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Monday, June 26, 2006

Marriage requires a man and a woman

That's the opinion article on The Age a few weeks back from Dr. Nicholas Tonti-Filippini. Some gems in the article, I think, are the following, which I quote:
  • That marriage is an institution between one man and one woman is a historical claim. The legal orthodoxy is that "marriage" in the constitution has an intrinsic meaning as "a voluntary union of life between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others".
  • The "for life and to the exclusion of all others" component exists in principle, but often not in practice. ..
  • The proposals to extend the marriage provisions to include people of the same gender prompts the question as to why just those people? Why not include any two people who want their relationship of co-dependency to be socially, legally recognised?
  • .. support for recognition of gay "marriage" is not just about recognising interdependency and commitment. The legal change would confer legitimacy on sexual relations between people of the same sex.
  • There is a prudential difference between marital unions and same-sex unions in that the former may carry the potentiality of generating a child. Thus a sexual relationship between a man and a woman has greater responsibilities.
  • The conventional view, supported by social research, is that men and woman have different, complementary contributions to make in the roles of father and mother and that a child needs both, ...

The point about historicity is interesting. We normally build monuments, write volumes of books and use other means to preserve history as accurately as we can. Why is it that many people today have no qualms about revising the historicity of marriage in extending the scope of the word to include same-sex civil unions? It has "brute force" written all over it. Not only does it involve reinventing what marriage means, it also demands that we revise what begetting children and what parenting means. One must suspend reason to some extent to believe that parenting by same-sex couples is the same as parenting by a father and a mother -- even assuming that both types of families are always completely safe and nurturing. I know, on the face of it, it appears to be compassionate to say that it doesn't really matter, but compassion requires truth. Wouldn't same sex couples feel any regrets when their adopted children one day confide in them that they longed for the parent of the other gender for years but could not speak up for fear of hurting the same sex parents? Obviously, single-parent families are an entirely different matter, as the situation was not entered into willfully, e.g., one parent leaves or passes away. I'm not even saying that anything outside of the traditional family is disastrous, but we've always recognized that those families are disadvantaged. That recognition is so real that it is expressed in legislations to assist such families. Families do not jump into those situations: they fall into them, and we must make the best of things. Same sex parents willfully enter into those situations, naively assuming that things will be fine.

I'm not saying either that children raised in the traditional family is always safer and more secure. But same sex parenting suffers from disadvantages that cannot be willed away. To children yet unborn, it seems to be of the utmost injustice to damn the truth and claim, for reasons of pride, that those disadvantages did not exist. If the same-sex couple truly desired the best interest of the children they wish to raise, they should put the needs of the children ahead of their own. They are children. They should not be used as guinea pigs in a social experiment.


Daniel said...

Adopting a child is extremely difficult, a highly-contingent process involving interviews and counselling. So it's wrong to say same sex couples "willfully" (sp) and "naively" adopt children. Likewise, research on the subject shows the children they do adopt - typically the children of their partner, from that person's former heterosexual marriage - do not regret and are not harmed by the gender of their adopted parents.

Like NTF, you should stick to your religion when you attack us (same-sex attracted people). It would be more honest and you would have a fighting chance at making an informed contribution.

Jeff Tan said...

Hi Daniel. The research results are certainly mixed. For example, this report is positive about gay parenting. It is remiss, however, in saying why homosexuality eventually removed as a maladjustment or disorder. It cites "extensive research" to back up this move by the APA, without mentioning that those results have serious problems that are challenged even by APA research. The challenge is that, in essence, the normalization of homosexuality as a non-disorder was the result of political lobbying, not scientific research.

On the other hand, results such as those described here are negative. I quote the following:

The largest study, (30) and the only one based on a random sample, estimated that less than half of a percent of Americans have had a homosexual parent. Those who did were more likely to:

1. report having had sex with a parent,
2. experience homosexuality as their first sexual encounter,
3. be sexually molested,
4. become homosexual or bisexual, and
5. report dissatisfaction with their childhood.

Plus the data supporting higher risks of domestic violence. Add to that the health risks faced by the gay parents, including some, like Hepatitis, that can be transmitted to their adopted children.

I'm not demonizing homosexuals, or homosexuals who wish to raise children. I'm raising concerns based on facts delivered not by the Catholic Church but by scientific and empirical evidence. If I am condemning anything, it is the embrace of a homosexual lifestyle which puts the homosexuals themselves themselves at serious risks. With such higher risks established by data, wouldn't it be a concern that such risks also affect the children they adopt?

BTW when I said it was willful and naive, I did not mean that it was whimsical. I meant that they do so deliberately, not quite understanding nor dilligently studying and weighing the risks involved for the children they adopt. There's a lot that is taken for granted, and they should not, because what's at stake are the lives of the children they themselves love enough to adopt and raise.

Finally, how is it that I can say that I am not demonizing homosexuals when I condemn the embraced gay lifestyle, which involves the homosexual act as well as the promiscuity with multiple partners? I can say that because I do not believe that the essence of a homosexual is his homosexuality.

There is much more to a gay person than being gay.