Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.


Leading researcher on same sex parenting to join the Ruth Institute

Ruth Institute Announces the Rev. Dr. Paul Sullins as Senior Research Associate

Leading researcher on same sex parenting to join the Ruth Institute

April 17, 2018, Lake Charles, Louisiana—The Ruth Institute announces that Dr. Paul Sullins will serve as a Senior Research Associate. Recently retired from the sociology department at Catholic University of America, Dr. Sullins is a leader in research on same-sex parenting and its implications for child development.

Announcing the appointment, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute said, “We at the Ruth Institute are greatly concerned that ‘alternative family forms,’ such as divorce and unmarried parenthood, have been harmful to children. Dr. Sullins cares deeply about the impact of same sex parenting on children, examining topics such as ADHD, depression, and emotional problems. He is a good fit for us.”


Dr. Morse continued, “Treating same-sex couples as the legal equivalent of opposite-sex couples means increasing numbers of children will be raised in same-sex couple households. More information will be coming available about their experiences. We believe it is crucial to continue examining this evidence in a systematic way.”

Dr. Sullins explained, “The research in this area is really just beginning. Most of the studies which claim to show “no differences” between parenting by same sex couples and married heterosexual couples have used small, unrepresentative data sets. I have been examining large statistically representative datasets—principally the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), with 1.9 million cases; and the University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), with 20,000 cases. I have repeatedly documented substantially higher rates of problems among children with same-sex parents, and that the best context for child well-being is with his or her own mother and father.”

Formerly Episcopalian, Dr. Sullins is a married Catholic priest. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology at Catholic University in 1997 and taught there from 1998 until his recent retirement from teaching. He and his wife, Patricia, have an inter-racial family of three children, two adopted.

Among his many honors, he is Director of the Summer Institute of Catholic Social Thought and Director of the Leo Initiative at Catholic University. He has written four books and over 100 journal articles, research reports and essays on issues of family, faith, and culture.

Dr. Morse concluded, “We are delighted to assist Dr. Sullins’ efforts to discover the truth about same-sex parenting. Dr. Sullins is a careful researcher who follows the data wherever it leads. Ruth Institute followers can look forward to seeing him at Ruth Institute events and in our publications.”

To interview either Dr. Sullins or Dr. Morse, reply to this email.

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Same Sex Attraction: A feeling, not an identity

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published at Clash Daily on April 18, 2108.

“Am I Gay?” Today, every family in America faces this question one way or another. Even the best families. Maybe you have a child, or sibling, or close friend who feels attracted to people of the same sex. Maybe a niece or nephew or grandchild wonders about their sexuality.

Maybe they are asking YOU these questions.

The book “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay” challenges the idea that feelings of same sex attraction necessarily mean a person is “gay.” The author, Daniel Mattson, tells his story of experiencing same sex attraction, acting on it, and ultimately, allowing Jesus to turn his life around.

This is not a “pray away the gay” message. It is something much more powerful. The “pray away the gay” slur is meant to demean people’s efforts to change their patterns of sexual attraction. Mattson’s message is that every person can and must, make choices about their feelings. Even if same sex attraction persists, or reemerges, every person continues to have meaningful choices about important topics:

What meaning do I assign my sexual feelings? Whom do I choose as my friends? From whom do I chose to draw inspiration, advice, and encouragement? And most of all, how do I decide to behave?

I have heard Dan speak. (Full disclosure: Dan and I are friends. He says nice things about me in the “Acknowledgments” section of the book.I say nice things about him on the back cover.) Dan has a wonderful way about him. He loves talking with high school students. He invites them to write their questions on index cards, so no one knows who is asking what question.

Inevitably, a few kids will write “Am I gay?” on their cards.

Dan answers them so gently.

Feelings of attraction to the same sex are just that: feelings. Those feelings are not the same thing as an identity. You are more than the sum total of your feelings. So is every human being who has ever walked the earth.


 

Did you know, that in some states, Dan’s message could be considered illegal? That’s right. “You Must Stay Gay” laws are being proposed and passed across the country.

