Back in February, Katy Faust penned an open letter to Justice Kennedy (whom everyone recognized would be the swing vote on the same-sex marriage case the U.S. Supreme Court decided recently), arguing that he should not make legal provision for same-sex marriage in the U.S. What makes Katy’s letter so interesting and pertinent to the debate is the fact that her mother is a lesbian and she was raised in a same-sex household. This gives her an interesting and important perspective on this debate.
Katy points out that the reason government involves itself in the institution of marriage is for the sake of children. The welfare of children is the only reason for the government to be involved in anyone’s romantic relationships. She further argues that children have the right to their natural parents and the influence of both genders: “Each child is conceived by a mother and a father to whom that child has a natural right. When a child is placed in a same-sex-headed household, she will miss out on at least one critical parental relationship and a vital dual-gender influence.” Same-sex marriage is an injustice because it intentionally robs a child of their fundamental right to both of their parents.
She’s very clear that the issue is not one of worth or value. People with same-sex attraction are just as valuable as those with opposite-sex attraction. Neither is she claiming that a same-sex attracted parent cannot be a good parent. She loves her mother and thinks of her as a good parent. The issue, however, is about the missing parent: the parent of the opposite gender. Children long to know both of their natural parents, and children need the influence of both genders. Making legal provision for same-sex marriage means we are making legal provision for same-sex parenting. By legalizing same-sex marriage we are saying the desire of adults is more important than the needs of children since children do not fare as well in same-sex households.
Of course, same-sex marriage advocates will object to this claim. They will point to studies that say children raised in same-sex households do even better than children raised in opposite-sex households. Not only are these studies plagued with methodological problems and contradicted by the most comprehensive analysis of the data, but this defies common sense as well. As Katy writes:
If it is undisputed social science that children suffer greatly when they are abandoned by their biological parents, when their parents divorce, when one parent dies, or when they are donor-conceived, then how can it be possible that they are miraculously turning out “even better!” when raised in same-sex-headed households? Every child raised by “two moms” or “two dads” came to that household via one of those four traumatic methods. Does being raised under the rainbow miraculously wipe away all the negative effects and pain surrounding the loss and daily deprivation of one or both parents?
She concludes: “[T]he government’s interest in marriage is about the children that only male-female relationships can produce. Redefining marriage redefines parenthood. It moves us well beyond our ‘live and let live’ philosophy into the land where our society promotes a family structure where children will always suffer loss.”
These are just a few of the gems. Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.