frgavin on December 12th, 2012
December 2012

by Jennifer Thieme, Ruth Institute Director of Finance and Advancement

This article was first published at Guest Clash on September 25, 2012.

Recently I had an exchange on Facebook about redefining marriage to include gay couples. I mentioned something about conservative gays against gay marriage, and a friend replied to me, saying:

“I for one have never heard of a conservative gay … so that’s a new one on me.”

I wasn’t surprised when he said it, because I didn’t know that conservative gays existed either until the past couple years. Like him, I thought all gays were liberals.

But conservative gays do exist. There are gays who do not agree with the gay marriage issue.

I keep wondering why liberal gays get all the media attention. Why are liberal gays the only gays you see on TV with signs and banners? Why are they the ones who get interviews and publicity, and not the others? Isn’t the marriage issue a gay issue?

Well actually, no, it’s not. And that’s why gays against gay marriage get zero publicity. If they did, it might become clear to the American public that the marriage issue is not a gay issue.

Liberals want to redefine marriage, which means they are about to legally redefine the relationship between two sets of people:
Married couples between one another
Parents and their children

You see, traditional marriage means gendered marriage. It means marriage has a gender requirement – each gender must be present. It’s why we have terms such as “bride” and “groom” on marriage licenses.

Allowing gay people to marry changes this. It makes marriage genderless. This is because within the law we must remove gendered words to accommodate gays, words such as:

These words must be replaced in with gender neutral words such as “partner” and “parent.”

If this change only concerned the adults, we might not object. But did you notice those last two words that need to be changed? Take a look again.

Yes, words such as “father” and “mother” must be removed and replaced with the gender neutral “parent.”

Gay and lesbian parental custody cases are making one thing very clear: removing gender from having priority in the law is a huge mistake and an injustice to both biological parents and their children.

Take M.C., born to a lesbian mother, Melissa, who was married in California to her lesbian partner Irene, during the brief window in 2008 when genderless marriage was legal. The women later broke up, and Melissa sent her boyfriend Jose (yes, her boyfriend … I know, she’s supposed to be a lesbian but let’s not go into those details now) to stab Irene. So now Melissa is in jail for being an accessory to attempted murder, and Irene is in the hospital. And guess what? M.C. has a dad. It turns out that Melissa got pregnant with M.C. by a different boyfriend, Jesus, during an earlier time when Melissa and Irene had broken up.

**whew** Confused yet? Anyway…

Since Melissa and Irene were not able to care for M.C., Jesus wanted custody of her. Instead, the judge put her in foster care. Why? Because according to family law, the other parent is always the person the mother is married to. In this case this means the other parent is Irene.

Under a public policy of traditional marriage, where words like mother and father appear on important documents, this makes sense. The other parent is the dad when gendered words are used in the law. But under genderless marriage, a child is put in foster care instead of with her own dad who wanted her, because marriage and family law must be read in a gender neutral way.

Did a gender neutral policy, which was promoted as making life easier for adults, lead to justice or compassion for M.C., a helpless child?

If that brief window had never opened allowing Melissa and Irene to marry, M.C. would be with her dad now. The public policy of gendered marriage (which means gender-based readings of the law surrounding marriage, families and children) protects children. The public policy of genderless marriage puts children at risk, because their biological connections to their parents no longer matter in the eyes of the law.

So next time you see a news story with liberal gays holding signs saying, “Marriage equality!” remember that genderless marriage will unhinge the priority of biological connections of children to their parents.

Next time you see a blog post with a colorful graphic saying, “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married!” remember that judges will be forced to render gender neutral readings of the law for all families, including yours.

Next time you see somebody on Facebook saying, “I support the freedom to marry!” remember little M.C., who is in foster care instead of with her own dad because of a gender neutral law called “gay marriage” that was supposed to make things better for adults, but instead complicated what should have been a brain dead decision – to let M.C. be with her dad.

We haven’t even talked about SB 1476, the multiple parent bill that M.C.’s case inspired. If the governor of California signs it, judges will be able to create three legal parents. (“Hey, I have an idea! Instead of making ‘gay marriage’ go away so this problem never happens again, let’s fix the problem by creating an artificial, state enforced institution called ‘multiple parenting’!” Can-o-worms, anyone?)

If you’ve ever wanted to show compassion for gays by supporting “gay marriage,” remember that some gays are conservative and do not agree with “gay marriage.” They see all the craziness that will ensue for children, and the expansion of state power over families, but their voices are never sought.

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