Culture,  Politics

Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting

Heather Barwick was raised by her mother and her lesbian partner, and Barwick loves them both. Nevertheless, she says that her childhood left her “hurting.” In a poignant piece for The Federalist, she writes:

Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.

Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

I predict that we will be hearing more stories like these going forward. The sexual revolutionaries have been telling us that there is no need to worry about kids growing up apart from their mother or father. “Nothing to see here. Move along.” And I am sure that they really believe the line they have been selling.

But thinking doesn’t make it so. And no matter how much the revolutionaries protest to the contrary, children do still need a mom and a dad. As surely as water will wet us and as fire will surely burn, children need what same-sex parenting by definition deprives them of. And it is a fool’s errand to think that our culture can somehow sow to the wind without reaping the whirlwind. Articles like this one are but the initial breezes of a looming storm.

[World Magazine featured Barwick in a recent story about the impact of same-sex parenting. Read it here: “The Kids Are Not Alright.”]


  • Gator Huggeybear

    Thank you for sharing. Fascinating to see the insight of the complexity of what is going on in these kids’ minds and hearts. May they find their rest in Christ alone.

  • Michael Jefferson

    According to the American Sociological Association, “Children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as children raised by different-sex parents…Claims by Marriage Opponents about the wellbeing of children are unsupported by any social science study published to date…Their claims neither undermine the social science consensus nor establish a basis for upholding the Marriage Bans.”
    The sexual revolutionaries have substance. I’m sure there are people out there who regret not having been raised by gay parents. I’m one of them.

    • Paul Reed

      Right. And let us for the sake of argument suppose that children of gay parents fare worse (despite studies and their children saying otherwise). Even if that were true, that’s still not an argument to say who can get married. We wouldn’t ban remarriage if it were found that those children fare worse. I really expected better argumentation from a blog that bills itself as based upon the Bible.

  • Paul Reed

    sigh. This is a game you can’t win. All the gays need to do is produce counterexamples showing people who love their gay parents. And they’ve done this. I honestly really expected a better argument from this blog.

    • Jeff Clement

      I don’t think of her experience as making an argument for or against gay marriage. This is one woman’s human experience of a sense of loss in a similar way a child experiences divorce. Adults should greatly consider the experiences of children when making decisions that will affect them.

      • Roy Fuller

        Jeff, you are correct, those are the correct lessons to take away from this one woman’s story. However, as Paul points out, I suspect this article is posted here in support of an argument against same-sex marriage.

    • Christiane Smith

      PAUL, by ‘the gays’, do you mean people who have same-sex attraction? As for ‘producing’ examples of people who love their gay parents, please note that Denny’s post mentions that Heather says she loves her parents.
      Thing is, in our Christian faith, we must affirm the dignity of the human person, regardless of their circumstances. If we fail to do this, we do not honor the gift of soul to that individual that has come from God, nor the ‘image’ of God in that person, nor the event of the Incarnation of Our Lord where He assumed our humanity fully.
      Sometimes how we speak of others tells a lot more about ourselves, and for a Christian to speak publicly about ‘the others’ sometimes does not reflect what we intend to the world Christ has sent us to as servants. I am as guilty as the next one forgetting this, but we must try to reflect respect for all people if we are speaking as Christ-followers or we do not honor Him before the world.

  • Matt Martin

    “My dad wasn’t a great guy, and after she left him he didn’t bother coming around anymore.”

    Yeah, a loving father and mother is always the ideal situation…but sticking with the traditional family model wouldn’t have filled that hole because her dad wasn’t a good father. In turn, she probably benefitted more by having two loving mothers than one loving mother and a deadbeat dad.

  • Chris Ryan

    This is the same tired argument that’s used to prevent gay parents from adopting children in states like Florida. Its a red herring. While I agree that a mommy & daddy are most ideal, for many kids that’s simply not available. I’d rather have children raised by gay parents than have them raised by the state, or in orphanages and revolving door foster homes. Better that they have 2 parents who love them than 1 or none at all. As my coach used to say to the linebackers, ‘Don’t get tricked by the head fake!’

  • Nathan Cesal

    Kids fair best when parents are in a stable, healthy relationship. For some parents, the most stable and healthy is a same-sex relationship.

  • James Bradshaw

    The problem is that the biological father had no wish to see his own daughter after her parents split up.

    How is that the fault of the mother and her partner?

    Of course the daughter’s going to feel that something is “missing”.

    Even if they had remained married, the guy was likely to be a jerk, anyhow. What this has to do with gay marriage I’ve no idea. If anything, it’s a warning about trying to insist that gay men and women marry heterosexuals. It’s not likely to work.

  • Chris Madison

    The thing that is so confusing to me about this whole thing is that back in the 90’s the Atlantic magazine surprised everyone with the headline- “Dan Quayle was right.” Quayle was ridiculed for arguing for the importance of fathers. The Atlantic article and many other studies showed just how right Quayle was. Now, that seems to be a moot point. Kids are raised best in whatever situation works for you. Fads, cultural trends, the breakdown of the family due to the sexual revolution,and the whims of the media elite should not keep Christians from proclaiming God’s ideal as it is clearly proclaimed in scripture- Marriage is between a man and a woman. Children are best raised in that relationship as has been demonstrated by the Atlantic article and many other studies. This is why God designed it that way and we should not back down from it.

