From: Dr. Barry Peratt
Most of the public discourse regarding the Marriage Amendment has completely bypassed the main issue.
Let us reiterate why governments, for the last several thousand years and in virtually every culture, have singled out this one relationship for special attention and encouragement.
It is not because governments should be in the business of affirming people’s “love” for one other, but rather because they have a vested interest in the rights of children and the common good of the societies they serve.
One of the most comprehensive and thorough studies of the subject to date was performed by a commission of the French government (Report submitted on behalf of the Mission of Inquiry on the Family and the Rights of Children, January 25, 2006).
The commission framed its conclusions against redefining marriage within the context of the rights of children, not the freedom of adults.
Since the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child states: In all actions concerning children
the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration, the French commission concludes that children, the future of society, must not suffer from conditions imposed upon them by adults. The best interests of the child must prevail over adult freedoms…even including the lifestyle choices of parents.
But do we know what is in the best interests of children? Yes!
First, regarding the small body of research that reports no ill effects of same-sex parenting on children, the commission concludes: The scientific nature [of the research] and the representation of the samples of the populations studied were broadly criticized and contested during the hearings the lack of objectivity in this area was flagrant.
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist at Princeton University, explains: In every area of life, cognitive, emotional, social, developmental social evidence shows that there are measurable effects when children lack either a mother or a father. The evidence is overwhelming. Mountains of evidence, collected over decades, show that children need both mothers and fathers. (Gay Marriage: Who’s Minding the Children? by Susan Brinkmann, 2004).
This conclusion is strengthened by a team of researchers, Katherine Young and Paul Nathanson (one is gay, one is straight) of McGill University, in Answering the Advocates of Gay Marriage, published by Emory University this past year: Most people assume that nothing will ever discourage straight people from getting together and starting families. But we argue — and this is important — that heterosexual bonding must indeed be deliberately fostered by a distinctive and supportive culture. This conclusion is based on a great deal of evidence, both historical and cross-cultural.
By redefining marriage, we drown, amongst a plethora of alternatives, the one distinct relationship that provides procreative potential and the most stable environment for child development. This is clear, notes anthropologist Dr. Stanley Kurtz, from recent studies of countries and states where alternative forms of marriage are firmly accepted and endorsed.
Do people have the right to “love” whomever they choose? Of course. Does anyone have the right to redefine marriage for everyone with scant regard for the rights of children and well being of society — just to gain a government “endorsement” of their choice? No, they do not.