Traditional marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. It has been the bedrock of society since time immemorial.  A bond between a man and a woman creates a family where parents act as role models for their children.

Same-sex marriage is a relationship between two men or between two women. It is a reinvention of marriage by the lesbian, gay and bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community. The first couple to tie the knot in modern times was Michael McConnell and Jack Baker in Minnesota, USA, in 1971.

Islamic theocracies and parts of Asia and Africa outrightly proscribe same-sex marriage. Some Christian denominations support same-sex marriage; the Roman Catholic Church opposes it.

The revisionist view of marriage is more about the adults’ desires than the child’s wishes, feelings and needs. In legalising same-sex marriage, governments put into law the new principle that marriage is whatever emotional bond governments spell it out to be. It trumps the best interests of the child.

Children move on to predictable and vital psychological developmental stages. Mothers are more in synch with their babies and infants than fathers; however, at some stage, a boy needs to detach himself from his mother to help him form a healthy masculine identity.

In same-sex marriage, two men and two women can never have children of their own. Two women in a relationship cannot become pregnant without some form of assisted reproductive technology. Biology dictates that, to create an embryo, a sperm cell and an egg must somehow meet.

Some gay couples opt to have a surrogate pregnancy. A surrogate is a woman who, either for money or humanitarian reasons or both, carries an egg fertilised by sperm of one of the gay couple. This practice allows one of the men to be the biological father while his partner becomes an adopted father.

The science of comparative parenting structures is still in its youthful state of enquiry, especially that concerning same-sex parenting

There are two primary treatments for either of the same-sex lesbian couple getting pregnant. One treatment is through artificial insemination, using donor sperm from a known or anonymous donor, or through in vitro fertilisation.

It is important at this stage to clarify whether it is discriminatory to assert that traditional marriage is not equal to same-sex marriage. I believe that discrimination is healthy when it recognises the various natures and ends of a given entity and treats different things differently. For instance, we discriminate when we establish ages of marital consent.

Some people, who, on the face of it, stand to gain the most for advocating same-sex marriage, do oppose it. LGBTIQ activists propagate the myth that only conservative religious people oppose same-sex marriage. Xavier Bongibault represented the opposition of a sizeable segment of the French non-religious gay community. When interviewed as to whether his opposition to France’s same-sex legislation was grounded on religious conviction, Bongibault is reported to have replied: “Absolutely not. I am an atheist.”

Furthermore, Bongibault said that he is disturbed by the collapse of society. The basic unit of society is the family. Society rests on it. A child needs growth within the family balance. This law (redefining marriage) would deny that need to a child who has the right to a mother and a father. The social system is twisted (by this law) in the wrong direction.

In his Gay Views against Gay Marriage, Jean-Pier Delaume-Myard, homosexual and author of French documentaries, says: “It’s not, in the first place, or any place, for that matter – the issue of – ‘What about the freedom of equality of marriage and parenting for gays?’ It’s a question of, first and foremost, ‘What of the freedom and equality of the child?’”

The term a camel’s nose refers to an alleged Arab proverb, meaning that if a camel is allowed to get the nose inside the tent, it will be impossible to prevent the rest of it from entering.

In legalising same-sex marriage, governments have opened a can of worms. I envisage that, sooner or later, intersex, queer, questioning, asexual and pansexual persons would be knocking on the minister of civil liberties’ door to have a share in parenting.

The science of comparative parenting structures is still in its youthful state of enquiry, especially that concerning same-sex parenting. Suffice it to say at this stage that existing research on child outcomes for children raised by same-sex couples as compared to married opposite-sex couples is significantly limited.

One needs to bear in mind that, while social scientific studies are useful, one needs to approach them with caution and examine them rigorously as they are prone to reflect cultural or political, rather than empirical, assumptions.

Frank MuscatFrank Muscat

Frank Muscat is a retired Guardian ad Litem and Reporting Officer (London) and a retired Law Society Child Care Panel Interviewer (London).

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