Of all the arguments against same-sex marriage, the most immediately compelling is that it is hurts children. If children have a right to anything, it is to begin life with a mother and father.
Death, divorce, abandonment, a single parent's mistakes -- any one of these deprives children of a mother or father. But only same-sex marriage would legally ensure that children are deprived from birth of either a mother or a father.
Why, then, doesn't a child's right to begin life with a mother and father have any impact on the millions of people who either advocate same-sex marriage or can't make up their minds on the issue?
Among gay activists the reason is narcissism. Though gays already have the right to raise children without an opposite-sex parent and the right to adopt children, gay activists want society to enshrine one-sex parenting with its highest seal of approval -- marriage. For gay activists, the fact that a child does best with a good mother and good father is of no significance (or worse, denied). All that matters is what is good for gays.
And what about the heterosexuals who support same-sex marriage? They ignore the issue of its effects on children because they either do not want to confront the issue or because they are so intimidated by the liberation trinity -- "equality," "rights" and "tolerance" -- that even children's welfare becomes a non-issue.
Advocates of same-sex marriage have, therefore, many good reasons not to talk about issue of children. Even the most passionate advocate does not argue that it is better for a child to have two mothers and no father or two mothers and no father.
But, the same-sex marriage advocates will respond, while children may not be better off, they will be just as well off, with two fathers and no mother or two mothers and no father.
This claim, however, is dishonest. So dishonest that it leads to a certain cognitive dissonance among many of those who make it. On the one hand, they don't really believe that mothers (or fathers) are useless, and they do not wish to lie. On the other hand, they know that they have to say that a mother and father are no better for children than two same-sex parents or they will lose the public's support for same-sex marriage. Were they to admit the obvious truth -- that same-sex marriage means that society will legally and deliberately deprive increasing numbers of children of either a mother or a father -- few Americans would support the legal redefinition of marriage and family.
So, same-sex marriage advocates now argue that children do not do better with a mother and a father.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”