Empowering young Australians to be a clear Christian voice

On tradies & marriage: open letter to Matt Young

Bright blue marriage

Dear Matt,

You are in a position of great influence in our nation. Your words are powerful and shape public opinion.

Thank you for your courage to tackle the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. You have made serious efforts to give voice to both sides of the debate, and I applaud you for that.

I was however grieved by the way you made a mockery of a valid point raised by Ros Phillips of FamilyVoice Australia: marriage has always been a joining of two opposites – a man and a woman.

I wonder how much hurt and offense was caused especially in the LGBT community as a result of your articles and the tone you adopted. It was not a constructive way to discuss marriage.

I understand that you are frustrated that so-called “marriage equality” has not come to Australia.

Thank you too for sharing your experiences growing up with same-sex attraction. It must have been very challenging to be bullied during your teenage years.

Like you, bisexual English professor Robert Oscar Lopez – no stranger to the LGBT community – did not have an easy childhood. He writes:

Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A’s.

Inside, however, I was confused. When your home life is so drastically different from everyone around you, in a fundamental way striking at basic physical relations, you grow up weird. I have no mental health disorders or biological conditions. I just grew up in a house so unusual that I was destined to exist as a social outcast.

Robert is not unconcerned about the challenges faced by the LGBT community. He says:

Gay men were not necessarily becoming happier simply because taboos crumbled and it was easier for them to have sex. Eating disorders, suicide, depression, and addiction were higher among gay and bisexual men than among other groups. In 2010, a report by the Center for Disease Control revealed that men who had sex with men were still contracting HIV at 44 times the rate of other men-despite decades of activism by a muscular and highly visible gay movement. 

Robert believes redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would not solve these emergencies. His experiences growing up without a father convinced him that children need both a mum and a dad:

Having a mom and a dad is a precious value in its own right and not something that can be overridden, even if a gay couple has lots of money, can send a kid to the best schools, and raises the kid to be an Eagle Scout.

It’s disturbingly classist and elitist for gay men to think they can love their children unreservedly after treating their surrogate mother like an incubator, or for lesbians to think they can love their children unconditionally after treating their sperm-donor father like a tube of toothpaste.

Doug Mainwaring - gay against ssm

Another homosexual man, Doug Mainwaring, opposes same-sex marriage based on reason and experience

Doug first recognised his strong yearning for men at age eight, but later married a woman and adopted a son. Unfortunately, a few years later his marriage ended and he started dating men. He confesses:

At first, I felt liberated. I dated some great guys, and was in a couple of long-term relationships. Over several years, intellectual honesty led me to some unexpected conclusions: (1) Creating a family with another man is not completely equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.

“Genderless marriage is not marriage at all. It is something else entirely,” he says.

Even homosexual dad Frank Ligtvoet, writing in the New York Times, recognises the loss his daughter suffers in not having a mother:

Sometimes when my daughter, who is 7, is nicely cuddled up in her bed and I snuggle her, she calls me Mommy,” he writes. “My daughter says ‘Mommy’ in a funny way, in a high-pitched voice. Although I refer the honours immediately to her birth mom, I am flattered. But saddened as well, because she expresses herself in a voice that is not her own. It is her stuffed-animal voice. She expresses not only love; she also expresses alienation. She can role-play the mother-daughter relationship, but she cannot use her real voice, nor have the real thing.

These men, despite their own struggles, all recognise that men and women are inherently different. They complement each other and bring different contributions to a relationship. 

Could it be that there is indeed something truly good and beautiful worth investigating about traditional marriage? Could it be that cultures throughout history have recognised marriage between a man and a woman because it is the prime institution of social justice that protects the rights and well-being of children?

Would you consider the possibility that, perhaps, it’s better to focus on picking up the pieces of a broken marriage culture, rather than weakening marriage by redefining it?

Thank you for reading this, and I hope we can continue to talk about marriage with sensitivity and respect.

Jim Collins small

Jim Collins

Tasmania state officer for FamilyVoice Australia


6 comments on “On tradies & marriage: open letter to Matt Young

  1. John
    October 29, 2013

    I think you are writing more about “child rearing’ in this article. Look at the children in residential care and their experiences. Some parents are so problematic that they continue these problems to their children such as drug addiction, domestic violence.. these kids are better off having 2 men raising them regardless of the orientation. Also. what if the mother dies? Speaking of rearing, in this case we might as well have polygamy as it can be a great solution. No child will grow up motherless or fatherless because they will have five to ten or so other mothers and fathers to take care of them for. In terms of child rearing, even heterosexual men avoid and find this evil. So the samples you used do not have to be gay to oppose this.

