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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Legalizing Gay Marriage Adopts Discrimination

The effort to preserve traditional marriage is not born of hate or discrimination. To the contrary, it is an effort to preserve the inclusive nature of marriage itself for it is only traditional marriage that does not discriminate.

Think back to your childhood. Did you experience “growing pains” unique to your gender? Does the experience of childhood and puberty differ for boys and girls?

Men and women are different – so are mothers and fathers. No amount of love, of sugar and spice, or of snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails can substitute for a mother or a father.
Is it not an act of discrimination to deny a child the right to be raised by both a mother and a father?

Life isn't always fair and sometimes children do not have the opportunity to be raised by their biological parents. Fortunately, there are would-be parents willing to adopt these children as their own.

Most would agree that preference be given to married couples when adoption is considered. Granted, there our special circumstances that often apply, such as a relative who already had a relationship with the child in question. But, the debate over “gay marriage” forces us to re-examine whether it is fair to discriminate against one gender so that two people of the opposite gender could adopt a child.

If marriage is redefined, then adoption court would not be able to favor married heterosexual parents over a gay couple when both are seeking to adopt a child.
Ah, but we should not discriminate against the gay couple – right?

When faced with this decision, it is impossible NOT to discriminate. Either one discriminates against the gay couple, or one discriminates against the opposite gender represented within the heterosexual couple.

But, the question here is not whether the would-be parents are being treated fairly, it is whether the child is getting fair treatment. We must ask, when the opportunity is available, does a child have the right to be raised by parents of both genders?

Does a boy have the right to be raised by a father who has experienced childhood as a boy and who can relate directly to the childhood experiences unique to that of a boy?

Does a girl have the right to be raised by a mother who has experienced childhood as a girl and who can relate directly to the childhood experiences unique to that of girl?

Does the boy have the right to experience the female perspective on life as offered by a mother? Likewise, does a girl have the right to experience the male perspective on life as offered by a father?

As much as we try to equate the sexes, we cannot. Biology gets in the way. Men and women experience different biological changes from childhood through adulthood. Most also approach life with emotional perspectives that tend be unique to their gender.

One critical key in marriage is how each spouse deals with the other while experiencing different biological and emotional events. Children learn how to treat each other by watching mom and dad. They learn how to make a marriage work by watching their parents. They learn how to treat members of the opposite sex by watching mom and dad relate to each other.

Arguably, it is through these lessons that children of the “traditional family” become well adjusted adults. As common sense and most studies show, children raised by mom and dad who are married and who stay married are more likely to become self-sufficient, well-adjusted adults. They are more likely to enjoy a happy, lifelong marriage themselves. The lessons they learned from their parents will carry them through the rest of their lives. And, the lessons they missed will be harder to overcome as adults.

The arguments for gay marriage may seem inclusive, but they aren't. To support gay marriage is to force the exclusion of a mother or a father from adoptive children.



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