Kids’ Needs Don’t Matter in “New Conversation” on Marriage

“New Conversation on Marriage” Forbiding kids to mourn missing mom or dad?

(Why can infertile couples marry but homosexual couples can’t? Because infertility doesn’t redefine the natural rights of children.)

David Blankenhorn, the founder and director of the Institute for American Values is spearheading a so-called “new” conversation about marriage wherein marriage is allegedly strengthened by redefining it into oblivion.

On David’s Family Scholars Blog, Barry Deutsch, political cartoonist and longtime veteran of the war on marriage, admiringly posts the SCOTUS brief filed by attorneys Ted Olsen (former US Solicitor Gen under George W.) and David Boise in opposition to Prop 8, the California, voter-supported initiative that protected the traditional definition of marriage and is now under legal assault.

Olsen and Boise can barely contain their scorn for the Pro-Marriage side of the debate, but one part of the brief is especially offensive. They write, “Indeed, Proponents’ state-centric construct of marriage means that the State could constitutionally deny any infertile couple the right to marry, and could prohibit marriage altogether if it chose to pursue a society less committed to “responsible” procreation.”

What an incredibly offensive, intentional mischaracterization of the position of those who stand against the redefinition of marriage. It is blisteringly, intentionally, ignorant. Here is why they are wrong.

Unlike homosexual couples, infertile heterosexual couples can be married because (a) infertility can be treatable and (b) even when it isn’t, infertile couples can be married without having to necessarily insist that a children’s right to a mother AND a father is discriminatory.

By contrast, allowing same-sex marriage effectively requires the redefinition of the natural needs of the child to simply having “parent 1″ and “parent 2″ instead of “mother” and “father.” Every child naturally aches for both a mother and a father and every child deprived of one or the other is keenly aware of the absence. Same-sex marriage would require society, and mental health professionals in particular, to tell any child (not just children of homosexual parents) who is grieving the absence of either mother or father that their grief is irrational and unacceptable and–at best–a distant second to society’s need to appease the narcissistic desires of adults.

Apparently, in the “new” conversation on marriage, children should be seen and not heard.

About Dr. Greg

Dr. Gregory Popcak directs the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to marriage, family, and personal problems. Together with his wife, Lisa, he hosts More2Life Radio. He is the author of over a dozen books integrating psychological insights with our Catholic faith. For more info about books, tele-counseling and other resources, visit

  • KimC in California

    I am very nervous about this case. Olson & Boies really loaded their brief with offensive assumptions about Prop8 Proponents. They suggest that we don’t understand love within marriage: “In their 65-page brief about marriage inCalifornia, Proponents do not even mention the word’love.’ They seem to have no understanding of theprivacy, liberty, and associational values that under-lie this Court’s recognition of marriage as a fundamental, personal right.” Yes, that’s right, we’re all just a bunch of boobs and have no idea what love is or what freedom is. Sheesh.

    I voted for Prop 8. The suggestion that we are trying to say gay men and lebian women are not equal to straight people is ridiculous. Trust me, homosexuals rule where I live. Our governor has mandated that homosexuality be taught in public schools as a normal life path. Kids now experiment with homosexual behavior because it’s cool. I as a Catholic straight mother would never be invited to share my views in a public school, but a gay father would. So who’s receiving unequal treatment?