Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell said, “It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society and worthy to be taken cognisance of by a legal institution.”
The legal institution of marriage is, as anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss puts it, “a social institution with a biological foundation”. Our marriage laws and customs exist to reinforce this biological foundation, helping bind a feral-by-nature male to his mate for the sake of social stability and the child they might create.
Not all marriages create children, but typically they do, and the institution exists for the typical case. Self-evidently, homosexual relationships cannot create children, so society has no institutional interest in regulating such friendships; they remain a private affair.
Gay lobbyist Rodney Croome denies all this dreary biology (Commentary, May 30). He seems to write in ignorance of the facts of life: “The link between marriage and children is not about the ability to procreate.” What is more bewildering is that Kevin Rudd (May 21) should come to share Croome’s quest to break this natural link and so deny a child’s birthright to both a mother and a father.
I write as a family doctor for whom the question of same-sex marriage centres on one fact: that the marriage of two men means a motherless family. This is because marriage is a compound right including the right to found a family, so we cannot separate same-sex marriage from same-sex parenting. Any child created artificially within the “marriage” of two men must miss out on a mother. That’s why same-sex marriage is wrong.
Even a civil partnership allows for this abuse of a child’s birthright. Elton John and his civil partner, David Furnish, in 2010 created baby Zach using an anonymous egg donor in India, a vial of their blended sperm and a rent-a-womb. The old rock star needed “someone to love into my old age”. Too bad if baby Zach needed a mother’s love. Spurious “equal rights” for rich homosexuals to obtain a child trumped authentic “equal rights” for all babies to enter the world with their own mother and their own father.
Describing his new found support for same-sex marriage Rudd acknowledged that his concern for children raised in same-sex relationships was the “sole remaining obstacle in my mind”. He overcame this obstacle by averting his mind from the intrinsic offence of forcing a child to live without her mother or without her father, comforting himself with shallow social science: “the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2010 concluded that there were no Child Behaviour Checklist differences for these kids (raised in same-sex relationships) as against the rest of the country.”
How trivial to use a “behaviour checklist” to judge the impact on the inner life of a surrogate baby girl created by two married men. As if the effect of depriving a child of her biological identity, of the emotional security that comes through breast feeding and a mother’s touch, of the indispensable role a mother plays in helping her daughter grow from girl to woman, is measurable by any crude checklist.
How ironic that Rudd, the author of the apology to the stolen generation, should endorse this new way of forcing children to live without their mother which will, in due course, need its own apology.
Mr Rudd, listen to the man you appointed chair of Australia’s National Human Rights Consultation Committee, Frank Brennan: “In the name of equality of adults, future children should not be deprived the opportunity to be born of a man and a woman.” Listen to your hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer about the narcissistic fallacy at the heart of same-sex marriage: “In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations.”
For the sake of future children having both a mum and a dad, do not sever this link.
David van Gend is a family doctor and president of the Australian Marriage Forum. This article first appeared in The Australian on June 3 and is republished with permission.