    In terms of marriage, originally it is a socially sanctioned ceremony to create a psychosocial condition. This is important so that people can accept and validate their love for each other in this current system. People regardless of orientation should not be denied this ceremony.

  2. Simon Hunt
    October 29, 2013

    Dear Jim –
    That you have managed to find an unhappy gay man and an unhappy bisexual does not preclude the subjective nature of either your or their comments and conclusions. As both a gay man and a father, I am here to tell you that you do a great disservice to many children around Australia in your attempt to judge parenting by the gender or sexuality of their parents.
    Do you ever stop to think of the effect that you could have on them with your words?
    Anyone could provide a horrific list of quotes on male-female relationships by Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden, but the words of these three heterosexuals would no more summarise the experience and beliefs of heterosexual men than your two homosexual examples.
    And while you remind Matt Young that he is in a position of great influence, I remind you – as the moderator of a site that is meant to be “Empowering young Australians to be a clear Christian voice” – that the Christian church is beset internationally with a pedophilia scandal amongst its leadership. Where are your words on this, on a christian youth site, no less? What of your (supposed) responsibility to young christians? Why do only the victims of christian pedophilia speak of this topic, while the leadership, the adherents, and the bloggers continue an unforgivable silence? Every article you write about adult sexuality is time that would better spent confronting the crisis in your religion – you owe it to the children to prioritise them. Take responsibility.

    • Voice4Change
      October 29, 2013

      Dear Simon, thanks for raising a very valid point regarding the failure of the church in the area of sexuality.
      I hope you understand I am not passing judgement on the parenting capabilities of any individual.
      I do respectfully argue that children need both a male and and female role model. Any child who grows up without either a mother or a father suffers a loss, and that loss needs to be grieved.
      The examples I’ve raised are people who have been able to recognise the impact of the loss of a parent.
      And the question at hand – should we dismantle the institution of marriage, through the redefinition of what it actually means – needs to be assessed for society as a whole.

      I don’t believe it should. Nor do many others.

      We may disagree, but I’m not aiming to denigrate those with a different view.

      Thank you for taking time to comment.


  3. Monique
    October 30, 2013

    Well done Jim – a balanced, well-thought and respectful open letter. I don’t think the same can be said about 99% of articles.

  4. earleydaysyet
    October 30, 2013

    With regard to your first quoted example, the gentleman who felt that growing up “different” from those around him warped and alienated him for life…

    I am a TCK (Third Culture Kid). Along with many of my closest friends (none of whom are from, or currently live in, Australia), I grew up in countries not-my-own AND came “home” to a country-not-my-own. Do I think that no parents should be allowed to work internationally while raising their kids? No. Do I think that I suffered from the “differences” between my family’s culture/traditions and the cultures/traditions in which we lived? Sure. Do I think, as an adult, that I would’ve preferred the static, boring, monocultural lives of my now-peers? Absolutely not. But some in my situation do believe that, and that’s their truth, their reality.

    Being raised “different” is absolutely NOT inherently a bad thing.

  5. Joe
    October 30, 2013

    Hello Jim, I am a mother of four beautiful boys. My eldest child was born to a different father. My son struggled for many years because his father was absent from his life. I had a discussion at dinner the other night with well educated people about my opinion regarding children raised in a home with two people of the same sex. They were horrified by my belief that we should consider the wants of the child first instead of the yearning desire for two same sex parents to raise children. They referred to me as being homophobic. I was distraught. They stated that two same sex parents are better than abusive ones. I whole heartedly agree….. However I tried to explain the hurt my son experienced whole growing up without a father. I then explained that my perspective was not born from homophobia but a realisation that wherever possible, children need a female and male parent. I raised my son with love, compassion and was determined to be both parents. It did not work. He is a beautiful boy filled with insecurity because I was not and cannot replace his father. Over many years there have been millions of books written about the difference between sexes and what they contribute to the raising of children. I have seen the pain from the eyes of a child. Thank goodness for step dads.

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This entry was posted on October 29, 2013 by in Marriage & sexuality and tagged , , , .

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