I recently had a short exchange of views with someone on the subject of gay marriage. It started with the news of Nicky Morgan saying she would now vote for gay marriage making it onto my Facebook wall. Being the comedic genius (?!!) that I am, I could not resist a little quip.
Someone decided to post what I, and many others will, consider to be a bigoted comment on this. Rather than letting it go, I bit. Not my best ever argument if I am going to be honest, but a fairly polite response considering how I feel about the views he posted. I was simply trying to encourage a bit of critical thought on the matter. My friend posted, below my comment, what I consider to be a better response.
The idea that marriage is only about having children is, for me, misleading. As my friend said, “Marriage is about love and commitment”. However, if a couple who want children cannot conceive, surrogates and adoption are perfectly valid ways of having children. From the two adopted children and parents I know, the love they share is every bit as valid as my love for my son. To somehow lessen that connection is to misunderstand what it is to be human and to be a parent.
This evening I received the following personal message from the man who posted the comment:
His first assertion, after the unnecessary jibe, is that every child needs a mum and dad. I would say that many children benefit from having two parents. However, I have not seen any evidence that the sexuality of those parents has any bearing on that. I know a gay couple, and their 9 year old son is one of the most well adjusted young men I have ever met. If there had been any lingering doubt in my mind about the idea of gay parents, it would have been wiped out by this incredible speech by a young man called Zach Wahls: (Incidentally I know plenty of single parents who have done a better job parenting than many couples, but that is not the argument I was having here)
The sad thing is one thing he says is true, but his target is wrong. I agree that the school playground can be a tough place. The fact that child suicide amongst LGBT children is so high proves this. The impassioned speech by Joel Burns on the subject reduced me to tears when I heard it, but my thought wasn’t that gay parents should not have children in case they get bullied, it was that we should stop the bullying of gay children or children with gay parents. For me, creating an acceptance of the love that gay people share is only a stepping stone in that process. In our society, marriage is the ultimate expression of love and commitment that a couple can make. To deny gay people the right to marry, is to deny the love they share is equal to that of heterosexual couples.
Anyway, there is much I haven’t said. There is a politician from New Zealand called Maurice Williamson, who gave a much better speech on the subject of gay marriage than I ever could.