Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott (the small mercy in that title being the word former) is at it again.
He’s off to tell a group of Americans with their heads in the sand and their feet firmly planted in 1950 that: “We shouldn’t try to change something without understanding it, without grasping why it is that one man and one woman open to children until just a very few years ago has always been considered the essence of marriage and the heart of family.”
The heart of the family, surely, is love, not how many parents you have or what gender they are, or who they sleep with (is there any topic children care less about than their parents’ sex lives?).
My heart breaks every time we have this discussion.
Every time I hear another person argue that preventing same sex marriage in some way helps “the family” or is about “protecting children” it’s the same. I am torn between being furiously angry and profoundly sad.
And as a knot in my stomach sits heavily, a little voice in my head repeats once more what I’ve always said to myself: “What’s so great about having a “normal” family anyway?”
I’m 32-years-old. My parents are two of the most loving, supportive, generous, wonderful and awesome people in the world.
I come from a “non-traditional” family. But you better believe I grew up in homes full of love, encouragement and joy.
And I shouldn’t be made to feel bad about my family. Neither should anyone else.
A few years ago Penny Wong appeared on Q&A and addressed this exact issue, in one of the most eloquent smackdowns of this kind of attitude you will ever watch.
“It is sad I think that some families feel that they have to justify who they are because when you say those things, Joe, what you’re saying to not just me, but people like me is that the most important thing in our lives, which is the people we love, is somehow less good, less valued. And if you believe that then you believe that, but I have a different view,” she said when fellow panelist and now Australia’s representative in the United States, Joe Hockey, said he believed children do best with a mother and father.
Asked by Tony Jones if Hockey’s view was hurtful, Wong (then a mother of one, but now a mother of two) replied: “Of course. But I know what my family is worth.”
Me too Senator, me too.
Here’s the thing about all those claims that “having a mum and dad is better blah blah blah”. The data doesn’t back them up.
You know what the data actually says?
It says there’s no discernible difference.