A "four-way struggle" demonstrates danger of "gay marriage"

This story in today’s Age, “Four-way struggle to care for baby E” eloquantly demonstrates precisely why “gay marriage” is a bad idea. The State supports and encourages and safeguards marriage with all the power of the law BECAUSE it is the environment most suited for the raising of children. Homosexual unions are, by their very nature, unfruitful. Any same-sex couple which desires to become “parents” must in one way or another “import” a child into the relationship. A child cannot be conceived by and born to a same-sex couple without the involvement of at least a third, or possibly even a fourth, party. Nor is it the natural place for a child to be raised.

Now go ahead and argue with me.

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28 Responses to A "four-way struggle" demonstrates danger of "gay marriage"

  1. Tony says:

    Just focussing on the notion of ‘importing’, David, is this the same for a couple who adopt a child?

    • Schütz says:

      Well, yes.

      Adoption is not a “good” in and of itself. Witness the controversy over Madonna’s adoptions. It is a good thing when the child is freely given up by its birth parents (not taken away – as with the Stolen Generation – or bought through a financial transaction with the birth parents) and when the adopted family can provide a secure, safe and loving environment which includes both a foster father and mother who are married to each other (the last requirement is in the interests of the security and stability of the family situation for the adopted child).

      Adoption is therefore a good when it is an act of generosity. The Catechism states:

      2379 The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others.

      The option of adoption does not apply to same-sex couples, who are not infertile due to some misfortune, but due to a deliberate and selfish choice on their part to forego normal relations with a person of another sex. The desire for a child in these circumstances can only be called selfishness, and it is an act of selfishness for a same-sex couple to “import” a child from a natural family to meet their own desires. This does not preclude, of course, a same-sex couple deciding to express generosity by acts of charity such as by supporting aid funds for needy children, or by actively supporting other members of their family who have children.

      When same-sex couples adopt, foster children are not provided with an environment in which they can be parented by both a mother and a father. I know that there are many good and happy families out there in which, for one reason or another, a mother or a father are parenting alone. But this is never an ideal situation, and is threfore not a situation into which we should be willingly placing foster children.

      • Tony says:

        So adoption or, as you describe it, ‘importing’ is not an issue that is unique to gay couples and, it seems to me, you can’t use it to argue against gay couples.

        The crux of your argument seems to have shifted to ‘when foster children are not provided with an environment in which they can be parented by both a mother and a father’. This is separate argument and not one particularly informed by The Age article because the same dispute could happen with heterosexual couples who, for example, get involved in surrogacy.

        • Schütz says:

          So adoption or, as you describe it, ‘importing’ is not an issue that is unique to gay couples and, it seems to me, you can’t use it to argue against gay couples.

          Well, not against gay couples per se, but certiainly against gay couples adopting a child. Adoption by gay couples is always “importing” a child into a situation which is unfruitful by choice and by definition lacks a mother and a father.

          This fits into my argument against the State recognising same-sex marriage, because as soon as you use the word “marriage” for this relationship, you imply that they have some sort of right to children. They don’t.

          • Peregrinus says:

            Well, this isn’t really an adoption situation. One of the two women concerned is the child’s genetic mother. Her partner, I think, is best seen as a step-parent, not an adoptive parent. And one of the two men is the child’s genetic father; his partner is likewise in a step-parent role. The newspaper article doesn’t suggest that any of the four adults involved has adopted the child, or has sought to do so.

            What we have here, in fact, is a custody/access dispute between the two genetic parents and their respective partners. And, sad to say, this is by no means an unusual dispute to come before the family courts. Nor, I have to say, is it particularly unusual that the genetic parents were never a conjugal couple. The unusual feature is that genetic parents are both gay, and so have same-sex partners rather than opposite-sex partners.

          • Peregrinus says:

            “. . . as soon as you use the word “marriage” for this relationship, you imply that they have some sort of right to children.”

            I’ve never seen anybody argue that, because someone is married, they have “some sort of right to children”. The idea strikes me as bizarre. How can you have a “right” to another human being?

            Can you point me to somewhere where this argument is advanced?

            • Schütz says:

              um, you could just google “same-sex couples” and “right to children”.

              You might want to look at this essay by Christopher Scanlon from the Courier Mail (October 02, 2007):


            • Tony says:


              Isn’t it a core point of the article, by Christopher Scanlon, that the notion of ‘rights’ in terms of children is innappropriate no matter what (marital) state the parents are in?