Of course, no one comes right out and says: “You Must Stay Gay.”

They say they are outlawing “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.”They claim offering therapy is an “unlawful business practice.”

In other words, the government is telling you and me and every young person how they must interpret their own feelings. “You feel same sex attraction: you are gay.” End of story.

But Dan Mattson begs to differ. We can feel all kinds of things. We still have choices about how to label ourselves, what to think, and how to behave. He is not a therapist, and not making therapeutic claims. He is just one man, who is telling his own story. That is still legal. At least for now.

My identity: I am a child of God.

Noted Catholic Cardinal, Robert Sarah of Guinea, wrote the foreword to Dan’s book. Cardinal Sarah says of persons who experience same sex attraction:

Only when they lived in keeping with Christ’s teaching were they able to find the peace and joy for which they had been searching… They are called to chastity, and we demean them if we think they cannot attain this virtue, which is a virtue for all disciples.”

In fact, the subtitle of Dan’s book is “How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace.” People need to hear this message of hope for people who experience same sex attraction.

A word to the many non-Catholic Christians on this site: Yes, this book is written by a Catholic man, published by a Catholic publisher, and endorsed by a Catholic Cardinal. There are plenty of culturally-Catholic quirks that may strike you as odd. But the overall message is just as biblically sound and solid as it can be. In this age of so many religious leaders in so many branches of Christianity promoting so much confusion, we small “o” orthodox believers have no choice but to support one another wherever we can.

Please buy this book. Read it. Share it with your pastor, youth minister, and others who work with young people. Help give Dan Mattson’s message of hope and peace the wide audience it deserves.

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, located in Lake Charles Louisiana. Daniel Mattson will be the keynote speaker at their First Annual Awards Dinner June 15, 2018.

 



Dr J on "The Choices We Face"

Dr. J was interviewed by EWTN's The Choices We Face, and we have the video!


Dear Dr. Peterson: The Resurrection is Credible. Dear MSM: Just Stop It.

Human psychology sheds light on whether Jesus literally rose from the dead.

By Jennifer Roback Morse

Published on March 19, 2018, at The Stream.

Jordan Peterson has become a hero to many because of his relentless truth-telling. Many people of faith see him as an ally. In a wide-ranging interview with Patrick Coffin, former Catholic Answers radio show host, Peterson said about the Resurrection, “I need to think about that for about three more years before I would even venture an answer.” Not a flat-out dismissal of the possibility that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, but an open-ended desire to learn and think more deeply. This respectful position is a far cry from the annual, “Jesus was just a nice guy but the Resurrection never happened” story that someone in the secular media subjects us to, every year right around Easter.

Mass Delusion … or Mass of Witnesses?


So, let’s analyze this, for Dr. Peterson’s sake. Peterson is a psychologist. I submit that human psychology sheds light on whether Jesus literally rose from the dead. The behavior of his disciples makes zero sense unless the Resurrection took place.

If Jesus did not literally rise from the dead, what exactly did happen? Did the disciples think they saw him after his death, but they didn’t really? Were the disciples lying about seeing him after his death? Neither of these alternatives, delusion or lying, can account for the known facts.

Fact: Jesus was dead and buried.

Jesus was executed in a very thorough and very public manner for which the Romans were noted and feared. There is no doubt at all that he was dead. He was buried. The Roman officials and the Jewish leaders insisted that the grave be guarded.

Fact: People claimed they saw him after his death.

On the third day after His death, people claimed they saw Him. Not just one guy, mind you, but lots of people. Mary Magdalene saw him. Ten disciples saw him the night of the Resurrection. So did two random guys on the road to Emmaus. The following week all eleven surviving disciples saw Him. At some point, 500 people saw him at the same time. Mass delusion on this scale seems unlikely.

Believers Paid a Steep Price

A skeptic might respond that people talk each other into delusions all the time. Look at our current “politically correct” mess. Dr. Peterson has become famous precisely for tearing the lid off the mass delusions of our time.

