Robert Oscar Lopez

Not all children raised by gay parents support gay marriage: I should know, I’m one of them

Robert Oscar Lopez
By Robert Oscar Lopez
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June 3, 2013 (thePublicDiscourse) - During the oral arguments about Proposition 8, Justice Anthony Kennedy referred to children being raised by same-sex couples. Since I was one of those children—from ages 2-19, I was raised by a lesbian mother with the help of her partner—I was curious to see what he would say.

I also eagerly anticipated what he would say because I had taken great professional and social risk to file an amicus brief with Doug Mainwaring (who is gay and opposes gay marriage), in which we explained that children deeply feel the loss of a father or mother, no matter how much we love our gay parents or how much they love us. Children feel the loss keenly because they are powerless to stop the decision to deprive them of a father or mother, and the absence of a male or female parent will likely be irreversible for them.

Over the last year I’ve been in frequent contact with adults who were raised by parents in same-sex partnerships. They are terrified of speaking publicly about their feelings, so several have asked me (since I am already out of the closet, so to speak) to give voice to their concerns.

I cannot speak for all children of same-sex couples, but I speak for quite a few of them, especially those who have been brushed aside in the so-called “social science research” on same-sex parenting.

Those who contacted me all professed gratitude and love for the people who raised them, which is why it is so difficult for them to express their reservations about same-sex parenting publicly.

Still, they described emotional hardships that came from lacking a mom or a dad. To give a few examples: they feel disconnected from the gender cues of people around them, feel intermittent anger at their “parents” for having deprived them of one biological parent (or, in some cases, both biological parents), wish they had had a role model of the opposite sex, and feel shame or guilt for resenting their loving parents for forcing them into a lifelong situation lacking a parent of one sex.

I have heard of the supposed “consensus” on the soundness of same-sex parenting from pediatricians and psychologists, but that consensus is frankly bogus.

Pediatricians are supposed to make sure kids don’t get ringworm or skip out on vaccinations—nobody I know doubts that same-sex couples are able to tend to such basic childcare needs.

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Psychologists come from the same field that used to have a “consensus” that homosexuality was a mental disorder. Neither field is equipped to answer the deeper existential dilemmas of legally removing fatherhood or motherhood as a human principle, which is what total “marriage equality” would entail.

I support same-sex civil unions and foster care, but I have always resisted the idea that government should encourage same-sex couples to imagine that their partnerships are indistinguishable from actual marriages. Such a self-definition for gays would be based on a lie, and anything based on a lie will backfire.

The richest and most successful same-sex couple still cannot provide a child something that the poorest and most struggling spouses can provide: a mom and a dad. Having spent forty years immersed in the gay community, I have seen how that reality triggers anger and vicious recrimination from same-sex couples, who are often tempted to bad-mouth so-called “dysfunctional” or “trashy” straight couples in order to say, “We deserve to have kids more than they do!”

But I am here to say no, having a mom and a dad is a precious value in its own right and not something that can be overridden, even if a gay couple has lots of money, can send a kid to the best schools, and raises the kid to be an Eagle Scout.

It’s disturbingly classist and elitist for gay men to think they can love their children unreservedly after treating their surrogate mother like an incubator, or for lesbians to think they can love their children unconditionally after treating their sperm-donor father like a tube of toothpaste.

It’s also racist and condescending for same-sex couples to think they can strong-arm adoption centers into giving them orphans by wielding financial or political clout. An orphan in Asia or in an American inner city has been entrusted to adoption authorities to make the best decision for the child’s life, not to meet a market demand for same-sex couples wanting children. Whatever trauma caused them to be orphans shouldn’t be compounded with the stress of being adopted into a same-sex partnership.

Lastly, it’s harmful to everyone if gay men and lesbians in mixed-orientation marriages with children file for divorce so they can enter same-sex couplings and raise their children with a new homosexual partner while kicking aside the other biological parent. Kids generally want their mom and dad to stop fighting, put aside their differences, and stay together, even if one of them is gay.

In my family’s case, my mother was divorced and she made the best decision given our circumstances. Had she set out to create a same-sex parenting family in a premeditated fashion, I would probably not feel at peace with her memory, because I would know that my lack of a strong father figure during childhood did not result from an accident of life history, but rather from her own careless desire to have her cake and eat it too. I am blessed not to contend with such a traumatic thought about my own mother. I love her because I know she did everything possible to give me a good life. Still, what was best in our specific circumstances was a state of deprivation that it is unconscionable to force on innocent children if it’s not absolutely necessary.

