David Quinn: Gay marriage denies value of motherhood and fatherhood
When homosexual acts were decriminalised in 1993, I supported the move and said so publicly. Right from that point, which is basically when I began writing a column, I also supported partnership rights for same-sex couples.
I still support decriminalisation and partnership rights. But in 1993, who could conceive that one day the value of motherhood and fatherhood would be denied by the gay lobby and its supporters, as is the case.
Nor was it conceivable that asserting the value of motherhood and fatherhood would become so controversial, exposing you to accusations of 'homophobia', and so on.
The first public civil partnership ceremonies took place this week to great fanfare. 'The Late Late Show', which for the past few years has essentially acted as a propaganda platform for the same-sex marriage movement, featured three same-sex couples.
Ryan Tubridy agreed with one couple that it was a pity they couldn't go the whole way and get married. He said that civil partnerships are "an Irish solution to an Irish problem". Actually Ryan, no they're not, because civil partnerships are to be found in Germany, France, Britain, Austria, Finland and about a dozen other European countries
RTE, most of the rest of the media, academia, the civil service, the NGO sector and a great deal of the political establishment have ordained that the absence from Ireland of same-sex marriage is a gross violation of human rights, and that opposition to it can only be motivated by prejudice.
But the French Supreme Court, for one, would not agree. It recently ruled that the French law recognising only traditional marriage does not violate the equality provisions of the French constitution. And remember, France is the home of Egalite.
In Britain, the last Labour government introduced civil partnerships but not marriage. Is that because Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are bigots?
In Australia, the Labour PM, Julia Gillard, who is an atheist and proudly pro-choice is nonetheless against same-sex marriage, as was her Labour predecessor, Kevin Rudd. Are they bigots?
Meanwhile, our own Labour Party has pushed out the boat to the very extreme end of the gay rights agenda because, after all, this is Ireland and we must react to the excessive past influence of the Catholic Church by moving as far as possible in the opposite direction.
The reaction of many ordinary people watching 'The Late Late Show' the other night will have been, 'Sure let them marry, they love each other, what harm can it do?'
But the harm lies, as mentioned, in the complete denial of the value of motherhood and fatherhood.
Every debate I have ever been in about the issue of same-sex marriage very quickly becomes a debate about the value to a child of having both a mother and father as distinct from two fathers or two mothers, or some other combination of adults.
Gay marriage proponents flat out deny that marriage has anything whatever to do with encouraging men and women to raise their own children.
This, of course, isn't the sole purpose of marriage. But it's the reason we have always given it special support.
In order to justify same-sex marriage, its proponents must deny that uniting children to their mothers and fathers is a worthwhile goal of social policy. Therefore, they insist that two men can do the job of a mum and a dad just as well, as can two women. This means they deny the importance of sexual complementarity.
All that matters, they say, is that a child is loved. They deny that having a loving mother and father is any better than having loving parents of whatever sex. In effect, men can be 'mothers' and women can be 'fathers' because men and women in their parent roles are completely interchangeable.
They also deny the importance of the biological link between parent and child. After all, if motherhood and fatherhood are rejected -- and it only matters that a child has loving parent-figures -- then why should it matter whether or not they are raised by their own two biological parents?
But they should try telling that to all the adopted children who have sought their biological parents down the years, or to the children of sperm or egg donors doing the same today.
It's true, of course, that some children are raised by same-sex parents, just as many children are raised by numerous different combinations of adults. But in these instances, legal guardianship can be provided in given circumstances.
Again, people ask what is the harm of allowing same-sex marriage?
But the real question is whether we still value motherhood and fatherhood. A declaration in favour of same-sex marriage is a declaration that we do not -- because gay marriage completely severs the link between marriage and the goal of uniting children to their mothers and fathers.
So by all means support same-sex marriage, but realise that in doing so you will be denying the value of motherhood and fatherhood. Is that really what you want to do?