I reply: People get praised and supported for spouting silliness that supports the current incarnation of the mass delusion. Nobody today loses his job for going along with the fantasy ideology that Bruce Jenner is a woman. People lose their jobs for denying the delusion. Stating the obvious truth that the winner of the 1976 Olympic decathlon is now, and always has been, a man: now, that will cost you something.

By contrast, the people who claimed they saw Jesus alive after his execution paid a steep price. Matthew had a cushy job as a tax collector. Should he give that up, because Mary Magdalene metaphorically saw the Lord? Peter, Andrew, James, and John did not abandon their fishing business because they saw a Jungian archetype. Their behavior only makes sense if they really saw Jesus after his death.

Why Suffer for a Lie?

In fact, none of these witnesses could be talked out of their belief that they saw Jesus, despite some very aggressive attempts to do so. Peter and Andrew were both crucified. If they were making stuff up, don’t you think they would have recanted? The most logical conclusion is that they saw him, in the flesh, just as the Gospels report.

Tradition has it that Bartholomew was flayed alive. If he had been lying, the threat of such a painful, prolonged death would have been a good time to start telling the truth. “Put that knife down: I’ll show you where we hid the body.” But he didn’t change his story. He allowed himself to be murdered in an extraordinarily painful way.

The most psychologically compelling conclusion is that the disciples were neither lying, nor deluded. They saw Jesus.

‘Just a Nice Guy’? Give Me a Break

The Resurrection is indeed worthy of a lifetime of deep thought. I myself meditate upon it a couple of times a week and have done so since 1988. I’m still not finished with it. Dr. Peterson, take all the time you need. You can keep thinking about it, even if you do take a leap of faith.

And to the knucklehead journalist who writes this year’s version of “Jesus was just a nice guy, but it didn’t really happen,” story: just stop. As C.S. Lewis put it, Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. The “just a nice guy” story is the truly delusional belief.


Will Cupich “Accompany” Reluctantly Divorced Spouses?

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published March 14, 2018, at Crisis Magazine.

Cardinal Cupich has been holding seminars on implementing Amoris Laetitia. These “New Momentum Conferences” will “provide formative pastoral programs.” I wonder whether these seminars will include anything for reluctantly divorced persons. No one else seems to be doing anything for abandoned spouses. Perhaps Cardinal Cupich and his friends will step up to the plate.

The public, including many Catholics, has the impression that no-fault divorce allows two sensible and mature adult people to agree to end their marriage. We imagine that the state must not interfere in this mutual decision. No one should cry over the spilt milk of a “dead marriage.” Many in the Church tacitly agree.


But setting theology aside, let’s challenge the basic premise of no-fault divorce. What if one person wants a divorce and the other wants to remain married? Dr. Stephen Baskerville, frequent contributor to these pages, made me aware of this possibility in his first book, Taken into Custody. If the spouses do not agree, justice requires adjudication by a neutral party. But on what basis would that neutral party decide which spouse to side with: the spouse who wants the divorce, or the spouse who wants the marriage?

The Grand Divorce Narrative offers no answer. The official ideology of no-fault does not acknowledge that such a case can even exist. And if we add the (highly dubious) claim that “kids are resilient,” then there is no reason for anyone to favor preserving a marriage, even one with children. As for adjudication between the spouse who wants the marriage and the one who wants divorce, forget it. No-fault divorce means the state always sides with the party who wants the marriage the least.

The Grand Divorce Narrative, subtly or not-so-subtly, suggests people who complain about divorce probably did something to bring it on themselves. They need to stop whining and get with the program.

I wish I could tell you whether the abandoned spouses are a misbehaving lot. I wish I could tell you anything systematic about the reluctantly divorced. Unfortunately, all I have is anecdotal information. The people who normally collect and analyze this kind of thing seem to be completely uninterested.

We don’t even know how many reluctantly divorced or abandoned spouses there are.

Here is one snippet. I once bemoaned the fact that we have no data on the number of reluctantly divorced persons. My friend, University of Texas sociology professor, Mark Regnerus chimed in that he had some data on this question in his new book, Cheap Sex.