              Another core point of the article seems to be encapsulated by ‘… modern technologies have radically altered the cultural meanings and frameworks through which we have come to understand birth and the nature of the child-parent bond’.

              So rather than supporting your thesis that these issues demonstrate the danger of “gay marriage”, the issues they point to are much broader.

            • Peregrinus says:

              Tony has pre-empted me.

              Scanlon doesn’t argue that anyone has a “right” to a child. Rather, he says that others put that argument forward. But he doesn’t give much by way of chapter and verse on that claim. And he then goes on to oppose the argument that he imputes to others.

              I don’t have a problem with his opposition. But it is my observation that this “right to a child” argument is always or nearly always articulated by people who oppose it. I can’t avoid the suspicion that they are framing the position of their opponents in terms of their own choosing precisely so that they can attack it more easily. This is the equivalent of asserting that Catholics worship saints for the purpose of framing a diatribe against Catholicism.

              My other concern with framing the discussion in these terms is the implication that straight (married) people do have a “right to a child”. Quite frankly, that’s just a problematic as the claim that gay people do.

              In any event, as far as gay marriage goes, this is a bit of red herring. Whatever we think of reproductive medical technologies, they are not currently confined to married people, and assessments about whether and on what terms they are to be provided, and who is to pay for them, do not revolve around the question of whether the person seeking treatment is married or not. Gay people who want access to these technologies do not have to marry in order to get it, and do not improve their position in this regard by marrying.

              (And, it’s worth noting, there is no suggestion in the newspaper article you quote that this child was conceived through medically assisted technologies. He may or may not have been; that is irrelevant to the custody issue that now has to be decided.)

          • Tony says:

            At the risk of being seen as a tag team, I’ll defer some of the questions raised to Pere, but you seem to not only imply that sexual orientation is a ‘choice’ but that it’s a selfish choice in the case of homosexuals. Am I reading you right?

  2. Peregrinus says:

    It strikes me that this situation arose without any of the four adults involved being married at all, homosexually [i]or[/i] heterosexually. It’s clear that not allowing gay marriage has not prevented this situation from arising, and I honestly don’t see that allowing gay marriage is going to cause it to arise any more frequently.

    What the adults were confronted with here was not their inability to marry, but their inability, as gay people, to beget children in the conventional fashion, and the tension between that and a strong instinctual desire for parenthood.

    They are not, of course, the only people to feel that tension. There are straight couples who for one reason or another – and frequently for no identifiable reason – are unable to conceive children, and there are unpartnered people, gay and straight. Any or all of these may experience a passionate desire to be parents.

    And, as we know, there are – and always have been – various ways of becoming a parent that do not involve having a heterosexual conjugal partner. Medical technology has increased the options here in recent years (in ways which raise grave moral issues that have nothing to do with homosexuality). But none of the solutions involve gay marriage.

    I think we are right to be concerned about this, but I don’t think that we move from that concern to the conclusion that legalising gay marriage will exacerbate our concerns.

    The fact is that straight married people are less likely to seek fertility treatments that involve the co-operation of a third person providing genetic material, presumably because of the implications for their own intimate relationshiop of introducing a third person as to some extent a parent of their child. They nearly always prefer assisted conception using their own genetic material, or adoption.

    We can’t say, obviously, whether gay married people would react the same way. But I don’t see any reason to suppose that gay people would be more likely to seek artificial conception if they could marry than they already do.

    To put it simply, I don’t think that people who experience a passionate desire to become parents do so because they are married, and whatever they are going to do to realise that desire they will do whether or not they can marry.

  3. Gareth says:

    Just what would the Lord think after shedding his blood on the cross that two thousand years later the human race would be at the stage of arguing over whether homosexuals should be adopting children?

    • Tom says:

      The same thing he thought on the Cross? I love you, repent, come to me and have eternal life…

      • Louise says:

        Indeed, but I shake my head that we are actually debating whether gays should be allowed to adopt children. I mean, really…

        • Gareth says:

          Yes and the moral of the story is that once we give an inch, a mile will be taken.

          For example during the 1990s after sodomy was removed from the Tasmanian criminal code, we were all told that this was it – the homosexual lobby had achieved everything it wanted and would leave us all in peace.

          Yet only a few years later, they want a few more legal rights.

          And then only a few years later, they want to go into a schools to teach children that this lifestyle is o.k.

          And then only a few years later, they want civil unions.

