Michael Kauch Photo: WAZ / dapd
The Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (“West German General Newspaper” or WAZ), Germany’s self-professed “largest regional newspaper” covering the Ruhr area from the paper’s headquarters in Essen, reported April 24, 2013, on the unique personal life of one lawmaker in the German Bundestag or parliament. This thoroughly modern homosexual living arrangement of a national politician indicates just what troubling implications a society’s adoption of same-sex “marriage” (SSM) entails. Individuals in the United States and elsewhere considering SSM should take note.
The 45-year-old MP in question, Michael Kauch, is a member of the small, libertarian-leaning Free Democratic Party (Freie Demokratische Partei or FDP) and its spokesman on, among others, homosexual and environmental issues. He was recently elected as president of GLOBE Europe, the European chapter of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment. His pro-business party is in Germany’s governing coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) — despite the resistance of those two parties to what gay activists call full equality for same-sex couples.
As WAZ reports, Kauch has the “rather unusual” family situation of becoming a father while being “married with a man since 2009.” He announced his paternity on Tuesday, April 23, via his Facebook page following the birth the previous Saturday. The Facebook entry stated that the “mother and child are well,” the mother being a lesbian woman in her own homosexual relationship. “Together with her wife and my husband,” Kauch wrote, he and this woman “rejoiced in their wonderful daughter.” WAZ described Kauch’s “new family situation” as “father, father, mother, mother, child.”
The MP explained to WAZ that he “had long considered” becoming a father. “At first it was only my theme, then also my husband’s.” With his subsequent approval, Kauch became a progenitor with a woman from a “befriended lesbian pair that also had a wish for a child.”
The child’s future WAZ described under the subtitle “All Four are going to Care for the Child.” The two homosexual couples, the paper vaguely indicated, had “laid the legal basis” for collective custody of the child. It added, “At the moment the child is with the mother—this, however, is supposed to change.”
Kauch explained that this domestic situation “with us is as in patchwork families, in which the parents have separated and then found new partners—with us it is merely from the beginning so.” The first German parliamentarian with such a “family founding”, he argues that “this is societally, though, no exceptional case,” citing some 20,000 children in Germany living with same-sex couples. As WAZ explains, “same-sex couples with children” form so-called “rainbow families [Regenbogenfamilien]” named after the homosexual movement’s rainbow symbol.
Such “rainbow families” raise several questions concerning child wellbeing, already ready extensively discussed by this author and others. Kauch has intentionally created a situation in which his daughter will lack one natural parent/gender role model and/or in varying degrees will confusingly vacillate between natural parents and their homosexual partners. These homosexual partners might desire to be the daughter’s parents, but it is questionable whether an individual raised in such a setting will ever view them as being equal to natural parents, particularly if such homosexual couples should ever “divorce”. What, in turn, should be the relationships amongst the child’s parents and their homosexual partners? Although “patchwork” families exist as a result of family breakdown, who before Kauch has expressly seen therein a model to emulate?
Beyond the inappropriateness of Kauch’s personal behavior, his prominence as a national politician will serve as a public example encouraging further weakening of marriage norms. He will function especially as such an example given his political portfolio in the FDP encompassing homosexual issues (he does indeed preach what he practices). Similar “family founding” by other German politicians like Kauch’s fellow homosexual FDP member, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, would only magnify this effect. As recent calls in Germany for the legalization of incest show, these norms are in tatters.
Kauch’s case, in particular, would raise questions of polyamory. If he and three other homosexuals in two couples may collectively raise a child, why may they not also have (bi)sexual relationships amongst themselves and/or with third parties? Kauch’s proposed collective custody might even make “patchwork” families resulting from one-time parental separation(s) appear as enviably stabile.
Germany historically has been notable for its significance in totalitarian movements. The pan-German nationalist Adolf Hitler from Austria, of course, established his National Socialist Third Reich in Germany. (As an aside, the memory of homosexual victimization under the Nazis has provided modern German gay rights groups with considerable political capital.) Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, the original theoreticians of what became “real socialism” in East Germany and beyond, also came from Germany.
Now, after the successive collapse of these catastrophic collectivist ideologies, an increasingly secularized, sexualized modern European society including Germany has embraced a radically individualistic personal ethic, as exemplified by Kauch. Birth rates in recent decades have correspondingly dropped well below the population replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman across Europe. Marriage formation rates across the region have similarly declined, while the number of children born out of wedlock has significantly increased.
A shrinking future generation of Europeans is coming of age, often raised without the benefits of a married mother and father. Yet it is precisely this generation that must economically sustain an increasingly debt-laden European society with a welfare state often described as “soft socialism.” The ill-effects of family breakdown upon individuals will, if anything, only increase the need for state social services.
While Europe’s historically communal approach to the material concerns of human welfare is coming under strain, its modern experiment in libertine morals has reached full flower. Whether these outlooks, either singly or together, are socially sustainable is highly dubious. Observers outside of Europe would do well to follow attentively this society often recommended as an example and decide whether Kauch’s present should be their future.
Andrew E. Harrod is an independent researcher and writer living in Arlington, Virginia. He holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from the George Washington University Law School. He is admitted to the Virginia State Bar.