Justice Kennedy alluded to the views of children being raised by same-sex couples as if our desires and concerns are identical to and uncritical of the decisions made by our parents. The reality is far more complicated than that.

Putting aside all the historical analogies to civil rights and the sentimental platitudes about love, the fact is that same-sex parenting suffers from insurmountable logistical problems for which children pay the steepest lifelong price.

Whether it’s by surrogacy, insemination, divorce, or commercialized adoption, moral hazards abound for same-sex couples who insist on replicating a heterosexual model of parenthood. The children thrown into the middle of these moral hazards are well aware of their parents’ role in creating a stressful and emotionally complicated life for kids, which alienates them from cultural traditions like Father's Day and Mother's Day, and places them in the unenviable position of being called “homophobes” if they simply suffer the natural stress that their parents foisted on them—and admit to it.

Same-sex marriage would pose no problems for me if it were simply about couples being together. As a bisexual I get that. But unfortunately the LGBT movement decided that its validation by others requires a redefinition of “marriage” to include same-sex partnerships. So here we are, stuck having to encourage problematic lives for children in order to affirm same-sex couples the way the movement demands.

That’s why I am for civil unions but not for redefining marriage. But I suppose I don’t count—I am no doctor, judge, or television commentator, just a kid who had to clean up the mess left behind by the sexual revolution.

Robert Oscar Lopez, PhD, is the author of Johnson Park and editor of the website English Manif: A Franco-American Flashpoint on Gay Rights DebatesHe is launching CREFA, or Children's Rights and Ethical Family Alternatives, a new project to discuss the ethics of LGBT family-building, with Doug Mainwaring. This article reprinted with permission from The Public Discourse


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Appeals court creates ‘right to marry by everyone and to anyone’ in Virginia: dissent

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By Ben Johnson

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia's constitutional marriage amendment lost a divided decision Monday before a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, on a 2-1 margin.

Judge Henry Floyd, appointed by President George W. Bush and elevated by President Barack Obama, wrote the opinion in Bostic v. Schaefer on behalf of himself and Judge Roger L. Gregory, originally a controversial Clinton recess appointment adopted by Bush-43. Their decision upholds a ruling by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, who was appointed by President Obama.

Virginia voters adopted a constitutional marriage protection amendment, defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, in 2006 with 57 percent of the vote.

Judge Floyd blamed the state's decision not to elevate gay unions to the level of traditional marriages on the majority's “inertia and apprehension.”

In his dissent, Judge Paul V. Niemeyer, a Reagan appointee, called the majority ruling “fundamentally flawed,” saying his colleagues “failed to conduct the necessary constitutional analysis.”

The other two judges erred by “concluding simply and broadly that the fundamental ‘right to marry’ – by everyone and to anyone – may not be infringed,” because the ruling fails to address “why this broad right to marry, as the majority defines it, does not also encompass the ‘right’ of a father to marry his daughter or the ‘right’ of any person to marry multiple partners.”

“If the majority were to recognize and address the distinction between the two relationships – the traditional one and the new one – as it must, it would simply be unable to reach the conclusion that it has reached,” he wrote.

Peter Sprigg, the Family Research Council's senior fellow for policy studies, agreed with Niemeyer. “The court ruling defines the 'right to marry' so broadly that it raises the question whether the logic would allow society to maintain any coherent definition of marriage," he said in a press release.

In a statement, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, who co-authored the amendment, asked, “Will three lesbian women in Massachusetts, a 'throuple,' move to Virginia to have their aberrant 'marriage' relationship sanctioned by Judges Gregory and Floyd?”

Marriage redefinition proponents have held that excluding homosexuals is a new legal stratagem, and concerns about the well-being of children serve only to hide lawmakers' “animus” against homosexuals.

But Niemeyer quoted state marriage laws, in some cases stretching back more than 100 years, which affirm marriage as the “mutual agreement of a man and a woman to marry each other” for the purpose of “establishing a family, the continuance of the race, the propagation of children, and the general good of society.”

“Virginia’s laws have always rightly reflected the true and complementary nature of marriage,” Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia, said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that the court rejected the right of Virginians to define marriage consistent with their concern with what’s best for children and society as a whole” and “chosen to disenfranchise the 1.3 million Virginians who legally voted to amend our constitution.”

The case was left to Norfolk clerk George Schaefer III, after newly-elected state Attorney General Mark Herring refused to defend the law in court. Virginia's Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, who defeated former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the 2013 governor's race, celebrated the legal imbalance.

