I raise this question at a point where a UKIP by-election candidate has called placing children with gay couples “unhealthy”, and has been called to apologise for doing so. Shasha Khan, Green Party candidate and Marisha Ray, Liberal Democrat candidate have branded this comment as “repugnant and grotesque” and ” discrimination and prejudice at its very worst”, respectively. And in many ways I agree with them. I find it difficult when one tries to defend their comments on this issue by justifying it on being a deeply religious Christian, as it flies in the face of the main teachings, ‘treat thy neighbour as thy would want to be treated.’
Yes I can accept that for many it may appear strange, but isn’t the key issue, especially when, as commented by Andy Stranack that we have over 60,000 children in care in the Uk, that we place these children in loving homes with a couple who will care, nurture, look after them and love them? By saying the comments of being ‘unhealthy’ we are going back to a key stigmatisation that has been raised time and time again against, and about people that are gay and lesbian. To put it simply, this is not true!
One time ago, it was not unconscionable in the USA to force black men, women and children to sit at the back of the bus, and to treat them in contempt, which was so heavily campaigned against by the likes of Dr Martin Luther-King. Back then, people could have perfectly said that it was ‘unhealthy’ for them to reproduce. Again, under Hitler’s Third Reich, Jews and other deemed groups/individual were singled out as being inhuman. Thankfully such views have now been challenged and we have addressed this prejudice. We are all human and deserve to be listened to and respected. The same now has to be done for those who are gay and lesbian and want to adopt, providing homes for children that want to be loved, cared for, and live in a family that will be supportive of them as they grow up.
The crisis is already here, over 60,000 children that want to be in a loving family, and people saying gay and lesbian couples – ‘no, back of the queue’, or ‘not today…you’re unhealthy’ and ‘sorry you don’t meet the prerequisite criteria.’ What I also have difficulty is with people who say they have deeply held Christian beliefs, which teach one to care for others, yet would decline to allow gay and lesbian people to raise children who are so wanting for love and to be cared for. To me that is putting oneself ahead of the needs of others, when we a solution to this crisis which is glaring back at our faces.
People against gay and lesbians raising children say, well the children will have an unbalanced upbringing. Yet they seem to adopt an ideal view when considering raising children. Can you give me an example of an ideal family? Straight couples get divorced! Doesn’t that unbalance a child’s upbringing? Also, they often forget to think if you’re a child in care waiting for someone to adopt, then the likelihood is the child has already been affected in that sense. Wouldn’t a child in that situation crave having two people raise them, irrespective of whether its a man and a woman or two people of the same sex? Also what about children that are raised by their mother, who lives with their sister because her man has either died or not present? Are we saying in that instance the child is unbalanced and will be messed up?
The key issue is, if the couple wanting to adopt can, then they should be allowed to. provided they are committed to doing so. The law in the Uk accepts this in theory at least. In practice….well that’s more of a grey area. All couples should be able to decide whether or not they want to have a family, and bring up a child.
So for those that have reservations, let’s shake things up a little. We don’t live in an ideal world…so stop trying to create the white picket fence neighbourhood…as in practice it’s only there for a select few. The key should be providing love and affection and raising a child to be good, irrespective of what sexuality the people are that raise and adopt them.
So in closing, my view is the answer can be simply put: gay and lesbian couples are just as healthy as heterosexual couples to adopt and raise a child or more. The issue should be will the child be cared for, loved and looked after, and will the couple act in the best interests of the child.