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Howard Portnoy: Gay marriage hurts kids, says woman raised by lesbian couple

Who you gonna believe? Your lyin’ eyes or “Heather Has Two Mommies”?

A woman raised by her mother and her mother’s lesbian partner is making waves for the gay community by sharing her impressions of being raised in a same-sex household. In a first-person account at “the Federalist,” 31-year-old Heather Barwick writes that she is opposed to gay marriage because  — simply put — “children need a mother and father.”

Barwick, now herself a mother of four, notes that her mother left her father when the child was two or three years old “because she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved: a woman.” Barwick adds that she was an outspoken advocate for gay marriage and LGBT rights in her twenties, but now insists her views have changed:

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 [gays] 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.

Biology supports Barwick’s arguments since a male and female gamete are still essential to the process of procreation, but this is a point that liberals, the self-styled party of science, have been willing to overlook in their data collection. Among the claims they are fond of citing in asserting that same-sex couples make as good if not better parents is that accidental pregnancy is virtually non-existent among gay parents. But that’s mainly because any form of pregnancy is impossible for gays couples, who still require the contribution of a male’s and female’s genetic material.

In its report on Barwick’s open letter, the Daily Mail quotes LGBT family-rights educator Abigail Garner, who was herself raised by two dads:

While I sympathize with Heather’s pain caused by being abandoned by her heterosexual father, her pain has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. [Emphasis added]

We are all entitled to our personal narratives, but I strongly disagree with Heather’s contrived attempt to offer her personal story as a case for blocking other families’ access to marriage rights.

It is interesting to note as an aside that Garner places the blame for the breakup of Barwick’s father, the heterosexual parent, when Barwick writes that her mother initiated the separation. Garner’s point, nevertheless, is valid — same-sex couples could continue to marry without causing pain to children. But that would be true only on the condition that married same-sex partners agreed to remain childless. That doesn’t seem to be a concession that so-called “marriage equality” advocates have agreed to so far.

A legitimate bone of contention is that Barwick professes to speak for the many, rather than the few. “Many of us,” she writes, “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.” Whether her sense of the problem’s scope is accurate could be gauged only by further research. To date, however, studies on gay parenting all smack of author bias, which negates their scientific value.

Obviously, the conversation on the merits or follies of gay parenting is just now starting.


Howard Portnoy writes for and has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

Republished with permission from Howard Portnoy via Liberty Alliance.

Photo credit Liza

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