‘Married’ with Children…
By Tony Perkins
They say that children should be seen and not heard. And in the homosexual community, that’s taken on new meaning for kids raised in same-sex families. Now, years later, those same children have grown up — and what they have to say about their experience is a powerful rebuke of the domestic arrangements their parents are fighting for.
Earlier this month, four adults stepped out of the shadows, taking a tremendous risk to tell their moving — and sometimes harrowing — stories in briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. That courage is breeding more courage, as others come forward to share, as only they can, what this drive to redefine the family has forgotten: the children.
In a compelling and eloquent letter to her moms for The Federalist, Heather Barwick says she is “letting (herself) out of the closet.” “I don’t support gay marriage,” she confesses. “But it might not be for the reasons that you think. It’s not because you’re gay. I love you, so much. It’s because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself.” Growing up, she says, and even into her 20s, she defended same-sex “marriage.”
“It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood,” she explains, “that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.”
Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting. It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting… It’s not just me. There are so many of us. Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you’re not listening. That you don’t want to hear. If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater. This isn’t about hate at all. I know that you really have been hated and that you really have been hurt… But that’s not me. That’s not us.
If you know someone who’s searching for reasons to support marriage, I encourage you to read and forward Heather’s story. The experience changed her life — and hearing it might change yours.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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