By Mike McManus

Grace Evans, an 11-year-old, asked Minnesota legislators last month: “Which parent do I not need – my mom or my dad?”  No one answered her. She paused 8 seconds, and added, “I hope you can see that every child needs a mom and a dad. Please don’t change your law on marriage to say otherwise.”

Nevertheless, the House committee voted in favor of a gay marriage bill, though it’s not yet adopted by Minnesota as approved by nine states and Washington D.C.

DOFH FamilyBill May of Catholics for the Common Good asks Grace’s question from an adult’s perspective:  “Do we need an institution that unites kids with their moms and dads? Yes or No?

“Do children have the right to know and, as far as possible, be cared for by their moms and dads? Does anyone have the right to create children with the intention of depriving them of their mother or father or both?”

Children have been the missing ingredient in the debate over same-sex marriage (SSM). They were hardly mentioned even by the attorney supporting Prop 8 in California before the Supreme Court, which states: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Why? Children need the love of both parents who made them as they grow slowly to maturity over two decades.  Marriage unites that child with his or her parents, and gives a safe, loving environment in which they can grow into wholesome adults.

By law SSM deprives a child of one parent.  It a cruel act and a heartless one.

As Grace put it, “Which parent do I not need – my mom or dad?”

A study soon to be published by Kansas State Professor of Family Studies Walter Schumm reports that 58% of children raised by lesbians call themselves gay.  Those were the results when asked of only children of lesbians in their 20s – presumably after they’d been able to work out any adolescent confusion.

Only 1.7% of Americans identify themselves as gay or lesbian, and another 1.8% say they are bi-sexual according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California.

Therefore, society has an interest in maintaining the traditional definition of marriage.  Is that discriminatory of gays and lesbians?

No.  Here’s evidence. From May to November last year, same-sex marriage was permitted in California, and there were 18,000 gay or lesbian unions.  However, that is a tiny percentage of the 646,000 gays and lesbians in California (1.7% of 38 million residents).

It is time to acknowledge a shocking fact.  Gays and lesbians are really NOT interested in marrying.  Only 5.5% did so when given the opportunity.

My question for the Supreme Court is this: why should 5% of 1.7% of the population force a change in the traditional definition of marriage that would deny children a parent?

For thousands of years in every culture, marriage has meant one thing.  Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.”

Prof. Peter Kreeft of Kings College and Boston College asks, “Do squares have three sides because we say so?” No, that’s a triangle. “We can call squares triangles, but that does not make them into triangles. Calling cats dogs does not make them dogs.  And calling homosexual friendships marriages does not make them marriages.”

He acknowledges that the rising demand to redefine marriage to include same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples “is often motivated by good will, the will to fairness and happiness.”  However the consensus of all societies before our own, “the vast majority of all mankind, a cross section of all times, places, cultures and religions” makes it highly unlikely that Massachusetts or some other state is correct in redefining marriage.

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council believes the Supreme Court will uphold the Defense of Marriage Act in which the Federal Government defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. If the Court were to overturn DOMA, allowing SSM in states which approve it, the Court “would create new imbalances that would not recognize same-sex couples” in other states not granting that recognition. It is a very slippery slope.

“States do not have the right or power to change the meaning of words in Federal law. The Federal Government should abide by a uniform national standard.”

Scripture puts it this way: “ For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

Eleven-year-old Grace Evans is right. She needs both her mother and father.

Copyright © 2013 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist.