Whenever same-sex marriage is talked about in the news, we are treated to countless pictures and testimonials of "gay" couples celebrating their new right. However, it's rare that we hear from another party directly affected by this raging controversy—the children.
Understandably, the children who do speak publicly about their same-sex parents often express their love and support. But the rarest of the rare, and the ones often bullied and questioned when they do speak out, are those who are not so positive about their upbringing in a same-sex household.
Consider Katy Faust, a child raised by a lesbian couple, who suggested recently that redefining marriage necessarily includes redefining parenthood.
Now 38 years old, Faust loves both her mom, who got divorced, and the lesbian partner of her mother, who helped raise her. But that doesn't mean that Katy is neutral on whether homosexuals should be able to marry.
In Public Discourse recently, Faust wrote a powerful open letter to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is widely considered to be the swing vote in the coming high court ruling on the issue. In it, she tells us that the rights of children must trump the feelings of adults. She notes that in California's Proposition 8 legal battle, Justice Kennedy agreed that the children living in households with gay partners must have a voice.
She just thinks that all of them, not just those that are affirming, should have a voice. "Children," wrote Faust, "have a natural, fundamental right to the dual-gender influence of their biological parents. The adults in this scenario," she writes, "satisfy their heart's desires, while the child bears the most significant cost: missing out on one or more of her biological parents. Making policy that intentionally deprives children of their fundamental rights is something that we should not endorse, incentivize, or promote."
In other words, natural marriage matters for everyone.
Indeed, as the Manhattan Declaration notes, "Vast human experience confirms that...where marriage is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves."
This is true even when society says otherwise.
Indeed, Faust recounts how she felt the pressure to go along. "I remember how many times," she wrote, "I repeated my speech: 'I'm so happy that my parents got divorced so that I could know all of you wonderful women'," Then she continues, "I cringe when I think of it now, because it was a lie. My parents' divorce has been the most traumatic event in my thirty-eight years of life. While I did love my mother's partner and friends, I would have traded every one of them to have my mom and my dad loving me under the same roof."
As Faust notes, this isn't just about being against anything, not even same-sex marriage. It's about being for something. We support marriage between one man and one woman because it is the gift God gave humans for blessing and flourishing. My new book with Sean McDowell called "Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage," walks through the overwhelming evidence of the vital role both a mom and a dad have in the life of their children.
It's a reality that Katy sees more fully now that she is a mother. "Now that I am a parent," she says, "I see clearly the beautiful differences my husband and I bring to our family. I see the wholeness and health that my children receive because they have both of their parents living with and loving them. I see how important the role of their father is and how irreplaceable I am as their mother. … Neither of us is disposable."
Sadly, same-sex marriage asserts, without evidence, that mothers or fathers are disposable in the life of a child. Funny, but we never say that when there's a divorce, an adoption, or a death.