15 May 2012


From 'Want to know about gay parenting? Ask the children', a gracious response to the Senate submission by Doctors For The Family regarding gay marriage -
If you believe that monogamy, as well as marriage, is central to children's wellbeing, we wonder why you have not campaigned to make extramarital relationships illegal. Furthermore, if you believe that marriage should be "…the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life," we wonder why you have not campaigned to make divorce illegal. 
Although we have different relationships with our parents and with our donors, none of us feel that we would have been happier or had better life outcomes had we had a more traditional 'fatherly' relationship with our donor. We reject the notion that a child requires two parents of opposite sex. 
We cannot guarantee that no mistake will ever be made by same-sex parents, but this guarantee is not presently given for heterosexual married couples, as countless children of these unions will personally attest. We can say that our own experiences have been no worse, and frequently better, than many of our friends who were raised in traditional heterosexual marriages.
If same-sex marriage is made legal, your right to "free speech", your right to believe that it is wrong and should not have been made legal, will not be lost. Your right to any kind of hate speech about same-sex couples will remain as it stands currently in law - illegal.
You talk about freedom - we, too, would like the freedom to live our lives with love and gratitude to our parents, happy with our own sexuality whatever it may be, free from accusations that ourselves or our parents are somehow wrong, immoral or unhealthy - accusations made by people who have never met us and who, despite their strongly and publicly expressed feelings about the issue, have not taken the time or effort to ask us about our experience.
Gay people are presently able to have children, as our existence demonstrates. Any law regarding same-sex marriage will not change that. Our experience, as well as a wealth of statistical evidence, demonstrates that there is no reason why same-sex couples should not adopt children, and they should have the right to do so within a marriage, so that they can have equality with their heterosexual fellow citizens.
We do not deserve to be treated as second-class citizens. We know what it is like to be raised by same-sex parents, and we know what it is like to face prejudice and discrimination as a result of that. If you are interested in all the facts, why not talk to the very people who have lived the experience you claim to be an expert on. We have grown up in the LGBTQI community and we believe being part of this community has made us strong, open-minded, aware, passionate adults.
Every time we write one of these letters or submissions, we are reduced to tears of frustration over the discrimination and lack of understanding demonstrated by bigoted people like you who choose not to see us for who we are. But they are also tears of pride, deep love and gratitude to our parents, who defied you in order to give us the world.
My more acerbic response - 'Doctors for the Family see some Australians as more equal than others' - is here.
George Orwell’s mordant satire of politics and bureaucratic doublespeak famously featured the slogan that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. Watching the brouhaha about the Doctors for the Family submission to the Senate Inquiry into legal recognition of same-sex relationships (aka gay marriage), it’s difficult not to wonder whether all Australians are equal, but people with medical degrees and godfearing straight married people are more equal than others. ...