    • Paul Reed

      Matt Walker, let me field that question for you. It’s not important what the woman thinks of gays any more than it’s important about what you or me thinks of gays. The question is what God thinks about this. So to answer your question, her “contribution to the discussion” is about as equal with your wife’s contribution if she came on the forum and discussed an interesting bowel movement she had yesterday. So, I would call that a “no, she doesn’t have a contribution to the discussion”.

  • senecagriggs yahoo

    I worked with a 10 year old kid once; The 2 adults were lesbians, the partner was the dominant one. They brought him to me because he had put on a suit and sat in his room waiting to die. Let me just say this, he was profoundly unhappy with his “alternative family.” The lesbian’s relationship was seriously dysfunctional. After a couple of meetings they chose not to return. They were hoping to find someone who would support their lesbian relationship AND help the kid. I wasn’t that guy.

    • Christiane Smith

      Perhaps soon, the Church will find ways to minister to the children of all kinds of ‘alternative’ unions in ways that honor Christ. Surely that is something that the Church cannot neglect, as these children are not responsible for the decisions of their parents, and still the children very much need the Church to point them towards Christ..

      • senecagriggs

        Christiane, I liked the kid and he was happy enough to come see me. But the lesbian partner feared me so they took him elsewhere (even though I very carefully never suggested to the 10 year old my concerns about his Mom and her friend.) Remember, the 10 year old was seriously suicidal. My singular goal was to keep him from killing himself.

    • James Bradshaw

      Seneca, I know more than one woman whose biological father was around … and who decided to use them when they were little girls for his own sexual gratification.

      How many years of therapy do you suppose this ideal scenario required?

      • senecagriggs

        James, I knew a woman who at 65 years of age still didn’t know that her biological grandfather raped his own daughter to produce the grand-daughter – my friend. She didn’t know that her favorite “aunt” was actually her biological mother. My friend ended up living a fairly positive life. She thought her biological father was the man her “aunt” ended up marrying – a very decent man. She mourned him when he died.

  • Curt Day

    But Heather’s testimony isn’t the testimony of every child who grows up in home with same-sex parents. Thus, the suggestion made by the title of the post goes unproven despite Heather’s experience. Basic logic would lead us to the same conclusion.

    We might also note that there are quite a few kids from families with straight parents who are hurting quite a bit as well.

  • Johnny Mason

    You can tell how compelling and important her argument and statement are by the reactions she is getting. There is a lot of hate and vitriol being thrown at her (just look at the comments on her article). Look at how people dismiss her claim in the comments here. They know deep down that there is something wrong with a child who does not have a mother or father; who is purposely denied that because of the selfishness of their parents.

    She says that she missed having a father. That it hurt her. That she was negatively affected by that loss, and the usual suspects come out and blame her or dismiss her feelings as if they mean nothing. The callousness shown her is heart breaking.

    If you dont think gay marriage has anything to do with children and what rights they have, then you are not paying attention.

    To those who claim that there are families with straight parent that harm their kids, you would be correct. There are abusive fathers and mothers, gay and straight. Sin knows no bounds. But with same-sex parents, you are hurting the kids by that very set up. You are denying the child a father or a mother. And no matter how good a parent they are, they will never be able to remedy that. They will never be able to fix that. They will never be able to prevent the loss and the pain a child suffers by not having a mother or father.

    • James Bradshaw

      Johnny, I dont think anyone here is angry with this woman. I, for one, just don’t agree with her implied conclusions and are annoyed that others are exploiting this opportunity to make a case against gay marriage.

      She admits her biological father was a louse who abandoned her after he divorced her mother.

      Dont you think this story would have ended differently if her father continued a relationship with her? Do you suppose his abandonment would have been more tolerable if her mother married a man?

      Look, when it comes to parenthood, yes .. the ideal is for biological parents to care for and support the chidren they brought into this world. This can’t always be a binary issue though. Sometimes the ideal isn’t possible because of death or divorce. Sometimes, people just make horrible parents, and the better option is for a child to be raised by someone else. Unless you’re also against heterosexual adoption, too?

  • Don Johnson

    And a parent that is not like Jesus is less than optimal also. EVERY child tends to look at the family where they grew up thru the lens of what they lacked, not what they had that was better than what others might have had. This is one reason for the story of Cinderella, as it is everyone’s story in one way or another. No parent is perfect, all of us make mistakes. I know that what I would wish is that every child grow up in a loving home, as I know this is not always the case; and things after that are less important.

  • Gus Nelson

    When people come out with a story about how their childhood affected them as adults, people often listen with a sympathetic ear (cue Oprah nodding with a concerned look on her face). However, when it comes to the issue of gay parenting, suddenly the sympathy for the child comes to an abrupt and screeching halt. Why might that be?

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