The most common question I hear from supporters of gay marriage is “who does it hurt?”, and it’s a good question. If two men or two women want to marry each other, it doesn’t affect me. My day to day life won’t change in the slightest, so why would it even be my business? But when children are brought into the picture, that question becomes a loaded one.
Recently four adult children of gay parents, known as the “quartet of truth”,Â submitted briefs to the 5th U.S. CircuitÂ Court of Appeals opposing same-sex marriages.Â The court, which is considering whether to uphold the man-woman marriage laws in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, will hear arguments in New Orleans on Friday.
One woman, Dawn Stefanowicz, saidÂ her gay father was so preoccupied with sex that when she was in high school and brought home a male classmate, both her father and his lover propositioned him for sex.
B.N. Klein, another women raised by gay parents, said her mother and lesbian partner disdained heterosexual families completely. She didnâ€™t have a clue about the daily interactions of a husband and wife until she went into foster care.
Robert Oscar Lopez grew up so emotionally confused about his lesbian parents that he turned to a life ofÂ gay prostitution as a teen, and gay and bisexual relationships as an adult.
Of course, this isn’t the case in every gay parent family. Â Will Miller, 28, was raised by loving lesbian parents. HeÂ told the court that when he was growing up in Mississippi with his two mothers, they â€œmade it very clearâ€ he was not to lie or hide his life with them.
â€œThey loved me, and that was all that mattered. Itâ€™s all that should matter,â€ Mr. Miller wrote. My childhood â€œwas extraordinary in that it was simply ordinary.â€
Will excelled in college, and is now living a successful life, just like the two women biologists who raised him.
Sadly, that wasn’t the case for Ms. Stefanowicz. SheÂ said her life was anything but normal. â€œYou end up never having a real home.â€
â€œOur home environments have unique and unstable characteristicsâ€ due to the presence or absence of biological parents, legal parents or guardians and different sex partners of parents, wrote Ms. Stefanowicz, who spent the first 30 years of her life associated with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual subcultures and has communicated with dozens of adult children raised by gay parents.
â€œYour childhood is divided to please the adults,â€ she wrote, explaining that many adults â€” even former sex partners of a parent â€” feel they can talk about â€œwhere you live, who you visit, what schools you attend, which doctors you see, what medical procedures you have, what faith/religion you practice.â€
â€œI was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk,â€ wrote Ms. Stefanowicz, adding that her father sometimes took her on his â€œcruisingâ€ visits to gay art galleries, nude beaches and public parks.
Like other daughters of gay men she has talked with, Ms. Stefanowicz said she felt she, and her femininity, were not valued or affirmed.
This isn’t to say that being raised in a gay family will guarantee an unhealthy childhood. Lord knows there are more than enough straight families who neglect their children and raise them in disastrous environments. Whether you support gay couples raising kids or not, the fact still remains that the child is being denied a mother or a father. In some cases, that fact doesn’t matter. In other cases, it’s devastating.