Gay Marriage? For God’s sake! Think of the Children! More LCA Hypocrisy.

A post by Neil Hart on homsexuality. LGBT, lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

On 2 occasions that I can remember I have had the misfortune of speaking to a wife and mother who bore the bruises of yet another spousal bashing. In both of these cases the bruises represented a pattern of continued abuse over several years. I had become aware that, in talking to the wife and mother I was not to assume that I was talking in a person who had the capacity to understand fully what I was saying.  Rather, as I talked, I realised that I was trying to break through years of denial and self deception. This was no time for clever argument and the wisdom of the ages. This was a time for a simple, basic truth. The conversations went something like this…

Me: Get your kids, get out, get safe.

Her: But he really does love me.

Me: Get your kids, get out, get safe

Her: But he’s sorry for what he did.

Me: Get your kids, get out, get safe.

Her: But I love him.

Me: Get your kids, get out, get safe…

Sometimes, you just gotta focus on the most fundamental basic truth. Because the people you are speaking to, because of years of patterned behaviours and self deception, are incapable of hearing anything else. This is particularly true when the pattered behaviour of self deception and denial is societal.

Hmmmm….that reminds me…Ive posted Hilary a couple of times before but…please listen again to just 1 minute of what she had to say.

Sometimes you just gotta focus on the most basic fundamental truth in an attempt to break through years of patterned behaviour, prejudice and self deception.

Gay rights are human rights, human rights are gay rights.

But they are undermining traditional marriage!

Gay rights are human rights. Human rights are gay rights.

But they wanna convert our kids to be gay in schools!

Gay rights are human rights. Himan rights are gay rights

But they are an abomination!

Gay rights are human rights. Human rights are gay rights.

But they are just making a lifestyle choice!

Gay rights are human rights. Human rights are gay rights.

Ok…have we got that straight…(so to speak). I wanted to establish this as a backdrop to a discussion on gay marriage, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International  Convention on the Rights of the Child.

And, this time, I’m talking to the Lutheran Church of Australia and its Commission on Social and Bioethical Questions.

You talkin’ to ME?

Yeh! I’m talkin to YOU!

In 2008 The Church send 2 submissions to Federal Government enquiries into gay rights, parts of which are listed here for your reading pleasure.

LUTHERAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA COMMISSION ON SOCIAL & BIOETHICAL QUESTIONS DR ROBERT POLLNITZ (Chair)

18th July 2008

RE – INQUIRY INTO THE SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIP (EQUAL TREATMENT IN COMMONWEALTH LAWS – SUPERANNUATION) BILL 2008

Given all the evidence that lasting heterosexual marriage is important to the stability of any society, we would argue that the Bill is taking Australia in the wrong direction.

By weakening the status of traditional marriage, this Bill can be seen as failing to meet the standards expressed by the United Nations. Article 16 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: “The (traditional) family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

Similarly Article 3 (1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child reads: “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

The Church kinda quotes the declaration of human rights when it say..”The (traditional) family is..entitled to protection by the state.” That little bracketed inclusion speaks volumes. As much as the church would LIKE the word “traditional” to be there…it simply ain’t.

Im sure that the framers of the declaration in 1946 were not thinking of gay families when they penned the document. But I’m equally sure that they would have objected to any qualifying or limiting amendments to the statements. That were making a statement about universal human rights…not the rights of some over others. Look at the full article that the church (kinda) quotes.

Article 16.

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
It is abundantly clear that the article gives  gay people an equal right to marry without limitation by religion. Gay people have a right to form a family and are entitled to the protections that society and state afford that family.
Look at the opening and closing articles of the declaration.

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 30.

  • Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Neither the church not any other group can claim their particular rights to the free exercise of their religion to imposes restriction on the rights of others.

The children of these gay and lesbian parents have the fundamental human right  to the dignity and social acceptance and celebration of their family relationship that only marriage affords. It is disappointing to say the least that the church has taken time to make a submission to the government specifically to deny the rights of our LGBT friends and especially their children.

The church argues a similar line in its second 2008 submission.

