In Gay Adoptions, Homosexuality, Marriage and Family, Political Correctness, Same-sex Marriage

In June 2015, 153 companies placed advertisements in Australian newspapers expressing support of “marriage equality”. (For a list of these companies, see In response, the president of the Australian Marriage Forum, Dr David van Gend, wrote the following letter to all 153 CEOs and company boards.

Dear CEO/Director,

I note your business logo on recent newspaper ads supporting so-called “Marriage Equality”.

I now invite you to put your logo, and equivalent financial support, to a newspaper ad entitled: Marriage equality? For every child the equal right to both a mum and a dad.

Marriage gives every child a mother and a father; same-sex marriage makes it impossible for a child to have both a mother and a father. That is the injustice of same-sex marriage.

Why are you supporting an injustice against the child?

By your position in favour of homosexual ‘marriage’, your company is denying future children their primal relationship with either their mum or their dad.

Your Directors are supporting the institution of motherless and fatherless families as an ideal in law—not brought about by tragic circumstance, but by deliberate Act of Parliament.

Why would a family-friendly company tell its customers that a mother just doesn’t matter to a child: any bloke and his boyfriend will be as good?

And in the face of all evidence showing the adverse consequences for young men raised without a father, why are you promoting fatherless households through instituting lesbian ‘marriage’, lesbian adoption and lesbian IVF?

Marriage as a compound right – “To marry and to found a family”

You cannot, after all, grant marriage rights without granting adoption rights and assisted-reproduction rights. This is the heart of opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’: that it means same-sex parenting, and that means children created within such a ‘marriage’ are forced to miss out on either their mother or their father. Just consider two legal facts:

  • Marriage is a compound right in law: Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Men and women of full age… have the right to marry and to found a family”. Therefore ‘gay marriage’ gives a same-sex couple the right to an exclusive relationship, but also the right to establish a family by adoption or surrogacy / IVF.
  • Some states in Australia prohibit adoption and surrogacy by same-sex couples (and by single people) because it is not considered to be in the best interests of the child. However, a federal law for same-sex ‘marriage’, with its inherent right to found a family, means state prohibitions must be repealed. Therefore a law for gay ‘marriage’ means formal, institutional approval is given to adoption, surrogacy and IVF by gay couples on an equal footing with married man-woman couples; gay ‘marriage’ means silencing longstanding legitimate concerns about gay parenting and the best interests of the child.

Clinical Facts – Same-sex parenting is not best for children

I do not doubt the good will of your Directors: the typical kind-hearted reaction to this debate is to say, “Gay marriage doesn’t hurt anybody – why not let them be happy and get married?”  But it does hurt somebody.

Heather Barwick, who was raised by a loving lesbian couple, recently published an essay entitled, “Dear gay community: your children are hurting”.1 She says:

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. 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.

Other adults raised in same-sex households are saying the same.2 Here on talk back radio I heard from ‘Amy’ who was raised by a lesbian couple and who said, all her childhood, “I desperately wanted a daddy”3. But your company appears pleased to support the institution of fatherless marriage and daddy-less homes as an ideal in law, and too bad about the needs of little girls like Amy.

Also on ABC talkback radio I heard from ‘Joe’, a family law barrister of forty years living in a gay relationship for twenty years who told me: “As a gay man in a single-sex relationship for 22 years, I find the concept of bringing children into this relationship selfish… You bring children into a relationship where they have the best possible opportunity of being nurtured… by a mother and a father.”4

Your Directors might also have bought the spin that “social science shows kids do just as well with same-sex parenting; all you need is love”. Such a soundbite is effective, but sadly not defensible. Again, your Directors are probably people who put weight on facts, not spin, so let them consider these facts:

  • The most recent, and largest, peer-reviewed study (Sullins 2015)5 finds that children raised in same-sex households have four times the rate of significant emotional problems compared to children raised by their own biological parents. While that largest and most recent study stands, your company stands guilty of promoting a family structure that has been found to be detrimental to children.
  • There are no statistically significant controlled studies that investigate the effects on children of being raised by two homosexual men. None. It is not possible to make claims about “no ill effects” when the required studies have not been done. To support gay marriage and parenting in the absence of any such studies means you are simply flying blind and supporting a prolonged psycho-logical experiment on children.
  • There are only eight studies in this field that meet the gold-standard criteria of random sample selection and statistically adequate sample size; of those four find no difference for children in same-sex households and four find detrimental effects for such children. Further the four that find no difference are deeply compromised by subsequent findings of corruption in their data base. For more detail, see a recent submission to the US Supreme Court, which concludes: The longer social scientists study the question, the more evidence of harm is found, and the fact that children with same-sex parents suffer significant harm in that condition, compared to children with opposite-sex parents, particularly among same-sex parents who identify as married, has been established beyond reasonable doubt.6
  • The other studies often quoted by the gay lobby do not meet the standards of random sample selection (i.e. the sample is biased by self-selection) or sufficient size to allow statistically valid generalisations like “there is no harm”. They are essentially anecdotal and rhetorical in value, but are no basis for public policy.

An unavoidable choice

As the leading Australian ethicist and lawyer, Professor Margaret Somerville put it: “Same-sex marriage forces us to choose between giving priority to children’s rights or to homosexual adults’ claims”.7

It is a choice – and I cannot believe that your Directors have made the conscious choice that a child’s birth-right be abolished in law.

I am confident that each of your directors would have the capacity, searching their own heart, to reflect on the child’s point of view. After all, a child has the birth-right to look up and see the only two faces on earth that reflect her own: the woman and the man who together gave her existence. A little girl should not have to look up and see two “married men” as her parents. Neither man can be a mother to her; they cannot guide her as a mother would when she is growing from girl to woman, nor model for her the complex relationship of husband and wife. Likewise, any boy needs his father’s companionship and example to help him become a man; no matter how competent and caring a lesbian partner may be, she cannot be a dad to a little boy.

You will find the community is with you if you defend a child’s right, where possible, to be raised by both their mother and their father. After all, even if you accept the spurious finding by Textor in June 2014 of 72% support for ‘marriage equality’ (which is inconsistent with Essential media findings in the 55-59% range in recent years) there is the same finding of 73% public support for a contradictory proposition in a Sexton survey from 2011:

Where possible, as a society we should try to ensure that children are raised by their natural mother and father, and promote this.

Something has to give: these two propositions are mutually exclusive. If 73% of Australians think children have the right to be raised by their mother and father then the same 72% can’t give two men the right to marry and raise motherless children.

We ask you to give us your equal support for the child-centred model of marriage, as you have given to AME for the adult-centred model of marriage. Or is the deciding factor for your company, heaven forbid, that gay adults spend money but babies do not? Surely you are not prepared to sell a baby’s birth-right for a fistful of pink dollars?

May I respectfully ask that your Directors reconsider their public advocacy for so-called ‘marriage equality’, which imposes profound inequality on those children of gay ‘marriage’ who will be deprived of either their mother or their father.

Thank you for your sincere consideration of this momentous matter, and feel free to contact me.

Yours faithfully, Dr David van Gend

President, Australian Marriage Forum


  1. Heather Barwick essay at
  2. Mainwaring and others at and and
  3. Amy interview at
  4. Joe interview at
  5. Sullins article at
  6. Supreme Court USA submission on clinical studies at
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