I expect this post will raise the ire of some of my more conservative readers, and perhaps generate some debate.
First up, I’m not going to debate the morality of people who have same-sex attraction, neither am I going to delve into the alphabet of sexual identities.
Same-sex parenting was again brought to the forefront of the media recently with iconic Italian designers Dolce and Gabbana expressing that there is only one family – a man, a woman and children. Elton John quickly expressed outrage over these comments, as did many progressive commentators.
The debate about Same-Sex couples revolves around ideas such as: should be able to adopt, utilise IVF and have the same legal rights as ‘traditional’ parents. It focuses on equal rights for all. I totally get this. One of the prevailing arguments used by supporters of Same-Sex couples having children is that Same-Sex couples make just as good parents. I’ve got no doubt on the parenting ability of Same-Sex couples, the love they can provide their children and the resources, time and emotional energy they so evidently give their children.
There is a risk, at this point, to refer to the recent story of a Same-Sex couple here in Australia that adopted a dear child and did unspeakable crimes to him, then use this story as an argument against Same-Sex parenting. Sadly, and disgustingly, child abuse favors no sexual orientation, belief system or set of ideals. It is an insidious crime that should not be tolerated in any situation.
It would be naive to think that legislation will stop or encourage Same-Sex parenting – certainly not in a Western democracy. Indeed, ISIS are taking a more hardline approach to homosexuality, and, as a side note, I often wonder why ‘progressives’ stand up for this evil ideology. You don’t need a science degree to figure out how babies are made. I don’t want to sound crass, but it isn’t particularly hard for Same-Sex parents to find a kindred couple (or individual) to donate sperm or a womb to produce a baby. There are still legalities involved, but to put it pragmatically, if a Same-Sex couple wanted to have a family, the ‘mechanics’ of it really isn’t that hard.
My views of Same-Sex marriage and parenting have changed somewhat over the years. Some have argued that permitting Same-Sex marriage and parenting is a slippery slope to all kinds of depravity. Truly, I think the depravity has been there since day dot. It’s just out in the open now. If a couple, regardless of sexual identity wants to marry, I have to be honest – it really does not impact me. Same as Same-Sex couples that want to have children. Does it really impact me? Honestly – no.
Here’s what I do think, however. I’ve written before on how my dad died when I was 6. I’m blessed to have a wonderful, loving mum and to have a step-dad that I love, respect and honour. He’s been a real rock for me in many times of woe. Here’s the rub, for me at least. As great as my step-dad is, there’s a part of me that longs to see my dad again. To share my life with, to laugh, love and be with.
Children of Same-Sex relationships, I’m sure, grow up to be happy, stable, productive members of society. I can’t help think, however, that a child misses out by not knowing their mum or dad, like a hole in their heart, that despite how much love, attention, support and goodness they get from other sources, still has a biological-parent shaped hole that they want filled.
There are people that I love, respect and worship with that are ardently against Same-Sex marriage and parenting. I understand their arguments, passions, thoughts and feelings. Honestly, I don’t begrudge them either. I expect they may take exception to what I’ve written.
Personally, I believe that the optimal way of ‘doing family’ is a child having married hetro-sexual parents, living together, working towards a shared set of values who invest in their marriage and their children. Anyone who has been in any type of relationship knows that a long term, committed relationship is hard yakka. Really hard. You don’t need to look far to see the terrible impacts of broken families.
I’ve found when you attack an idea, a person, or a way of life, it seems to galvanize those who you attack. You only need to look at the likes of Fred Nile – his stance against Same-Sex marriage seems to have strengthened his opponents. If you believe that your way of life is the optimal way – the ideal, shouldn’t the results speak for themselves?
Supporters of traditional marriage should be selling the benefits of marriage, not attacking detractors of it. Let your marriage and family be an example of love, grace, support and shared values, not a platform for condemnation. Oscar Wilde once said “Wickedness is the name we give to the curious attractiveness of others”. Certainly, demonizing a particular way of doing marriage and parenting will only support the curious attractiveness of it, not prevent it.
I’ve said before that you can’t legislate against an idea, ideology or opinion. You can legislate against a behavior (with limited success), but not ideas.
Family is one of the most important things in the world – I think we can all agree on that. If you think and believe that you have the ‘best’ way of doing family, be an example in your community. Not as a ‘holier than thou’ Flanders type family, but a real family. Get alongside families (of any colour, shape or description) in your community and support them in love. Be a family that includes, not excludes. Be a family that loves, not loathes. Be a family that shines light, not casts darkness.
I suspect that it is only a matter of time before there is no legal impediments for Same-Sex couples to marry and have children. You can sign petitions, write letters, like Facebook pages, but honestly, I suspect that it’s not going to make a whole lot of difference. Here’s where you can make a difference – with the people you work with. Your neighbors. The families at school. The individuals. As far as I know, there’s no law against being the best example of the family model you believe in – warts and all.
Marriage, family and parenting is hard. There’s always going to be people that do it in REALLY different ways to you – ways you probably won’t agree with. I’m a true believer that kindness wins over judgement any day. I truly believe that if you model, in love, what you believe is the optimal type of family, people will be drawn to it, not repelled by it. Love draws in, not casts away. Everyone is on their own journey – if you believe in God and believe his ways are right and true, his Holy Spirit will guide you, and those around you, to holiness. Pray for the families in your community, for the strength to love them in a way that they need.
Be the light in your communities. Be the best family – the family that loves, supports, guides. The family that’s honest in it’s struggles and open with it’s triumphs.
That will influence your community more than any legislation can.
Pic from http://cdn04.cdn.justjared.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/john-fam/elton-john-david-furniss-family-trip-with-zachary-elijah-03.jpg