From the heart of a gay household: ‘No’ to gay parenting

AMF lonely kidIs it my imagination, or is there some global conspiracy to tell even the deafest of politicians that not every gay person, or child of a gay household, likes the idea of gay ‘marriage’? In fact, that many of them know – and are starting to tell – what grief and loss there is to children who are forced to live without the primal kinship bond with their mum or their dad.

As this Blog has recorded, prominent gay men like Dolce & Gabbana, or Doug Mainwaring, risk reputation to warn against depriving children of the love of mother or father. And look back to the powerful testimony of a group of adult children of gay households, telling US lawmakers that there are, indeed, deep losses for children raised in same-sex households.

Look especially to the letter from Kay Faust to Justice Kennedy of the US Supreme Court, “An open letter from the child of a loving gay parent

And then, perhaps most moving of all, we read this week of another loving daughter of a lesbian mother:

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.

Read these excerpts of her story and weep:

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…

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…

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 was raised by her mother and her mother's same-sex partner. She is a former gay-marriage advocate turned children's rights activist. She is a wife and mother of four rambunctious kids.

Don’t miss the full article HERE

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4 Responses

  1. Dear Australian Marriage Forum,

    These comments represent my personal views, and not the views of the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT, of whom I am an Ordained Minister.

    Thank you for sharing Heather Barwick’s story. It proves beyond any doubt that children raised by same-gender parents can grow into normal, well adjusted people who go on to become balanced and effective parents! “Think of the Child” cannot be used as an argument against same-gender marriage. Thank you for proving that your objection to same-gender marriage has no basis in truth!

    The Bible paints a consistent picture of diversity of human relationships – all of which can be either horribly dysfunctional or empoweringly healthy! These include polygamy, rape and subsequent forced marriage, arranged marriage, marriage as a form of international alliance, concubinage, levirate marriage and maintenance of a Harem! The most famous love-story in the world, “Song of Songs” was written by a man who had a thousand wives and concubines! Nowhere in the Bible is there an example of a “Wedding” Ceremony – the only examples of marriage vows are between same-gender couples, Martha and Naomi (your people will be my people, where you live I will live, etc.) and Jonathan and David. The Bible cannot be used to prevent same-gender marriage!

    If the children of same-gender couples grow up as well-adjusted adults, and the Bible holds no objection to same-gender relationships, where does that leave Australian Marriage Forum? Please be consistent and put your support behind having one law that covers all Australians – Marriage Equality!

    Warmest Regards,


    • admin

      Thank you Brian. Yes, Heather Barwick is “well-adjusted” but she also has a hole in her life where her father should have been. You have missed the point of her article

      No doubt children of the Stolen Generation grew up as well-adjusted adults – but are you saying the state did nothing wrong by separating them from their parents? That the state did nothing wrong by forcibly adopting babies away from their teenage mothers? That the state does nothing wrong if it institutes same-sex ‘marriage’ and thereby creates, as an act of deliberate policy, motherless or fatherless children?

      The only question is whether a wrong was done to the child in each of these scenarios by forcibly depriving them of a mother or a father.

      We say yes, that is a wrong against the child. You say it is not. We disagree.

      Thank you for your comment, and we note it was not on behalf of the Baptist church.

  2. I’m looking forward to your group lobbying for laws that oblige every Christian marriage that has ended in divorce (including those of your supporters), being put back together regardless of the reasons for it’s breakdown. An institution that is indivisible in the eyes of God provides no excuse to either husband or wife to break the promise. And as you imply, any condition under which the marriage operates is better for the kids than divorce. Till death do they part, as your deity insists. When this has been achieved by your group, and you have proven that the psychological wellbeing of all affected children has been restored as a result, then you can go after easy targets like the gay community.

    • admin

      Thank you Marc, but our arguments to not pretend to rise to the level of theological positions. We just argue according to human nature: that every child has a mother and a father, and every child has the right to that primal relationship being protected – not violated – by government. Laws for same-sex ‘marriage’ are a calculated violation of the relationship a child would have had with her mother, or with her father. we consider that an injustice.

      As for divorce: tragedies happen. Likewise the death of a parent: tragedies happen. We just say that no government law should deliberately inflict on a child the tragedy of missing out on one or other parent.

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