I checked it out. In Figure 5.2 on page 161, he asked this question of divorced spouses, “who wanted the marriage to end, you, your spouse, or both of you?” Only 24 percent of women and 27 percent of men said, “we both wanted it to end.” In other words, in his survey, over 70 percent of divorces have a reluctant partner.

The CDC reported over 800,000 divorces from 44 states and the District of Columbia in 2016. If 70 percent of those divorces had a reluctant partner, that is over a half million reluctantly divorced people, in a single year. Add that up, year after year for forty years. That is a lot of broken hearts and wounded souls, walking around, socially invisible, and isolated.

Please note: counting reluctantly divorced persons was not the focus of Dr. Regnerus’ study. God bless him, he stumbled across it while studying something else. I don’t know of any other large scale, representative study of this question. This lack of professional and scholarly interest testifies to the power of the Divorce Ideology.

We also know very little of the lived experiences of the reluctantly divorced or abandoned spouses. We do know that divorce doubles a man’s probability of suicide and has essentially no impact on the woman’s chance of suicide. But we don’t really know why. As to spiritual life, we know that children of divorce are less likely to practice any religion. But as far as I know, no one has ever asked how divorce affects the religious commitments of the adults, particularly, one who was divorced against their will. The category, “reluctantly divorced persons” does not even exist in the minds of the scholars who have the expertise to study this sort of thing. After over 40 years of no-fault divorce, I am appalled that we have so little information about the reluctantly divorced or abandoned spouses.

And I might add, I’m also appalled at the lack of pastoral concern for the reluctantly divorced, blameless, or abandoned spouses. In all the uproar over Amoris Laetitia, in all the endless yammering in favor of “accompaniment” and “discernment,” for the divorced and civilly remarried, one can find almost nothing about the spouse of the original union.

I know an abandoned spouse who changed parishes. She couldn’t bear to see her spouse receiving communion with his new cohabiting girlfriend. He evidently “discerned” that this was hunky-dory. The pastor wasn’t much help to my friend. He told her the “people fall out of love,” and that “everyone gets an annulment.” He assumed that my friend was also dating someone else, which she had no intention of doing.

What was this pastor thinking? Why didn’t anyone ensure she feels “fully integrated” into the life of the parish where she and her husband were married?” Will anyone “accompany” abandoned spouses like her? Why is the Church abandoning them to the brutal injustice of the divorce culture?

At least on paper, the Church still holds to the radical teaching of Jesus on the indissolubility of marriage. I hope Cardinal Cupich and his friends pay attention to the reluctantly divorced, though I’m not holding my breath. Catholics, of all people, should be paying special attention to abandoned spouses. Their pain proves that Jesus was right all along.


"How to Defend Marriage" on the Patrick Coffin Show

“Dr. J” to her tribe, this influencer has a PhD and teaching experience at Yale and George Brown University. An economist by training, she has invaluable insights into the wreckage we see around us caused by the failed Sexual Revolution. The organization she founded, The Ruth Institute, exists to help survivors of this very public shipwreck.

With the Obergefel v Hodges (2015) decision redefining marriage at the federal level, we have reached a legal tipping point. Most Americans support marriage as it’s been defined for millennia, as the lifelong union of one man and one woman with openness to children. Culture is one thing, laws are another.

If you want practical insights into how to talk about this and other challenges such as our collective no-fault divorce attitude (yes, it has infected “good Catholic” circles), and the forgotten players known as children, this is the interview for you.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Proven strategies for framing the arguments
  • How to avoid taking the bait offered by anti-marriage activists
  • The importance of keeping the conversation where it needs to be: on the linking of children to their parents
  • How to articulate reasons for supporting marriage without reference to either homosexual behavior on the one hand, or religious tenets on the other

from Patrick Coffin's website here.

 


Invite Children of Divorce to Cupich’s Amoris Laetitia Seminars

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published February 28, 2017 at Crisis Magazine.