5th September 2008

RE – INQUIRY INTO THE SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIP (EQUAL TREATMENT IN COMMONWEALTH LAWS – GENERAL LAW REFORM) BILL 2008

(Dr Pollnitz writes) My views on this issue are shaped by over thirty years experience as a specialist doctor caring for children. Throughout this time I have observed that children develop best, both physically and emotionally, when they are reared in a stable heterosexual two-parent family. Without criticising single parents or making judgements about people’s situations or experiences, when families fracture we see large increases in health problems, emotional imbalances, learning disorders, defiant behaviours, drug use, sexual promiscuity, and criminality.

Let me remind you reader of the Findings of Fact listed in the recent US trial on marriage equality. While one may argue that the legal findings don’t necessarily apply to Australia, the Findings of Facts are just that…facts…applicable universally. A more complete discussion on these findings is listed below. (1)

Here are some of the original findings relevant to this discussion.

38. Marriage benefits both spouses by promoting physical and psychological health. Married individuals are less likely to engage in behaviors detrimental to health, like smoking or drinking heavily. Married individuals live longer on average than unmarried individuals.

39.Material benefits, legal protections and social support resulting from marriage can increase wealth and improve psychological well-being for married spouses. (p. 70)

41.The tangible and intangible benefits of marriage flow to a married couple’s children. (p. 71)

54.The availability of domestic partnership does not provide gays and lesbians with a status equivalent to marriage because the cultural meaning of marriage and its associated benefits are intentionally withheld from same-sex couples in domestic partnerships. (p. 82)

56.The children of same-sex couples benefit when their parents can marry. (p. 84)

69. The factors that affect whether a child is well-adjusted are: (1) the quality of a child’s relationship with his or her parents; (2) the quality of the relationship between a child’s parents or significant adults in the child’s life; and (3) the availability of economic and social resources. (p. 94-95)

70.The gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment. The sexual orientation of an individual does not determine whether that individual can be a good parent. Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology. (p. 95)

Seriously, read that one again. Not only does the evidence show that same-sex couples make good parents, but the question is not even up for debate.

71.Children do not need to be raised by a male parent and a female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted. (p. 95)

72.The genetic relationship between a parent and a child is not related to a child’s adjustment outcomes. (p. 96)

73. Studies comparing outcomes for children raised by married opposite-sex parents to children raised by single or divorced parents do not inform conclusions about outcomes for children raised by same-sex parents in stable, long-term relationships. (p. 96)

This last one is important. In the LCA submissions,  Dr Pollnitz makes much of the fact that in his 30 years as a specialist doctor caring for children, he has found that children fare best when raised in a stabe 2 parent heterosexual family unit. He points out that “fractured” families cause all sorts of problems for children.

With respect to Dr Polnitz and his expereince, one seriously doubts whether, in 30 years of practice, Dr Polnitz would have seen enough children of stable families with same sex parents to make any comparisons or draw any conclusions at all. He is comparing stable 2 parent families with “fractured” families and single parent families.

For some reason that escapes me, he assumes that the stable, gay, 2 parent family are likely to suffer the same problems as the “fractured” and single parent families. This not only goes against all findings in the fieild of developmental psychology but it goes against plain ol’ common sense.

So….Church! You acknowledge, I’m sure,  that families with 2 parents in a committed, stable lifetime married relationship provide their children with the best chance for, social acceptance, finacial security, mutual support and encouragement. You acknowledge, I’m sure, that  societal recognition of the legitimacy of the familial bond of marriage in which the chiild is a part is important.

And then you deny children with gay parents that right because…umm…because…well…just because they are gay!  

Well…if thats the way you wanna run the church…I guess that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives you the perogative to teach whatever prejuduce you choose. I guess that it is up to the individual members of the church to test those teachings against their own conscience and experiences.

But….dont…I repeat…DONT attempt to impose those views on the rest of society and so deny basic human rights to the children of gay and lesbian parents.

And.. in the name of consistency and intellectual honesty, dont quote the Declaration of Human Rights or the Convention of the Rights of the Child as you deny THESE particular children their basic human right to a stable, married, 2 parent family.

So..church…repeat after me…lets say this over and over again until it sinks into us at least as deeply as the prejudices we hold in order to do battle with them…

Ready?

Gay rights are human right. Human rights are gay rights. Gay rights are human rights…human rights are gay rights…

Repeat 30 times, 3 times a day after meals while symptoms persist.(Doctor) Neil Hart. SAEPJ  (Self Appointed Expert in Paediatric Justice)

Think of the children. For God’s sake.

(1) Gay Marriage: Truth or Truthiness. Which are you?