“I want to thank Attorney General Mark Herring for his leadership in this case, and all of the men and women who fought for years to make this day a reality,” the governor said in a statement. “Progress does not always come as quickly as we hope it will, but today is yet another example of how justice, equality, and the people who fight for those values will always persevere in the end.”

Despite a string of rulings invalidating voter-backed amendments across the nation, traditional marriage supporters refuse to concede.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Byron Babione, who is representing Prince William County Clerk of Court Michéle B. McQuigg, said in a press release, “Ultimately, the question whether the people are free to affirm marriage as a man-woman union will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the high court remains consistent with its acknowledgment in its Windsor decision of the right of states to define marriage, the states will ultimately be free to preserve man-woman marriage, should they choose to do so.”

Marshall hoped the justices will not impose their social views on the nation at large. “If judicial elites impose a radical and immoral marriage regime on American citizens in defiance of the 'Laws of Nature and Nature's God,' the result would be to tear the social fabric in ways that can scarcely be imagined,” he said.

Sprigg disagreed that even a Supreme Court's ruling would settle the issue. “While the Left continues to use the federal courts as the means to fulfill their radical social agenda, the courts will not have the final say,” he said. “They cannot change natural law and the fact that society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad.”


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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

If you find this filthy book in your home, burn it

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By Jonathon van Maren

I don’t believe in book-burnings, but for the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy, I’ll make an exception. I prefer charred books to scarred people.

The 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy, for those of you living outside “civilization,” is a repulsive and poisonous stack of porn novels that celebrates the seduction and manipulation of an insecure girl by a powerful businessman who happens to like spending his recreational time engaging in what is now popularly known as “BDSM.” For those of you who are fortunate enough never to have heard of this glorification of sexual assault, the acronym stands for bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. In 50 Shades of Grey, the man in question inflicts all sorts of pain on the girl, because he is a sadist, which used to be a bad thing. (How utterly confusing it is to see the “feminists” of Planned Parenthood and elsewhere celebrating this phenomenon—wasn’t domination something they sought to subvert? Didn’t bondage used to be something one wanted to be freed from? And sado-masochism—I could vomit.) And now this trash has been developed into a film, the trailer of which is all over Facebook.

50 Shades of Grey and the new “BDSM” phenomenon are nothing more than the celebration of pain, rape, and destruction.

A lot of people seem to be taken with these books, especially based on the number of people I’ve seen unashamedly reading it at airports. These porn novels are “hot,” many reviewers tell us confidently. Yes, hot as Hell and halfway there, I think.

Consider this, for just a moment: In a culture where broken families are often the norm, we have a generation of girls often growing up without fathers, never receiving the paternal love and affection that they need. Thus the famous “Daddy Issues” that so many comedy sitcoms repulsively mock, as if hurting girls seeking love and affection in all the wrong places is some sort of joke. Conversely, boys are also growing up without fathers, never having a positive male role model in the home to teach them how to treat women with love and respect. And what is teaching them how to treat girls? At an enormous rate, the answer is online pornography, which increasingly features vicious violence against girls and women. The average first exposure of boys to pornography is age eleven. It is an absolutely toxic mess—insecure and hurting girls seek love from boys who have been taught how to treat them by the most vicious of pornography.

Introduce into this situation a book, written by a woman, glorifying the idea that girls should expect or even enjoy pain and torture inside of a sexual relationship. How does a girl, insecure and unsure, know what to think? The culture around her now expects her not to need a safe relationship, but a “safe word” to employ in case her sadist partner gets a bit too carried away in the pain-making. Boys who might never have dreamed of asking a girl to subject herself to such pain and humiliation are now of course emboldened to request or even expect this fetishized sexual assault as a matter of course in a relationship. After all, much of pornography now features this degradation of girls and women, and a woman wrote a book celebrating such things. It might seem sadistic and rapey, but hey, sexual freedom has allowed us to celebrate “bondage” and sexual liberation has allowed us to liberate our darkest demons from the recesses of our skulls and allow them out to play in the bedroom. Boys used to get taught that they shouldn’t hit girls, but now the culture is telling them that it’s actually a turn-on.

I genuinely feel sorry for many teenage girls trying to navigate the new, pornified dating landscape. I genuinely feel sorry for the legions of fatherless boys, exposed to pornography before they even had a chance to realize what it was, enfolded by the tentacles of perverted sexual material before they even realize what, exactly, they are trifling with. It brings to mind something C.S. Lewis once wrote: “Wouldn't it be dreadful if some day in our own world, at home, men start going wild inside, like the animals here, and still look like men, so that you'd never know which were which.”