I see where Cardinal Cupich is planning a series of seminars on Amoris Laetitia. According to a letter obtained by the Catholic News Agency, the “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia,” will “provide formative pastoral programs.” As someone who has listened to many victims of the Sexual Revolution, I am eager to learn about the “pastoral practice” these seminars will promote. I wonder if they will feature adult children of divorce or unmarried parents among their presenters.

I can still recall the first time a young person came up to me in tears after one of my talks. “This is the first time I have ever heard an adult say that divorce is hard on children.” She went on to describe her father’s intention of entering yet another civil marriage, this time, to a woman in her twenties.

My young friend was twenty-one.


Since that incident, I have heard from many people of all ages, whose parents divorced and remarried. I can remember sitting down to a post-conference dinner with one of the other speakers and his wife. She confided in me that she had run out of the room in the middle of my talk. She couldn’t bear to hear my description of children’s hurt from divorce. My talk stirred up pain from her parents’ divorce.

She was in her sixties.

I don’t see any mention of Leila Miller or Jennifer Johnson among the proposed speakers on the traveling Amoris Laetitia Road Show. Both Mrs. Miller and Ms. Johnson have written poignant works on the experiences of children of divorce. You may imagine what the adult children of divorce have to say about second “marriages.”

Or perhaps you can’t. So, let me tell you: they feel their parents’ selfishness and excuse-making made their childhoods miserable, and continue to cause problems even in adulthood. One anonymous author titled her essay, “How my parents’ divorce ruined holidays and family life forever.”

Perhaps some of the presenters at the Amoris Laetitia gabfests will offer practical tips for what a child, of any age, ought to do when their parents decide they can’t stand each other anymore. Will Cardinal Cupich “accompany” the children of divorce when they see no photos of themselves with both parents, in either of their parents’ homes? Will any of the presenters help the children of divorce “discern” where to direct their anger when their stepfather brings home gifts for his children and his wife, but nothing for them?

I wonder if Cardinal Cupich and his friends will discuss the inequalities that divorce creates among children, and between children and adults. Jennifer Johnson argues passionately that natural marriage and only natural marriage, can create and preserve equality among children, while divorce creates deep and lasting inequalities. Here is just one example:

I was the only one who had divided Christmases, divided holidays, and divided birthdays. I’ve seen this referred to as “two Christmases” or “two birthdays” in some divorce literature as a way to sugar-coat the vertical inequality. My dad wasn’t welcome on Christmas morning, and my mom wasn’t welcome on Christmas eve. I don’t think either of them would have come, had they been invited. They were too busy with their new families. When I got a little older and my parents lived further apart, I traveled alone during the holidays to see each of them. None of the adults in my life had to do any of those things. It was a requirement placed on me that made their lives easier.

No, I suppose they don’t have room for children of divorce and their lived experiences. After all, the seminars are already full of experts on women’s ordination, contraception, non-binary gender, and God knows what else.

Speaking of God: I have an idea that Jesus (remember him?) knows exactly what these children of divorce are going through. He told the apostles “in the beginning, it was not so,” when he instituted that whole one man, one woman, for life, thing. The apostles were freaked out. They thought it was too hard.

I bet Jesus saw the pain a little girl might feel when her mother asked her to be the flower girl in her second wedding. Even as a preschooler, she knew this ceremony meant that her parents would never get back together. She knew she was supposed to be happy for her mother on her special day. She faked it, but her heart was breaking.

Jesus foresaw every painful little incident, like this one:

When I was six or seven, I woke up from a bad dream in the middle of the night. I went looking for my mom but couldn’t find her. I wandered from room to room crying, disoriented and scared. But Mom wasn’t there because I was at Dad’s place, an apartment I went to once a month. My dad couldn’t understand why I wanted my mom so much. Nothing in the apartment was familiar, not even dad. He was hurt because of my longing for my mom, my house, and my own bed, so I did what a lot of children of divorce do: I bottled up my emotions to try to make one of my parents feel better.

