Did you know that describing the state of pregnancy as being solely applicable to women is considered offensive? No, dear reader, neither did I, until I read this earnestly written column, stating that transphobia is rampant in the midwifery world.
Up until 2014, the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) had, sensibly and reasonably enough, referred to their clients as women and mothers. Then at some point last year, presumably having imbibed the gender theory Kool-Aid at some diversity conference or other, they changed most of the language in their core competency documents to reflect the notion that some transgender, gender queer and intersex individuals may require midwifery care and do not identify as women.
Australian research from the 1990s has emerged as key evidence in the debate about same-sex parenting.
The constant refrain from supporters has been that there is no difference in outcomes for children in traditional marriages or same-sex couples. In 2010 Judge Vaughn Walker struck down a voter-approved constitutional referendum in California, partly because he found no sociological evidence of a difference. He put the conventional wisdom in a nutshell:
“Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.”
And a brief sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2005 asserted baldly that “none of the published research suggests conclusions different from” the “no difference” hypothesis.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has been pilloried for sending a letter to the heads of Australian companies that had taken out full-page advertisements in major newspapers in June supporting marriage equality.
Over 750 organisations, from major listed companies to some leading universities have added their logos to a highly successful publicity blitz. Pip Marlow, the managing director of Microsoft Australia, has become the poster girl for the campaign.
The CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, who is gay himself, says “now the entire aviation and banking sectors are on that ad. So if you’re not comfortable with that, you can’t fly and you can’t bank in Australia.”
Research in a leading journal claims that there has been a consensus on same-sex parenting for more than 20 years. Writing in this month’s issue of Social Science Research, jimi adams, of the University of Colorado Denver, and Ryan Light, of the University of Oregon, claim that there is “overwhelming evidence that scientists agree that there is not a negative impact to children of same-sex couples”. Furthermore they have detected what they say demonstrates an emerging consensus in the 90s and an “overwhelming consensus” by 2000.
This has been widely reported as the “most comprehensive review” of studies on same-sex parenting. As the ThinkProgress site headlined it, “New Study Shuts Down Common Claim Against Same-Sex Parenting”.
The authors conclude that “The scientific community examining outcomes for children of same-sex parents has achieved consensus, and the consensus is that children of same-sex parents do not experience comparative disadvantages…
click here to read whole article and make comments
(This is intended, in part, as a response to those who have posted comments on my article of September 5, which are too numerous to answer individually.)
Since I wrote my piece on the jailing of Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, for contempt of court a few days ago, more of the background to that event has emerged. This helps explain why she took the course that she did, and why it was reasonable.
The main fact I overlooked is that the marriage licences issued by the country clerk bear the clerk’s signature, so that, even if she left the task to her assistants, she would be personally implicated. Given her conscientious objection to same-sex marriage, the only course of action – apart from resigning -- that seemed open to her, and that did not discriminate between couples, was to stop issuing marriage licences altogether.
I thought that a debate on same-sex marriage which allowed only two-minute speeches and two-minute rebuttals would be absurd. Well, I was wrong. After listening to the head of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, debate the head of the Australian Marriage Forum, David van Gend, on radio earlier this week, I’d have to say that the arguments on both sides emerged very clearly.
Both Croome and Dr van Gend (an occasional MercatorNet contributor) are old hands, so they presented their best arguments succinctly and dispassionately. The presenter on ABC Radio Hobart also posed four questions to the pair. There were no tricks; they were predictable and sensible, the queries that always pop up in all discussions of same-sex marriage.
So who won? In my estimation, Rodney Croome’s argument seemed to be: “marriage is all about love and acceptance”. If that is his best shot, David van Gend’s insistence that children need a mother and a father won, hands down.
A row broke out in a Kentucky county courthouse yesterday when a clerk refused to issue marriage licences to two same-sex couples. When one of the parties demanded to know under whose authority Kim Davis was acting, she said, “Under God’s authority.”
“To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience,” she said. “It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision. For me it is a decision of obedience. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s word.”
It didn’t take long. Within weeks of the US Supreme Court decision to legalise same-sex marriage, polygamous families have sued to have their own relationships recognised as marriages.
Kody Brown and his four wives are the stars of Sister Wives, the reality TV show about the day-to-day life of a polygamous family. The Browns used to live in Utah, where the government prosecutes openly polygamous spouses, so they have moved over the border. Nevada has a more relaxed approach to these issues.
The Browns are on a roll. In December 2013 they won a legal victory when a Federal district court overturned parts of a Utah statue banning polygamous marriages. But the Utah Attorney-General has appealed. He claims that women and children in polygamous relationships are often abused and that courts have consistently reprehended polygamy.
Katy Faust, an American blogger who has become a spokeswoman for traditional marriage, appeared on the Australian program Q&A last week. Her views are particularly interesting as she is the daughter of a lesbian couple. Facing a largely hostile audience and partial questioning from the moderator, she still held her own when she was interrogated about the benefits of marriage between a man and a woman.
Afterwards The Conversation, a website funded by the government and Australian universities, looked into the conflicting claims made in the Q&A episode. The FactCheck editor, Sunanda Creagh, asked Simon Crouch, of the University of Melbourne, and Jennifer Power, of La Trobe University, to fact-check her assertions.
The two experts concluded that Faust was wrong: “the overwhelming body of scientific research suggests that children develop well when growing up with same-sex attracted parents”.
Report on same-sex marriage bias begins at 4:49 min
Australia has finally recovered its mojo and is back at the top of the world laughingstock index which it last visited in 1986 with the release of Crocodile Dundee. At least that’s the story that fans of same-sex marriage are peddling now that Australia is the last redoubt of traditional marriage in the Anglosphere.
In the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand SSM is legal. The pressure on politicians to follow the leaders is unrelenting. At the moment only Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s finger in the dike keeps SSM from flooding in. He recently decreed that his Liberal-National coalition would not consider a change in legislation until next year’s election. The question will probably go to the people as a referendum or a plebiscite.
Conjugality deals with the true nature of marriage and the challenges it faces today. Our current focus is on the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. We'd love to get your comments and suggestions. Send an email to email@example.com