Thursday, May 9, 2013

RC BIshops call upcoming Prop8 decision the "Roe v. Wade" moment

One grows tired of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, who have their cottas in a twist over the impending SCOTUS decision on Prop8.  To refresh, the Court has been asked to determine whether removing the right to marry from lesbian and gay couples in CA is constitutional.

The USCCB has published an insert for Church bulletins claiming that overturning Prop8 would be the same as Roe v. Wade.  Amongst their complaints,

Every child has a basic, natural right to come from and be raised in the loving marital union of his or her own father and mother.

Now, this is the root of their objection and I would like someone to explain it for me, because it is a complete non sequitor.

How does recognizing marriage between gay couples have any effect on the "right" of children to be raised by a mum and a dad?

1) California has already given LGBT couples complete adoption and parenting rights, regardless of marriage.

2)  It is estimated that lesbian and gay couples in CA are raising over 37,000 children, either their own or adopted.

3) They will continue to raise their children regardless of whether marriage is legal.

4) Ergo, the only effect of denying marriage it to prevent those children, who exist now, at this very minute, from having the protections of married parents.


IT said...

I posted this comment on the USCCB website. We'll see if it gets through:

Every child has a basic, natural right to come from and be raised in the loving marital union of his or her own father and mother.

This statement has nothing to do with marriage equality. Like it or not, California (and most other states) allow LGBT families to adopt children. In CA alone, it is estimated that 37,000 children live in households with same-sex parents–either adoptive, or biological.

Prop8 says nothing about adoption or child rearing.

Prop8 ONLY denies the protection of civil marriage to lesbian and gay couples. Prop8 therefore HURTS the children of same sex couples, and provides no protection to children of straight couples.

If marriage again becomes legal in CA, newly wedded gay couples aren’t going to run and steal children from straight parents. If marriage remains illegal in CA, gay parents aren’t going to stop raising children.

Therefore this argument is a non-sequitor.

If the Bishops really do care about children, why don’t they care about the children of gay families?

No one expects the Roman Catholic church to start marrying same sex couples, any more than it is required to marry previously divorced couples, or atheists. The church already lives in a civil polis where marriages of which it disapproves are nevertheless legally valid. This is no different.

Kathy Jensen said...

It makes no sense to me, either, but I've been struggling with the idea ever since I saw and heard it repeated in the anti-same sex marriage demonstrations and press articles in France.

The slogan there is “the rights of children trump the right to children.” Although France has long had civil unions for couples, and everyone claims to "love" GLBTs, the issue that has stirred up protests has been adoption by same-sex couples. The rationale, as far as I can discern it, is that if you allow same sex couples to marry, you give them the right to have children, and that somehow deprives children the right to be brought up by a man and a woman couple who are their biological parents. So, while "live and let live" is fine for the kind of sex people have in the privacy of their bedrooms, a life lived together that includes a family (i.e. children, adopted or from prior marriages) is considered a violation of some sort of sacred rights of the children.

Of course, the Roman Catholic church lurks behind this, but some of the key spokesmen are supposedly gay or tran. It is simply bizarre in France, of all places. While the same-sex marriage bill was rushed through its final reading and is expected to take effect (after a review by the High Court, which is expected not to allow it to take effect) in the next month, it does appear to have stirred up conservatives who otherwise were in disarray.

Well, that's French politics, I guess. What is astounding is that it has had any traction. Apparently the bishops in Cal. hope to get the same response, but, thankfully, I think most thinking people here see the rights and needs of children as a compelling reason for allowing same-sex marriage.

[And yes, I do read here everyday - it's in my news feed - sorry I don't comment much]

JCF said...

A former academic advisor of mine, listed on my CV, went on to work for the USCCB. That used to not be embarrassing.

(He's retired now)