Jesus saw how attempts at re-partnering would create a lifetime of difficulties:

At my biological grandma’s funeral, my siblings and I were left out of the family pictures. We watched our cousins treated differently just because their parents had remained married. We stopped getting invited to family reunions. Today I’m a stranger to most of my relatives on my dad’s side because growing up I saw him so little and them even less.

Maybe this sort of thing is why Jesus made such a stink about the indissolubility of marriage.

Perhaps some adult children of divorce will just show up at one of the meetings at Boston College, the University of Notre Dame, or Santa Clara University. I wonder if anyone will let them have a turn at the microphone.

Maybe not. That might be just a little too much “accompanying” and “synodality,” even for Cardinal Cupich.


'Go to Confession' Campaign


For immediate release:

Ruth Institute launches ‘Go to Confession’ Campaign

(February 15, 2018, Lake Charles, LA)During this season of Lent, The Ruth Institute has launched an online and billboard campaign in Lake Charles, Louisiana, encouraging people of all faiths to make things right with God.

“The ‘Go to Confession’ campaign is a way to remind people that God is merciful, and we can go to Him with our sins at any time and find forgiveness. What better time than during Lent?” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute said.

Some of the images are humorous. “Sin makes you stupid,” featuring St. Thomas Aquinas (who loosely said that), and “Party’s over. Go to confession,” with an image of Mardi Gras debris. And new this year, an image of a stunned priest in the confessional with the caption, “You won’t really shock him: Go to confession!”


But the humor has a serious point. Dr. Morse said, “Families don’t just break down. Marriages don’t just fall apart. Somebody sins. The ultimate solution to family breakdown is repentance.”

Some of the more serious messages are, “Jesus is waiting for you,” and “Your family is depending on you. Go to Confession.”

“We’re all sinners, but we all have the opportunity to clean the slate and start fresh,” Morse said. “There is no downside to confession.”

“Confession is a means to find healing within our lives for the mistakes we’ve made,” Morse added. “Guilty consciences make it harder for us to move forward and to resolve the issues caused by our sins, or the bitterness we’ve held onto from the sins of others.”

Find the Ruth Institute’s ‘Go to Confession’ images on their website here, here, here, here, and here.



Ask Dr. J: Should I go to my brother's same sex wedding?

Dear Dr. J:

My brother just announced he would be getting married to his boyfriend. They have been together for approximately ten years. My parents and brothers raised their glasses to his plans and seem to be congratulating them. As a Roman Catholic with my principles of natural family and natural marriage, how should I react about him getting married and what should I do when he invites me to his wedding?

-Joe

Dear Joe,


Should you go to the wedding? In a word, no, you should not. They may ask you, "Would you go to the wedding of a divorced person who was remarrying?" The correct answer is, "No, I would not. They are entering publicly into an adulterous union. I would not go." If they reply, "But you went to Uncle Harry's second wedding and didn't say a word," the proper answer is, "I was wrong to do that. I should not have gone."

The longer-term question is: how do you maintain good relationships with these people and other family members who are going along with their plans to marry? This is the larger challenge.

Take every opportunity to show them love and compassion. Include your brother and his friend in activities whenever you can do so in good conscience. For instance, you can have them over for dinner, or go out to a show with them. These are not intrinsically "coupled" activities. You should invite them whenever you can. If they say no, that is ok. You have done your part. You can send them each birthday cards or Christmas cards.

If they want to argue with you about why you didn't go to the wedding, I suggest you decline to participate. Ditto if they want to argue about related topics, like the Church’s teaching on sexuality, unless you have reason to think they are sincerely interested in what you have to say. If they just want to argue, your answer is a polite, "No thanks."

Keep praying for them. Your time with the Lord will gradually reveal other specific ways in which you can show love to your brother. Eventually, the Lord may show you an opportunity to explain the Church’s teaching in its fullness. Or maybe the Lord will place someone else in your brother’s life who can share it with him.

Thank you for your question.

Your friend,

Dr. J


New York Court: A Girl's Right to Her Father Doesn't Matter. Protecting 'Marriage Equality' Does

New York is sacrificing a child's best interest in favor of "marriage equality."

