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Marriage is Our Future


I think that in this country things have
become so polarized and it looks like the only way to love your gay family and
friends is to support gay marriage. If marriage law is simply about adult
emotions then in my opinion, from my experience, there is no reason to bar
same-sex couples from the institution of marriage because I know personally that
that they have the same capacity to love and commit because my mom and her
partner have been that couple committed to one another through the highs and
lows for almost 30 years. However, government’s interest is not
simply about adult feelings. Government’s interest is in children and that
redefining marriage will redefine Parenthood. What I hear from much of society from
much of those who champion gay marriage is that all kids need our loving stable
adults. That’s all they need. It doesn’t matter what gender they are, doesn’t
matter even how many there are and I think I look at my life and I say that
just isn’t the case because when I think back about my life at my mom’s house
with her and her partner, both of whom are wonderful women, they had low
conflict, they were committed, they were stable, they were involved in my life. I
loved them, they loved me and if any two will do, that should have been enough,
but it wasn’t enough because every child craves the love and involvement of their
father and I did too. That there were times where I just wanted to be with him
and he could say something that my mom and her partner would say to me but it
impacts you it sits differently with you when it’s your father because you’re
made for it. Because kids are made to be loved and adored cherished and known by
both of their parents. It’s the emotional food that kids need and so I really
reject this idea that kids just need loving and stable adults. Yeah, sometimes
that’s the best that you can get when you’re coming from a broken situation
but we shouldn’t glamorize, idealize, and incentivize a relationship and a family
structure where a child has to lose one or both parents to be there. I feel so much rage when I listen to people debating about gay marriage and
talking about same-sex parenting with no sense of how complex and profound this
is for the kids. I mean, it’s our lives. I, myself, am bisexual. That is what I am. I
find both men and women attractive, regardless of the fact that I did marry
a woman and I am in a faithful relationship with her. Even being
bisexual and even being part of the community, gay marriage is wrong. Not for,
in my mind, because of religious reasons but because that’s not where kids come
from. I don’t want the right to put other children in that situation. We had the
best case scenario growing up because it was a low conflict relationship between
my mother and her partner. I didn’t live through the divorce. It was very much
exactly the way it would have been if my mother had gone to a sperm bank but I
still wanted to see my dad even though he was never there. The idea is so
powerful in your head that there’s a father and a mother out there. I mean, how
can you erase that? You can keep the child in a bubble, move into a lesbian
neighborhood, have them only talk to people who approve of lesbian families.
You can erase every single book ever written in the history of mankind that
included references to a father and a mother and the kid will still reach the
age of 12 or 13 and know that something’s wrong.
That’s what I say. I think as a child who was raised by my mother and her partners, I say it’s not a good idea. I honestly, for the life of me, do not
understand how we got to this state of denial that adult children and gays have
to come forward and risk you know their jobs their families and everything to
tell people what they know, Going out there is really scary. You get attacked,
your family gets bullied, harassed, and attacked. The place that you work gets
email after email for you to be fired. People you work with get emails with
really harsh ugly accusations. So I think that’s why a lot of people haven’t come
forward. Children don’t have a voice and they
look to their parents to be their voice and you feel like that you have to go
along with what’s going on even if that’s privately and quietly. You don’t
have an advocate for you when you’re in these type of situations environments
and the home. One summer day my mother was at work
and my father came in the front door and asked me to come out and sit with him
and we sat out there and he just looked at me and said, “I just wanted you to know
that there are times I struggle but that I want to become a woman.” And in my
mind I’m thinking, I’ve already got a mom. I need a dad. I want a dad. And how
do you think that this could happen? Feeling like you’re being
abandoned and he’s not wanting to step up to the plate and the fact of being
your father. It’s a time, a scene in in your mind that you don’t forget. You
don’t forget. And you can talk about it and sometimes it’s not as emotional and
then there’s other days where you just just sit there and you cry because
sometimes you still feel like you’re that nine-year-old girl that’s just
wanting her daddy. My father died of AIDS and none of my
father’s partners are alive today. My father had about 500 sexual partners
in his lifetime. We saw a lot. We heard a lot. And some of the men, including my
father, would dress up as women on Halloween and march up and down Yonge
Street. This is before Pride Parade, the gay pride parade, became official in
Cosmopolitan Toronto. And so my father participated in the gay community to the
fullest extent that he could. I couldn’t comprehend until my late 20’s, early 30’s.
I couldn’t verbalize all of my thoughts and my feelings about this because it’s
so complicated. We love our parents. We love the people in our lives and we
often care about and love our parents various sexual partners. However, we will
take a very long time to process what we’ve grown up in and it will take us
decades often before we can fully disclose the truth. I’m very concerned about what is
happening in the United States right now. As a Canadian resident, I’ve experienced
living under same-sex marriage for 10 years and with that we have seen our
constitutional freedoms eroded and that includes our freedom of speech, our
freedom to express our opinions, our values, our beliefs in the media. What we
are able to say and write, so I don’t have blogging freedoms, I don’t have the
freedom to make statements through articles through the press in Canada
like I do elsewhere. The other area that we have seen restricted are our
conscience rights and our religious freedoms. When I stuck my nose in to the
business of the entire United States with the Supreme Court brief, I didn’t
really think that it would change anything. I think that we are riding a
wave of popular culture and TV is a much bigger influence than I would ever be. I
did it because I just thought about the kids in the future and I know they’re
going to say, “Why didn’t anybody say something? Why didn’t anybody know this
was going to be really bad for me?” I hope by speaking out on this that it will be
noted that there would be organizations of just everyday citizens will realize
that there are children that are saying, “Wait a minute folks. Let’s take a second
look at this.” There are six of us who filed amicus briefs for the Supreme Court case. Those of us that are doing videos have really had to wrestle through a lot of not just internal pressure but familial pressure
and society’s pressure to tell us that it’s not possible to, not just love your
gay parent and maintain a relationship with them, but also to stand for
traditional marriage. But all of us see that this has to do primarily with child
rights and well-being. And even though we have a pretty diverse experience, pretty
diverse childhood experiences, we all speak with one voice about the need for
children to be raised by their mother and father whenever possible. People need
to know every side of the story. And they have to hear from the people
who actually have a stake in gay marriage and I don’t even think gay
couples have a stake in gay marriage the way that children of gay couples do.
So they need to hear us.

Stephen Childs

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