Challenge Response: Same-Sex Marriage Gives Stability to Children

Here's my response to this week's challenge:


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This week's challenge is about the question of same-sex marriage: “If you take away same-sex marriage, you’ll take away stability from children of same-sex couples. So not only will you be discriminating against people wanting to marry, but you’ll also be hurting the next generation.” 

This challenge is true only if you assume that same-sex marriage is an ideal situation for parenting children. I've argued in numerous blog posts and other videos in the past this is not the case, so my intent here is not going to be to rehash all those arguments. According to this challenge, there are a number of same-sex couples that have children, but since they aren't allowed to marry, this ultimately harms the children. It is alleged, then, if you allow the same-sex couples to get married, you allow the children to prosper. 

If having children in an unmarried same-sex household is harmful, the solution is not to allow sex-marriage, but it's to prevent same-sex couples from adopting. The real harm comes not from denying same-sex couples the right to marry, but from denying children the right to a mother and a father. That's because decades of research in social sciences, psychology, and medicine has shown that children do best when they're raised by their biological mother and biological father in a long-term marriage. 

Same-sex marriage intentionally creates a situation that denies a child either their mother or father. In fact, same-sex marriage literally says that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that a mother offers no unique contribution to her role as a parent. In fact, a man could accomplish all the functions of a woman, of a mother, just as well as she could. 

This goes against common sense and against much of what we know from research for the last twenty or thirty years of social science, medicine, and psychology. Does this mean if we have a woman whose married to a man and has a kid, and she gets divorced, becomes a lesbian, and then takes that child into a lesbian relationship, that therefore we should take that child away from the lesbian mother? No, of course I’m not saying that. 

In fact, the parallel situation would be if a woman who's married to a man has a kid and the man and her divorce. She remains a heterosexual but now is a single mother. Do we take that child away from her? No, of course not. Both the situations – the single mother and the woman with the child in a same-sex relationship – I would argue, are less than ideal situations for parenting. But that just means that we as a culture and as a community need come around and try to support and help these people provide good parenting for the child. Because after all, those children in both situations do not have the benefit of having both a mother a father in that relationship. 

Since we recognize that both those situations are less than ideal, we shouldn't then intentionally create a parenting or family model that denies a child either the mother or father or both by allowing same-sex couples to adopt. That's the real concern. It's not whether we should offer same-sex marriage or not, of course I don't think we should, but the problem here is that we’re intentionally creating a situation that is less than ideal for the child. That's why I don't believe same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt.

To be consistent and fair, that's why don't think we should allow single people to adopt either. Both situations represent a child not being given both a mother and a father, and that's what ultimately harms kids.

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Alan Shlemon