By Jennifer Roback Morse

Published on February 9, 2018, at The Stream.

A little girl in New York is in foster care, even though her father is a perfectly fit parent. The court will not even recognize him as her father. How is this possible, you ask?

The little girl’s mother is in a same sex union. The girl is in foster care, because of neglect petitions pending against both the mother and her lover. The five-judge panel agreed that the fact that the child was in foster care was “relevant” and “concerning.” They nevertheless denied the father’s request to prove his fatherhood.

In the court’s logic, this man “merely donated sperm, belatedly asserting parental rights.”

In other words, he is not a father unless we say so.

Fatherhood: A “Humanitarian Gesture”

The news stories about this case focus on its implications for “Marriage Equality.” The Daily Beast story has a sub-headline: “judges rule in favor of marriage equality over biology in case of 3-year-old girl.” A Canadian paper, The National Post describes the case this way:


Without legal advice, Christopher and the women drew up a contract in which he waived any claims to paternity, custody or visitation, and the women waived any claim to child support. But troubles arose, and they disagreed on Christopher’s access to the child … In April 2015, Christopher went to court, seeking an order for a paternity test, and later for custody of the child.

The Post is not too clear on what “troubles arose.” We get a clue, from the court documents (page 18), which The Daily Beast cited only in passing, that the child has been in foster care for a lengthy “period of time” since the 2015 hearing.

Perhaps this explains why he “belatedly asserted parental rights.” Maybe he saw what the child welfare authorities eventually saw. These women were neglecting the seven-month-old child.

Christopher volunteered his sperm as a “humanitarian gesture” to two women who were family friends. He evidently absorbed the Grand Gay Narrative that assures us:

  • Biology is overrated. Any two people who love each other and the child are just as good as any others.
  • Lesbians make the best parents ever.

If the Grand Gay Narrative is true, a man might logically conclude that donating his sperm could be a “humanitarian gesture.” He might well believe that agreeing in advance to stand down from active fatherhood was a fine thing to do, costless to himself and his child, and beneficial to these two women.

Biology Matters

The problem is that the Grand Gay Narrative is false. Biology does matter. Both parents and children care about their biological connections. Being raised by a same sex couple does present risks to kids, compared with being raised by one’s own biological parents. The people who say otherwise base their opinion on highly suspect, cherry-picked data, from small unrepresentative samples. Frankly, most of it is highly publicized junk science.

Neither of these women has pulled herself together enough to have the little girl returned to her care. I was a foster parent in San Diego. I know that child welfare agencies try to give parents every opportunity to reunify with their children. If the child has been in foster care “for a lengthy period of time,” these two women must be bad news. Christopher was trying to be a nice guy in 2014 when he donated the sperm. He has been trying to be a responsible father since April 2015 when he first petitioned the court.

Isn’t this how we want men to behave toward the children they sire?

Protecting the Narrative

The five-judge panel was not interested.

We believe that it must be true that a child born to a same-gender married couple is presumed to be their child … A paternity test for an outsider, who merely donated sperm, belatedly asserting parental rights, would effectively disrupt, if not destroy, this family unit and nullify the child’s established relationship with the wife, her other mother. Testing in these circumstances exposes children born into same-gender marriages to instability for no justifiable reason other than to provide a father-figure for children who already have two parents.” (emphasis added.)

News flash to the judges: a child in foster care is already “exposed to instability.” Is letting her father be involved more disruptive than foster care?

The court’s ruling does not protect the child’s best interests. Their ruling circles the wagons to protect the Grand Gay Narrative.

“Marriage Equality” advocates assured us that removing the gender requirement from marriage was only a matter of making same sex couples the legal equivalent of opposite sex couples. This case shows that “Marriage Equality” creates a whole round of new inequalities. Some fathers are permitted to be involved in their children’s lives. Others are not: the law actively blocks Christopher from his own child. Some children have a legally recognized right to their fathers. Others, like this little girl, do not.

She only has the parents the government allows her to have. And that is way too much power for any government.

 

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