Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Children and the urgent need for marriage equality

Article by: Courtney Forti

The fight against same-sex marriage is destabilizing millions of families.

Today, not many people will tell you that when they say “protect children” they mean protect them from gay people.  Even better, the majority of people would find such a statement incredibly discriminatory, even hateful. Yet, interestingly enough, the focus on child-welfare has taken center stage in the debate over same-sex marriage, with “preservationists” pulling out all the stops in their effort to ban same-sex marriages by claiming that children will suffer if the definition of marriage is expanded.

The supposed negative impact same-sex marriage would have on children ranges from the personal: children won’t learn about appropriate behavior and relationships unless raised by one mother and one father; to the societal: if children learn about or are exposed to same-sex relationships they’ll begin to think that they “should be gay” or that it is somehow better than heterosexuality and, I guess in the worse-case scenario of this particular concern, we’ll become a nation of proselytized homosexuals and society will fall into chaos. If anyone was considering another remake of Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, this particular twist may be a gold mine.  Furthermore, many people claim that legalizing same-sex marriage will destroy the traditional family institution which is so vital to the stability and development of children and society.  This, however, is precisely where the argument slips up.

By pushing to preserve the status quo— what is being referred to as family values and societal stability— all for the well-being of children, the fight against same-sex marriage is destabilizing millions of families; in fact, it is contributing to the emotional suffering of countless children.

One comical yet unbelievably common concern people have regarding same-sex marriage is that gay couples will automatically raise gay children.  According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, only about 10 percent of children raised in same-sex households— the same percentage as the rest of the population— identify as gay.  Although this fact is partially meant to quell the fears of those awaiting the imminent homosexual takeover, the truly great thing about it is that it illustrates the fact loving someone of the same sex does not define every aspect of peoples’ lives; parents are still going to be parents, human beings remain human beings, and just because they are gay doesn’t mean they will force it on their children or anyone else.  Ironically, strict enforcement of sexuality happens most often in heterosexual households where children may have to deny their true sexuality due to their parents’ fear of societal repercussions.

Eight to 10 million children are being raised by gay and lesbian families in the United States (according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway).  That’s eight to 10 million children we deny rights and security to when we prohibit their families from being recognized as married on both state and federal levels.  We have unintentionally been teaching the idea that different is dangerous, but alienation, low self-esteem, and social anxieties can all be remedied by developing a more inclusive society.  Legalizing same-sex marriage will do just that.  It will validate the experience of millions of families as well as open up our society to the diversity and acceptance that future generations not only deserve, but require.  If we truly want to protect children, we can and most definitely should start here.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Suffolk Journal
$0
$1050
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Suffolk University. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Suffolk Journal
$0
$1050
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Suffolk Journal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Children and the urgent need for marriage equality