50 Shades of Grey and the new “BDSM” phenomenon are nothing more than the celebration of pain, rape, and destruction. Find out if the “sex educators” in your area are pushing this garbage, and speak out. Join campaigns to make sure that promotion of this filth isn’t being funded by your tax dollars. And if you find these books in your home, burn them.


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13-year-old Zoe Griffin Courtesy of Stand True
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A 13-year-old on the day her mom told her she had an abortion

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By Bryan Kemper

Stand True recently published a story about a mom telling her children about her past abortion.  Today we are sharing that story from one of her daughters about the day she found out. Zoe had been working on this story to e-mail to her mom when her mother walked in and told her to clean her room. That is when Zoe clicked send.

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We had just dropped my brother and sisters off at Faith Formation. It was a Wednesday evening: January 8, 2014. I would be 13 in just over two weeks.

My mom said, “Zoe, I need to talk to you. Let’s go in the meeting room.” I thought we were going to talk about puberty. I got nervous and fidgety. “Mama,” I kept saying, “I’m not ready for this talk. I don’t want to know about it.” We got to the conference room and Mama sat down. I sat a few chairs away. “Sit here please, Zoe,” she said. “I don’t want to,” I whined. “Zoe,” she said firmly, “sit next to me.” I reluctantly sat down next to her, dreading what she had to say. What she said next would change my life forever. “Zoe,” she said, “in December of 1998, I had an abortion.” I felt like I had been slapped in the face. My whole world was rocked. I wanted to puke, I wanted to cry, I wanted to run away and hide. This amazing person, someone I have looked up to my whole life, my pro-life inspiration, had had an abortion.

I stared at the glassy table where we were sitting. Mama was crying now. She told me how her boyfriend at the time had had a pregnant girlfriend before and how he said that he would “take care of it”. She told me how she had woken up after the abortion and thought how lucky she was to have such a great boyfriend. She told me she had gone crazy in the days after the abortion. She explained everything.

“Do you have any questions?” she asked. “No,” I said. “Do you forgive me?” she asked. “Yes,” I said. “Your big brother’s name is David,” she said. Big brother. For years I had been saying, “I wish I had an older brother or sister!” Now I knew that I had one. We sat in silence for a while. Mama called Fr. Rossi, our parish priest, and he joined us in our little meeting. This was when I learned that a lot of people had heard her testimony before. He told us that now would be a great time to visit Jesus in Adoration. I was so thankful it was Wednesday! We went into Adoration and prayed. We prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m not sure what Mama prayed about, but I prayed for understanding about what had just happened. I prayed a Rosary for David, that he was in Heaven praising God. That night, when everyone was at home, my mom was on her computer. She had just let me read her testimony, which had been published online. Jackson, my 7-year-old brother, saw the picture of Mama holding a sign that said, “I regret my abortion”. “Wait,” he said, “you had an abortion?” Mama’s face paled. “Yes,” she said. Then, returning to his homework, he asked, “How do you spell ‘Guido’?” Mama went along with it. “G-U-I-D-O”, she said. “I’m done with my homework!” Jack said, and he rushed upstairs. Later that night, Lily and Bella, my two sisters, were downstairs. Jack came downstairs and said, “Hey! Did you guys know Mama had an abortion?” “No she didn’t,” Lily said, “she just got her tubes tied!” She turned to Mama. “Wait,” she said slowly, “did you have an abortion?” Mama then started to have the same conversation with them she had had with me earlier. Jack started crying and ran upstairs. Lily and Bella were tearing up, too, but they listened to Mama’s story. I followed Jackson upstairs. I found him in bed, his head buried in his pillows, crying. I sat next to him, held him, tried to comfort him. Mama came in and took over for me.

The five of us were all in one place, everyone crying except for me. We prayed a little together, and then we went to bed. I was shaken for the next few days. I will never forget that experience, but I am kind of glad it happened. I have taken the pro-life movement even more seriously than before.

I want to be able to say I avenged my big brother David by abolishing abortion, and I am confident that I am part of the generation that will do that.

This is what I was doing when you told me to clean my room.

Zoe

———-

We know how much abortion hurts men and women but we don’t often think of the sibling effect of abortion. I remember many years ago, a young woman approached my booth at a music festival. She explained how she had bought a pro-life t-shirt from me the year before and wore it home from the festival. When her mom saw the shirt, she decided to tell her daughter that she had had an abortion many years ago. They were able to seek counseling and the mother found healing as did her daughter. She thanked me for the work we were doing and bought another t-shirt.

There are some amazing resources for anyone who is hurting from abortion.

Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries

Silent No More Awareness Campaign

Reprinted with permission from StandTrue.com.


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