To Whom Do Children Belong? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Parental Rights


Melissa Moschella has written an insightful, powerful two part piece on how the imposition of same-sex marriage impacts parental rights and results in increased intrusion by the state into family affairs. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here; both were published by Public Discourse. Ms. Moschella explains the basis of her argument thusly:

“Same-sex marriage is often touted as a harmless expansion of individual liberty. Yet the legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples has far from innocuous consequences, particularly with regard to children’s well-being and religious liberty. Redefining marriage also strikes at our fundamental liberties in deeper though less obvious ways.

A crucial aspect of liberty is respect for subsidiarity—in particular, recognition that the family, based on marriage, is a pre-political community with natural and original authority over its internal affairs, especially the education and upbringing of children. Redefining marriage in law to include same-sex couples undermines the principled basis for the primacy of parental childrearing authority by obliterating the link between marriage and procreation as well as the norm of conjoined biological parenthood that conjugal marriage laws help to foster. What was once almost unanimously understood to be a normative ideal—the intact biological family composed of married mother and father with their biological children—is now culturally (and to a large extent legally) demoted to being merely one among an increasingly wide variety of family forms.”

Copyright 2015