          And yet only a few years later, they want marriage.

          And yet only a few years later, they then want to adopt children.

          Where does it all end?

          The moral of the story is that the homosexual lobby will not stop until their lifestyle is completly accepted. They are an extremist that never stop and Christians should not give them even an inch.

          • Tony says:

            Where does it all end?

            Now that the Greens are in a position of power I believe ‘they’ will push for the compulsory administering of new born babies with anti-heterosexual vaccinations.

            That dang homosexual lobby and their lifestyle!


            • Gareth says:

              Being such a fan of the homosexual lobby yourself Tons (sorry, you find their arguments more ‘convincing’ than the Holy Bible because you hang out with the Queer Guys – ohhhhh, I am like so jealous) you would probably be on the sidelines cheering this if this occured?

              Maybe the saying that all that it takes for evil to occur is for the average man to stand and do nothing should be changed to all it takes for evil to occur is for the average man to not find just arguements convincing and to implictly give their apporval to evil.

            • Tony says:

              The ‘homosexual lobby’ is your fantasy not mine, Gareth. On that basis the ‘me thinks he protesteth too much’ rule might come in to play.

              My pithy comment on your second para: whaaadever!

            • Gareth says:

              Maybe your claim to have any queer friends is pure fantasy.

              After all why would the Queer folk with their million dollar homes, flash cars, slick fashion, latte sipping and party lifestyle have any time for a Aussie battler ‘Catholic’ Internet nerd such as yourself?

            • Peregrinus says:

              . . . the Queer folk with their million dollar homes . . .

              Well, now at least David knows how to solve the housing problem!

  4. Gil says:

    Not going to argue.

    When I saw the story I said a prayer for the kid.

    Should probably have said a prayer for the “parents” but I found that harder to do.

  5. Pax says:

    When having a child is considered a “right” and the “property” of those who are the parents-biological, foster or adopted then aberrant actions will arise to meet that need or appease this false view of a child
    A child is a new human being , a child of God and as my mother would say on loan for her to look after till they returned to the God who allowed them to come into being in the first place. It is unfair for a child to be brought into existence without the security of a dad and a mum Yin and Yang not Yin and Yin or Yang and Yang.
    I know same sex couples feel they would offer children much love but they cannot provide the natural balance and role modelling that every child deserves and like some celebrity adopters they need to consider are they looking to children to meet their emotional needs.

    • Louise says:

      I know same sex couples feel they would offer children much love

      Really depends what we mean by “love.”

      I don’t think it’s particularly loving to deliberately deprive a child of a mother or father or an intact family.

  6. Christine says:

    I still remember when my dad died at the age of 42, I was just entering my teen years.

    My mother did her very best to raise my sister and me under sometimes difficult circumstances but I keenly felt the lack of his masculine presence in my life.

    I believe that the need for parents of each sex is much more strongly rooted that we realize. Our modern concept of “love”, based on so many emotional constructs, doesn’t fulfill that, nor is the argument that the high divorce rate among heterosexuals is an indictment of heterosexual marriage. It’s part of the collapse of so much that society once held as inviolable . Gay couples split up too.

    I am grateful that the Church still upholds the male/female model of marriage.

    • Louise says:

      Amen. Well said, Christine!

      One of my favourite comments in favour of gay marriage was that “we couldn’t possibly do any worse than heterosexuals.” But of course, any divorce rate higher than 50% among gays would be worse! And that’s almost certainly what would happen. Or, as one witty writer noted, “the only reason gays want marriage is so they can have Gay Divorce Court.” Perhaps they see their straight friends getting divorced and want the right to get a divorce too?

  7. Louise says:

    Incidentally, I think it has been shown that wherever there has been “gay marriage” there has been a corresponding drop in marriage (i.e. real marriage). Sorry, I don’t have any references for that, but if it’s true, then this is a good reason to stop the insanity.

    Indeed, merely stopping the insanity is the only good reason we need to stop the bizarre concept of gaymarriage.

  8. Kyle says:

    I personally think that this is best outcome for what is a very complicated situation. I am not sympathetic to the mother’s claim that the genetic father was merely a donor and therefore should not have any co-parent responsibilities and access. As Catholics, we should recognise that he has a legitimate right as father to his children. Whatever his sexual orientation or whatever the means of conception, he remains the father and I think we should be satisfied that this outcome at least ensures a mother and father will be involved in the child’s life.

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