What about the children?
- Children already live in relationships with two mommies or two daddies, and some of those children are severely teased at school and/or treated differently by their peers and teachers. California recently enacted legislation, SB 777, to help schools fight that mistreatment. Of course, LDS children also have the Primary song which says, “Jesus walked away from none, he gave his love to everyone, so I will, I will!”
- Gay and lesbian people are natural parents of children, either from heterosexual relationships or through medical intervention. Allowing these parents in committed relationships to marry their life partners ensures the children will have equal access to two adults (and the adults’ incomes, health benefits, inheritance rights, etc.) at all times, whether or not their actual biological parent is able to care for them (such as, in the case of an emergency medical treatment). Allowing these parents to marry will also add the responsibility of child-support should the adults decide to separate.
- Gay and lesbian parents adopt and raise children in California. Sometimes the children they adopt are hard-to-place older children or children with physical or mental disabilities. Allowing these adoptive parents to marry creates greater stability for the children in these families and will give courts clear legal standing to require both parents to meet the demands of supporting their children in the case of separation or divorce.
- Homosexual parents know that children raised in their homes will not automatically have opposite-sex role models in their homes, and many gay/lesbian parents seek out opportunities to provide those role models for their children the same way wise single parents do – by involving caring family members and friends in the children’s lives.
- What messages are we sending to gay LDS youth when we discuss the pros and cons of same sex marriage? What do they hear when we teach them to “love the sinner, hate the sin” when they have no control over who they have crushes on? What tools do we give them to cope in a religious society where marriage and family are the most important ideal they can possibly achieve in life, yet force them to choose between a life of celibate single-ness or marriage with someone to whom they are not attracted if they want to continue as members of the church?
- Will schools have to teach homosexual marriage to Kindergartners? Neither the recent California Supreme Court ruling nor the ballot measure mentions education. However, California schools are required to provide some information about the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage some time before grade 12. Most marriage discussions occur at a high school level as part of locally developed curriculum, in accordance with the state’s Department of Education guidelines. State law provides opt-out provisions for health classes that parents feel violate their children’s religious convictions. There was an award-winning documentary about dealing with gay issues in the classroom produced several years ago; it is still relevant.