “opposite sex unions” have more than enough work to do than be overly concerned about what the gays are doing.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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