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Gay marriage redefines parents

Missing dad.

Do you remember that book, “Heather Has Two Mommies”? That was my life.
Gay community, I am your daughter.

My mom, her partner, and I lived in a cozy little house in the ‘burbs of a very liberal and open-minded area. Her partner treated me as if I was her own daughter. Along with my mom’s partner, I also inherited her tight-knit community of gay and lesbian friends. Or maybe they inherited me?

My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the ’80s and ’90s. She and my dad were married for a little while. She knew she was gay before they got married, but things were different back then. That’s how I got here. It was complicated as you can imagine. She left him when I was two or three because she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved: a woman.

My dad wasn’t a great guy, and after she left him he didn’t bother coming around anymore.

I’m writing to you gay people because I’m letting myself out of the closet: I don’t support gay marriage. 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.

Children need a mother and father.

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.

Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood 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.

Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad.

I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy.

It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary. There were times I felt so angry with my dad for not being there for me, and then times I felt angry with myself for even wanting a father to begin with. There are parts of me that still grieve over that loss today.

I’m not saying that you can’t be good parents. You can. I had one of the best. I’m also not saying that being raised by straight parents means everything will turn out okay. We know there are so many different ways that the family unit can break down and cause kids to suffer: divorce, abandonment, infidelity, abuse, death, etc. But by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father.

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.

If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us.

Kids of divorced parents are allowed to say, “Hey, mom and dad, I love you, but the divorce crushed me and has been so hard. It shattered my trust and made me feel like it was my fault. It is so hard living in two different houses.” Kids of adoption are allowed to say, “Hey, adoptive parents, I love you. But this is really hard for me. I suffer because my relationship with my first parents was broken. I’m confused and I miss them even though I’ve never met them.”

But children of same-sex parents haven’t been given the same voice. 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 you understand the pain of a label that doesn’t fit and the pain of a label that is used to malign or silence you. And I know that you really have been hated and that you really have been hurt. I was there, at the marches, when they held up signs that said, “God hates fags” and “AIDS cures homosexuality.” I cried and turned hot with anger right there in the street with you. But that’s not me. That’s not us.

I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us. You taught me that.



Heather Barwick is a former gay-marriage activist now turned children’s rights activist. She is a wife and mother of four normal rambunctious kids.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Bushwanker 12/08/2017, 6:37 am

    It’s the UN agenda to depopulate the world and what a great way to achieve those aims by promoting SSM……but wait….the Muslims will continue to breed like rubbish dump rats and before we know it we’ll all be Muslim.

  • Lorraine 12/08/2017, 8:56 am

    So Heather is going to be asked by all the TV and radio outlets to come forth and tell her story. Then pigs might fly, she is advocating the NO vote.

    • Neville 12/08/2017, 10:45 am

      Yes, her article IS supporting a no vote. But she is quite unlikely to be asked by the Australian media to speak, because she lives in the US, is no doubt completely unaware of the current manufactured “controversy” in Australia, and besides, that article was published nearly 2 and a half years ago.

  • luk1955 12/08/2017, 9:13 am

    I wonder who these lesbos get to fix their toilets when they stop working. As there are no female plumbers, then they must call a man, or do it themselves. It is rare for a gay of either sex to have the smarts to fix simple problems. And the hatred that gays of either sex exude for members of the opposite sex are palpable.

  • SebastianF 12/08/2017, 10:04 am

    Beautifully written, Heather. Thank you for showing us your world when you were growing up.
    Having kids is the holy grail of same sex marriage; but those of us who oppose it, know it’s
    wrong, know it’s wrong for all of the reasons so eloquently written by you.

  • Moree 12/08/2017, 10:12 am

    Y’know, that dog that Heather is planning with is scary. It looks more like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood.

  • Margaret 12/08/2017, 10:52 am

    Heather is absolutely right. If a father or a mother dies when a child is very young it is important that the child has a mother or father figure / replacement hopefully from other members of the family such as uncles and aunts or grandparents. Children are more rounded adults if they grow up with a father and a mother.

    It is also important to have male and female doctors, male and female teachers to name just a few areas where the Marxists have interfered in the natural order of society.

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