Wynne Liberals to change Ontario’s definition of parents to include LGBTQ couplings
TORONTO, June 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced earlier this week that her Liberal government will introduce legislation in September to legally recognize homosexual and lesbian couples as parents, stating that laws defining parents as a man and a woman are outdated.
Wynne wants to “ensure that parents are clearly recognized in Ontario, whether they be gay, straight, and whether their children are conceived with or without assistance,” she said Tuesday at an event by the homosexual advocacy group Egale, reported the Globe.
But pro-family advocates see the move as dangerous because it further severs a child’s connection with his or her biological parentage.
Under current law, the birth mother is deemed a parent; for lesbian couples, the woman who is “married” to the mother must adopt the child.
Under the as-yet-to-be-drafted legislation, it’s expected that the lesbian “spouse” will simply be listed as a second “mother” or “parent.”
British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec have birth-registration legislation recognizing same-sex parents, and in Ontario, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo has long been pushing for the change.
DiNovo introduced a private member’s bill last year, called Cy and Ruby’s law after the two children of a lesbian couple, which would amend the Children’s Law Reform Act and the Vital Statistics Act.
Her legislative scheme would give “LGBTQ families the rights to their children at birth,” according to an October 2015 report in the Torontoist. “The bill also calls for more inclusive birth forms that would allow trans men who give birth to list themselves as a parent or father, and not a mother by default. If passed into law, the bill would prevent the need for fibbing in the delivery room.”
Meanwhile, nine LGBTQ couples have launched a constitutional challenge to Ontario’s law, reported the Globe. The Ontario attorney-general’s office has asked them to consider staying the challenge, given that the Liberals plan to change the law.
However, the lawyer for the group, Joanna Radbord, told the Globe the government was being unfair to ask them to wait.
Radbord, who is “married” to a woman and has given birth to two sons aged 7 and 12, said she and her “spouse” had to adopt the boys.
“A lot of people don’t want to do an adoption because of the offence to dignity of having to adopt their own child,” she said. “I agree it is completely offensive to dignity, but that’s what we did because it was the fastest thing to do at the time.”
Gwen Landolt, vice president of REAL Women, says Wynne’s promised legislation is “a travesty of common sense.”
In the case of a lesbian couple, “the partner who wants to be the ‘mother’ or ‘father’ has no reproductive or genetic relationship to the child. Why wouldn’t they adopt the child? Everyone else has to.”
Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons describes the “deliberate deprivation of a father or a mother” for a child as “state-sanctioned child abuse.”
Evidence overwhelmingly supports the “importance of both mothering and fathering for the healthy development of a child,” he points out in “Same-Sex Attractions in Youth and their Right to Informed Consent.”
“The rights and needs of children to a mother and a father, so well documented by social science research and by every culture in the world, should be protected by the state,” writes Fitzgibbons.
“The needs of children take precedence over the entitled thinking of adults who believe they have the right to deprive a child of a father or a mother,” he asserts.
The Catholic Medical Association reiterates this in its publication Homosexuality and Hope: “Research on same-sex unions demonstrates that they are markedly different from marriage in that exclusivity and permanency are not present or desired in the vast majority of these unions.”
It adds: “Same-sex unions suffer a significantly higher prevalence of domestic abuse, depression, substance-abuse disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases.”
The CMA further notes: “Physicians should caution their patients about the dangers of same-sex unions and advocate against children being placed in such unstable relationships.”
Fitzgibbons also cites 2015 studies by American sociologist Paul Sullins that show “the risk of clinical emotional problems, developmental problems, or use of mental health treatment services is nearly double among those with same-sex parents when contrasted with children of opposite-sex parents” in “eight out of twelve psychometric measures.”
The Sullins studies analyzed data on 512 children of same-sex couples pulled from a base of 207,000 respondents to the National Health Interview Survey between 1997 and 2013.
They found that “the estimate of serious child emotional problems in children with same-sex parents is 17 percent, compared with 7 percent among opposite-sex parents, after adjusting for age, race, gender, and parent’s education and income.”
The studies also found that among children raised by same-sex couples, the “rates of ADHD were higher as well—15.5 compared to 7.1 percent. The same is true for learning disabilities: 14.1 vs. 8 percent.”
Another study in April 2016 shows that “female same-sex parents report more anger, irritation, and comparative frustration with their (apparently misbehaving) children than do opposite-sex parents,” according to Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas in Austin.
While the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed same-sex parenting in 2002, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) does not.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, a board member of the ACP, told the National Catholic Register that the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsement was agenda driven and ignored the objections of some members over research flaws.
“Given the current body of research” the ACP “believes it is inappropriate, potentially hazardous to children, and dangerously irresponsible to change the age-old prohibition on homosexual parenting, whether by adoption, foster care, or by reproductive manipulation,” the organization stated in 2013. “This position is rooted in the best available science.”
Fitzgibbons noted that Pope St. John Paul II, in his 2005 book Memory and Identity, “attacked advances on gay rights, including same-sex marriage.”
The pope wrote: “It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this [same-sex marriage] is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.”