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What Will The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage Have on Our Children?

Children are the future of society, but because of family breakdowns, our children have suffered.

The trends and policies that support common-law relationships, easier divorce and same-sex marriages are hurting our children. Canada’s social policies relating to the family have had measurable and debilitating consequences for our children.

Common-law unions dramatically reduce the chances of the family’s survival. By age 10, over 63% of children of parents in common-law relations experience family breakdown.

Liberalized divorce laws have had a disastrous affect on children, who experience more difficulty in school and are more likely than other children to get into trouble with the law.

Formalizing same-sex marriage into public policy eliminates the previously held presumption that children are a natural occurrence in a marriage between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriage reinforces the notion that marriage is about adults only, with children given secondary consideration.

Children have a right to be raised by and to know their biological mother and father.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” (Article 16.3). The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) recognizes “that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.”

In all decisions concerning children taken by courts of law and legislative bodies, “the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration” (UNCRC, Sec. 3).

Adults can represent themselves, but children cannot promote or defend their own interests. This is why they need extra protection under the law.

Bill C-38, which gave us same sex marriage, changed the definition of parent from “natural” parent to “legal” parent, meaning that it is now the government and courts who determine parenthood, rather than biology.

To accept same-sex marriage means that as a society we accept that children have no right to both a mother and a father, no right to know who their biological parents are, and no right to be reared by their biological mother and father.

So the basic question in deciding about same-sex marriage is: What is the fundamental nature of marriage? Is it primarily to publicly recognize two adults love for and commitment to each other?  Or is it primarily for the protection and nurturing of children and to recognize children’s rights to know who their biological parents are and, if possible, to be reared by them?

When marriage is limited to the union of a man and woman, we do not have to choose between these primary purposes of marriage because they are compatible with each other. This is not true of same-sex marriage—we must choose between them (see Margaret Somerville’s presentation: What about the Children?)

In virtually every known human society, one man and one woman entering into the institution of marriage, is the ideal context for bearing and rearing children.

At the heart of the same-sex marriage argument, is whether societal needs or individual rights should prevail. A healthy society cannot exist without strong marriages and families. Our society’s very existence is dependent on producing a future generation through our children.

Therefore, the interest of the state is for children and should not have as its primary interest, the romantic relationships of adults. Same-sex marriage really means accepting that marriage is intended primarily for the benefit of the adults, and children are given only a second consideration. This viewpoint undermines the preservation of the state, because our society’s survival is dependent on our children who will form the next generation. We already know that the institutional, historical and universal view of marriage provides the best environment in which to raise our children.

Issue: Marriage & Family

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Helpful Links

Marriage Declaration signed by 50 Evangelical, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Christian as well as Muslim Leaders in defense of the traditional definition of marriage. Disponible en francais.


EFC Statement "What Is Marriage?"

Developing Church Policies on Marriage Handbook

EFC President Responds to Civil Marriage Act

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