Gay Marriage – Two Views

I received the following letter which I have abridged to preserve
anonymity. I set out my reply below.

Dear Councillor

ETC

I understand that the primary concern that opponents generally have
with giving same-sex couples the same marriage rights as opposite-sex
couples is the question over the adoption of children. The claim is
made that a child needs the balance of a male and female guardian in
their life, and therefore opposite-sex couples should be given
preference over same-sex couples when it comes to adoption. There are
various conflicting studies out there in this area; however, I would
argue that the role of deciding who is best to raise a child should
lie with those who know this area best: the state bodies and the
agencies who are responsible for placing a child in a loving home.

I see no reason why the Government should continue to legislate
against any possibility of a same-sex couple being allowed to jointly
adopt a child, and raise the child, even if the state bodies and
adoption agencies responsible have identified an appropriate
opportunity for this to happen. I feel that there is an unseen
hypocrisy in this area, also, due to the fact that unmarried
individuals are allowed to adopt a child. An individual adopting a
child would quite obviously not provide the “gender balance” that an
opposite-sex couple would, but yet the possibility for an individual
to adopt is not prohibited by law – and it is left up to the state
bodies and the agencies to use their best judgement to decide when
this should and should not happen. I see no reason why this same
guideline could not be used for the issue of same-sex couples who want
to adopt.

If you remain unconvinced that those who oversee adoptions should be
given the power to decide for themselves whether a couple or
individual is suitable to adopt a child, I would ask you to examine
the many countries that have already given equal marriage rights to
same-sex couples. Personally, I have not seen or heard of any
reduction in the welfare of children in these countries due to this
change. Nor have I heard of many in those countries who believe that
what they did was a mistake. If legalising same-sex marriage would
have such an impact on children, I think we would have heard about it
from the countries who have had it legalised for years already.

Your

X

My reply

Dear X

Thank you for your civility. Firstly, I am not comfortable with the
opinions I hold on this because it makes me conventionally
conservative. But I set out the reasons why I could not vote for this.
It is neither popular nor profitable for me to do so but I cannot
support the gay marriage proposition because most of the legal and
practical problems
have been dealt with by the Civil Partnership Act. Prior to that, I
supported the gay movement since the 1960s in New York, Stonewall as
far as I remember.

My problem is equipoise because when it comes to adoptions, it seems
that there should be a hierarchy of heterosexual couples followed by
gay and single people. There is the issue of role modeling and gender
imprinting. Homosexuality is one end of the sexuality spectrum and
that is the way things have seemed to me for years.

Many gay couples have children and are responsible for their upbringing. I am
unaware of negative outcomes but I am not informed in this area. I learned long
ago not to make assumptions without a critical look at the evidence.

Pair bonding is part of nature and is especially developed in mammals
for the apparent purpose of allowing the young to survive. There is
not equipoise in the likely result of gay and heterosexual unions.
This is a complex area and I put children first on this situation. I am afraid
that there would be court battles over adoption with demands for
equipoise between heterosexual and homosexual couples with regard
to adoptions.

The whole issue of pheromones and biological chemistry in sexuality is
in need of detailed research and I do not want to support something
that may turn out to have more problems than is currently realised.

The role of social workers in decision making is laced with
controversy. I am not overly impressed with state intervention in
child care. I pay for two families myself at the moment – Kells and
Bulowayo with 5 kids involved and have been in contact with the Dept
for Children here with very disappointing outcomes. So I do care very
much.

At home I am in receipt of a mouthful of abuse on the issue from my
daughter who has called me all kinds of names from homophobic to
whatever, even tonight.

If there was any issue of rights regarding consents to treatments,
wills, pensions etc I would be right there with you.

I do not intend any of what I say to be offensive even though some
will take offense.

As I have said, your reasoning is impressive

It does not please me to disappoint you but you cannot say that I have
dishonest in my reasoning.

Finally, I have filled forms and given references for adoptions by
single people. I
would do the same for gay couples if asked and the people were
appropriate and well.
None of this invalidates my fundamental point.

Finally – some of what was said of me at Dublin City Council tonight
was slanderous.