Lyle Shelton is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby and he’s just written a rather nasty little piece about gay people. Again. He’s trying to be reasoned but ignores the reality of the world, as so many fundamentalist christians do.
Even the heading of his little spray is really very mean-spirited and sets the tone for the rest of the article.
Deep breath needed in rush to dismiss mum and dad parenting
Nobody but nobody is trying to dismiss mum and dad parenting. Gay people having children doesn’t mean that somehow all the other children in the world will find themselves without a parent. Lyle needs to take a deep breath.
Children miss out on a mum or a dad usually because of tragedy or desertion.
Where this occurs we as a society rightly provide financial and moral support to single parents.
Where children are orphaned the State usually seeks to provide a mother and father replacement family through adoption.
In all cases, the best interests of the child are paramount.
Hardly. Single parents are very often left to struggle. Poverty for these groups is rife. Financial support is very limited. For an organisation that bangs on about the importance of what’s in the best interest of the children do very little to acknowledge that what is important is that all families should be at the gold standard. That should be what they strive for, not this fancy notion of moral support.
We have also rightly condemned and apologised for practices that led to the stolen generation and forced adoption practices of the past.
Here’s another nasty bit of text. What Lyle isn’t saying is that often said rot that allowing same-sex parents to have children is akin to forcibly taking the child away from her parents. Forcibly being the key word. No child in a same-sex relationship is being forcibly removed. Lyle is warning you that if we allow people like me to have children, in thirty years time we’ll have to apologise to those children for screwing up their lives. The stolen generation does not even begin to compare with same-sex parenting.
The recent debate about same-sex marriage has highlighted the issue of parenting by same-sex couples.
Hang on, so far you’ve talked about single parents and the children of the first Australians. Now we jump into same-sex couples. Whether the likes of Lyle know or understand, same-sex couples have been raising children since the start of time and the world continues to spin. Marriage will not change that fact.
A number of studies have been conducted which seem to suggest that kids raised by same-sex couples fare no worse and possibly even fare better than kids raised by heterosexual parents.
Well no, the studies don’t seem to suggest. The studies state that the kids are ok.
The most recent, a survey of existing studies from here and overseas, was conducted by sociologist Dr Deborah Dempsey on behalf of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
A key message of Dr Dempsey’s survey is that: “Overall, research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children. Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers from heterosexual families.”
The same-sex marriage lobby was quick to say that Dr Dempsey’s survey of the studies means the debate about same-sex parenting is over.
However, it is known that data for most of these studies has come from self-selecting samples and mainly from lesbians from a higher than average socio-economic demographic.
Oh no, all these studies have been done from self-selecting samples. Let’s ignore that study after study finds the same thing that the children are OK. It’s a pity that Lyle didn’t apply the same logic to the studies that he relies on, studies that have been debunked by so many people.
Lesbian parents who have high incomes and are well-educated unsurprisingly report that their kids are doing well and they most likely are.
How dare the lesbians have high incomes! How dare the lesbians be well-educated. With that statement it should be obvious to Lyle that he should be encouraging decent educational outcomes for all citizens regardless of their sexuality.
While increasing, the numbers of same-sex couples parenting children remain very small. Dr Dempsey says 33 per cent of lesbian women in Australia have children and 11 per cent of homosexual men have children.
Around two percent of the Australian population is homosexual or lesbian but not all are in couple relationships.
With such small numbers, particularly for male homosexual parenting, it is perhaps too early to be drawing conclusions.
Indeed, it’s too early to draw conclusions, but you do anyway. You are suggesting that it’s better to tell gay people not to have children, just in case they screw their kids up. Again, the same standard is not applied to the children of people who aren’t as well-educated and earn high incomes just like those lesbians that are raising well-adjusted kids.
The overwhelming conclusion of the vast body of social science research is that kids do best when raised by their biological mother and father.
Except for the research that hasn’t been conducted by some christian funded organisation or doesn’t properly reflect the GLBTIQ community, or research that has serious flaws in its methodology.
Common sense and the evidence of past practices of child removal tell us that a child’s biological parents matter to the child, regardless of the love provided in alternative arrangements.
Yes two men can love a baby, but is it right to have removed that baby from her mother?
Are fathers an optional extra?
Common sense? It’s a pity Lyle doesn’t use some. You see the thinking of christian fundamentalists is along these lines.
1. The bible says that gay people are an abomination.
2. Being gay is a sin
3. Sin is from the devil
4. Therefore all gay people are evil and either want to eat your children or raise them to be gay or raise them to fail in life.
5. If you disagree refer to 1.
These are important ethical questions that should be front and centre of the debate about redefining marriage.
Oh please, nobody is redefining marriage. People will still get married, some will have children, some won’t. Some people will have children and not get married.
Once a new definition of marriage is legislated, these questions become obsolete. In fact, they become inappropriate.
As usual with a media release, we get broad statements with little about the driving motivation. The ACL and Lyle have no time for anything that is gay and would like to wipe it off the face of the earth because jesus loves us all. These discussions are inappropriate now. Instead of trying to support all families, Lyle and the ACL focuses on a small section of the community and run around screaming that the gays are having children! Won’t anyone listen to them!