Comment: ‘Concern’ for the children of gay parents is just 2013′s acceptable face of bigotry

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Writing for PinkNews, Christopher Gen argues that “concern” for the children of gay parents is just 2013′s acceptable face of bigotry; he argues that this isn’t a ‘gay rights’ issue – it’s a human rights one.

Social progression is a concept lost on some people, isn’t it? Equal rights for gay men and women seem like a deluded fairytale and that’s all it should be – cause let’s face it, them fickle gays will get bored of marriage once the novelty wears off.

Even though the equal marriage bill leisurely strolled through the House of Commons, being passed quite comfortably, there are still those that either voted against it or abstained. Personally I think abstaining is cowardly. I don’t believe in this ‘on the fence’ malarkey. You’ve had decades to form an opinion, so pick a side.

Since its flamboyant conception, the gay marriage bill has sparked mixed reactions from a lot of people. The idea of a man marrying another man completely repaints this age-long image of what the union of marriage should be. Well, it’s about time we moved away from that image and realised that the very foundations of normality are being reshaped and redefined, whether you’re on board or not.

It’s argued that by allowing homosexuals to marry, a lot of upset will be caused. Yes, it likely will provoke angry reactions from the more archaic-minded creatures of our society, as well as the prehistoric members of the Conservative Party, but that argument can be slain quite simply. Do you not think that we, the LGBT society (and friends), were a little ‘upset’ whilst we went through decades of prejudice and segregation? I’m sick of those who are against the gay lobby stomping around and acting like they’re the solitary voice for the silent majority. People also need to be aware that this isn’t a matter of gay v. straight. We’re not a new, exotic breed suddenly campaigning for equal rights. This is a battle that’s been waged for years and it’s not just members of the gay community that are pro-equal marriage. Straight people also support it because its 2013, not the dark ages. This isn’t a case of special interest group campaigning for a niche piece of regulation – if anyone is in a minority here, it’s those who cite ‘concerns’ over ‘traditional values’ as an excuse for belittling and discrimination.

Something else that goes hand-in-hand with the gay marriage debate is the issue of gay couples raising children. There’s a fair amount of scaremongering emerging from the mouths of some politicians in regards to this. David Jones, the adorable Welsh Secretary/stand-up comedian, recently expressed his belief that gay couples “cannot provide a warm and safe environment” in which to raise children. You leave my inability to bleed a radiator out of this, Jones.

But seriously, the idea of gay parents or equal marriage is no longer a novelty, so why the seemingly acceptable hostility? We don’t merely dwell in the more cosmopolitan cities or exist only the pages of the media. Why is it perceived as ‘odd’ that we want to be afforded the same opportunities and rights as everyone else?

I’ll admit that it is a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s sweeping western society. The standard family configuration has changed, and same-sex households are common in America. Yet the mention of a child having gay parents still provokes social and political outrage. We are a slave to this idea of normality. Heterosexual families are composed of adopted children, step-children and the like – yet no one points the finger and cites the bible at them. Not to mention the countless cases of neglect and child abuse in hetro-households that seems to go overlooked. I’m sure that’s a more pressing matter.

Gay couples have more than earned the right to be both married and parents, so why is this prejudice still continuing? I’m tired of hearing same-sex parents being called ‘abominations’, ‘jokes’ or worse being described as a front for paedophilia.

Going by the statistics, if I were a child and was given the choice I’d opt for gay parents – not because I think they would provide any better an upbringing, but because their track record is a lot less colourful than the heterosexual parents. Will this change in time? Maybe; but if you don’t give us a chance you’ll never find out. Every household goes through its ups and downs, hetro-and-homo alike. Marriage and family are about commitment, loyalty, respect and love. Just because the gender of the parents is the same, doesn’t give them a handicapped.

This isn’t merely a phase or something that will blow over. The gay community isn’t a bratty child having a tantrum and stomping its feet – and contrary to popular belief, we don’t exist in a self-imposed gay vacuum. Look at the amount of straight people joining in the call. This isn’t an issue about ‘gay right’; it’s an issue about human rights. We are humans humbly asking to be treated like everyone else and you can fight us all you want, but you can’t stop society from progressing.

As with all comment pieces the views expressed do not necessary reflect those of