Last week, the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, issued such a slanderous critique of same-gender marriage and families that I have to wonder whether he was drinking again when he wrote it.
At the heart of his message: marriage is all about children and when same-gender couples are allowed to marry, their “children suffer.”
And he was not satisfied to stop there. He went on to claim that when a culture allows same-gender marriage, communities suffer, women suffer and men are dehumanized. All of this, of course, without a shed of support for what he is saying. Now, I firmly believe that we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to make up our own data. And as far as I can tell from reading the real data, Archbishop Cordileone is just making this shit up.
So, let’s look at the real data.
Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), after a four-year review of studies on the matter, affirmed, to no one’s surprise, that “children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way to do that is through marriage.” The AAP went on to state “if a child has two loving and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond, it’s in the best interest of their child that legal institutions allow them to do so.” As a result, and this is the main event, the AAP issued a policy statement announcing its “support of civil marriage for same-gender couples as the best way to guarantee benefits and security for their children.” The statement concludes, “scientific evidence affirms that children have similar developmental and emotional needs and receive similar parenting whether they are raised by parents of the same or different genders.” In other words, science has found no difference between children from homes with same-gender parents compared to straight parents.
So let’s go back to Archbishop Cordileone’s assertion, to his inflammatory claim that when a culture allows for the possibility of a marriage structure other than a male-female union, children suffer. It is inflammatory because there is no credible evidence to support his claim. Now, he might not like the reality that gay couples do and will raise children. His Catholic Charities might deny them services and his Catholic adoption agencies might refuse to work with them – that is the prerogative of his Church. But to slander these couples by claiming that their children suffer – that is just vitriol.
The Archbishop believes that marriage is reserved exclusively for bringing together male and female to make and raise the next generation. It sounds beautiful. But it is only a sliver of the world we live in today.
The Archbishop’s world-view ignores the existence of abandoned and orphaned children who are adopted and cared for and loved by tens of thousands of same-gender couples throughout Christendom. I grant the Archbishop his obvious point that “two men and two women can never join in one flesh in the unique way a husband and wife do” to create babies. No, in fact, same-gender couples have to go through onerous, tedious and very expensive machinations and procedures to have and welcome a child into their home. Same-gender couples have to be deliberate and determined in order to adopt. But your Eminence, they can and do love and care for their children every bit as much as a male-female couple does. And you know this. You are the Archbishop in San Francisco. You see thousands among your congregation who have created loving, caring and committed same-gender households and families.
You malign them with your nasty comments.
The real data supports that “children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way to do that is through marriage.” I would suggest, Your Eminence, that you look in the mirror and see clearly that you and those like you who would deny the benefits of marriage to same-gender couples are more accurately the culprits causing children to suffer.