News Articles

MARRIAGE DIGEST: Canadian lesbians & father named as legal parents of boy; survey says — teens not so liberal

TORONTO, Ontario (BP)–The highest court in Ontario expanded the legal definition of the family Jan. 2, issuing a landmark ruling that allows a 5-year-old boy legally to have three parents — two mothers and a father.

The lawsuit involves a lesbian couple, unnamed in the lawsuit, who several years ago began examining various ways they could have a child. They declined to use anonymous sperm donation and instead asked a family friend if he would become the biological father and also play a role in the child’s upbringing, according to the International Herald Tribune. The man agreed, and the boy was born.

But under provincial law, the child could have only two parents. The man, along with the biological mother, were named the legal parents. The mother’s same-sex partner could have adopted the boy, but the father would have lost his parental rights — something the lesbian couple wanted to avoid. So, they filed a lawsuit asking that all three adults be considered parents.

The Ontario Court of Appeal agreed with the couple, ruling that legislators who wrote a 1970s law concerning the rights of out-of-wedlock children could not have foreseen future fertility advancements, according to Today’s Family News, a news service of Focus on the Family Canada. The court is the same one that in 2003 issued a decision legalizing “gay marriage.”

“The possibility of legally and socially recognized same-sex unions and the implications of advances in reproductive technology were not on the radar screen [in the 1970s],” the judges stated.

The man since has fathered a child with another woman. The two couples have dinner together weekly, the International Herald Tribune reported. The Tribune also reported that one of women in the lesbian relationship said the father’s role “could not have been filled by her or her partner.”

Conservatives criticized the ruling.

“We condemn it, because we know from social science research that … on virtually every indices, whether it’s economic, academic, mental stability, social welfare … children do best when they’re raised by their married biological mom and dad. And that’s not the case here,” Dave Quist, executive director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, told Today’s Family News.

The ruling could have a ripple effect throughout Canada, Quist said.

“If partners separate and join up with somebody else and they ask for legal status, where does it end?” he asked “Do we get three, four, five, six parents legally involved? If a lesbian couple wanted to have children and they had a sperm donor, what if the biological dad wanted to be a legal parent but [unlike in this case] the lesbian couple said no? What legal standing does an egg or a sperm donor have?”

IMPROVED DIALOGUE IN MASS.? — Pro-family groups in Massachusetts are promoting an initiative they hope will build mutual respect and improve dialogue with opponents of “gay marriage” while reducing the name-calling. Under the initiative promoted by the Massachusetts Family Institute and VoteOnMarriage.org, both sides of the “gay marriage” debate will come together in coming months in forums and “develop policy recommendations on ways to build bridges and promote positive dialogue,” a statement said. The groups noted that supporters of a proposed constitutional marriage amendment have been called “hateful” and “bigoted.”

“The tone and rhetoric around this public policy issue has escalated to a frenzied level, too often with shouting that does nothing promote understanding,” Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute said. “Denouncing individuals as bigots does not bring people with honest differences together. We would like to work with our opponents to raise the quality of the dialogue.”

Massachusetts remains the lone state to recognize “gay marriage,” and an amendment that would prohibit such legally recognized unions passed the state legislature in early January. It must pass once more if it is to make the 2008 ballot.

“I have come to know my political opponent Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality as a gentleman who has strong personal convictions,” Mineau said. “I believe that if asked he would come to the table in good faith to advance meaningful dialogue that his supporters also would embrace — today begins the process of asking.”

TEENS NOT SO LIBERAL? — For the second time in the last year, a new survey has found that teenagers and young adults aren’t as supportive of “gay marriage” as previously thought. The latest one, taken as part of the MacNeil/Lehrer Productions’ Generation Next project, found that 47 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds support “gay marriage,” 46 percent oppose it. It surveyed 579 young people.

Early last year Gallup released a survey showing that teenagers ages 13-17 were almost evenly split on the issue of “gay marriage” — 51 percent supporting it, 49 percent opposing it. Polls generally show that more than 60 percent of the general population opposes “gay marriage.”

Homosexual activists typically argue that a majority of young people support “gay marriage.” The latest poll questions that argument. Pro-family leaders have long said that when young people settle down and marry, they become more conservative.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage.

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust