From the Public Discourse, a different perspective on gay marriage.
The notion of same-sex marriage is implausible, yet political correctness has made stating the obvious a risky business. Genderless marriage is not marriage at all. It is something else entirely.
Opposition to same-sex marriage is characterized in the media, at best, as clinging to “old-fashioned” religious beliefs and traditions, and at worst, as homophobia and hatred.
I’ve always been careful to avoid using religion or appeals to tradition as I’ve approached this topic. And with good reason: Neither religion nor tradition has played a significant role in forming my stance. But reason and experience certainly have.
[...]Unfortunately, a few years later my marriage ended—a pain known too easily by too many. At this point, the divorce allowed me to explore my homosexuality for the first time in my life.
At first, I felt liberated. I dated some great guys, and was in a couple of long-term relationships. Over several years, intellectual honesty led me to some unexpected conclusions: (1) Creating a family with another man is not completely equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.
It took some doing, but after ten years of divorce, we began to pull our family back together. We have been under one roof for over two years now. Our kids are happier and better off in so many ways. My ex-wife, our kids, and I recently celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together and agreed these were the best holidays ever.
Because of my predilections, we deny our own sexual impulses. Has this led to depressing, claustrophobic repression? No. We enjoy each other’s company immensely. It has actually led to psychological health and a flourishing of our family. Did we do this for the sake of tradition? For the sake of religion? No. We did it because reason led us to resist selfish impulses and to seek the best for our children.
And wonderfully, she and I continue to regard each other as “soul mates” now, more than ever.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found our decision to rebuild our family ratified time after time. One day as I turned to climb the stairs I saw my sixteen-year-old son walk past his mom as she sat reading in the living room. As he did, he paused and stooped down to kiss her and give her a hug, and then continued on. With two dads in the house, this little moment of warmth and tenderness would never have occurred. My varsity-track-and-football-playing son and I can give each other a bear hug or a pat on the back, but the kiss thing is never going to happen. To be fully formed, children need to be free to generously receive from and express affection to parents of both genders. Genderless marriages deny this fullness.
There are perhaps a hundred different things, small and large, that are negotiated between parents and kids every week. Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy. It is to permanently etch “deprivation” on their hearts.
I think that children also need to see moms and dads cooperating with each other and caring for each other in a relationship that is not driven by selfishness or lust (e.g. – premarital hooking up) but is driven by self-sacrificial love from within a lifelong commitment. Kids need to see the two people who made them in their homes and to know that something more than “love” is holding their parents together to care for them.
Anyone can see that a child needs to have two people who are their parents who will model for them male/female love and give them male and female guidance. It’s wrong to deprive children of the safety of a home where both of their parents are present and taking care of them. Gay marriage is not the only threat to this ideal. It’s not even the largest threat (divorce and single motherhood by choice are worse threats, in my view). But we have to dig in our heels and protect marriage somewhere, so let’s start here and then work on rolling back no-fault divorce and single motherhood by choice.
My attention has been drawn to this article by the same author, Douglas Mainwaring, in which he says some very disturbing things, seeming actually to endorse homosexual parenting and societal approval for homosexual “families,” including children, which runs counter to what he appears to be saying in the article I have linked here. Many of the things he says above about parenting and gender are very good, but conservatives should know for future reference that Mainwaring is actually not consistent nor truly conservative on these issues.