Gay Family Want 3 Parents For Childby 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Toronto, Ontario) In the first case of its kind in Canada, possibly the world, a court is being asked to designate a lesbian couple and their son's biological father all the boy's legal parents. One partner, the biological mother, and the father already officially are the legal parents. The other partner is seeking to be named the third legal guardian. Both biological parents support the application by the mother's
partner. Since the case involves a minor the names of all involved are protected
by the court. Final submissions were made this week to the Ontario Court of Appeal - the highest court in Ontario.
"The family has evolved over the years in a way that the law should recognize the reality of this little boy," the father's lawyer, Alfred Mamo, told the Globe and Mail.
"his reality being that he's got two mothers and a father with whom he thrives.
They all want this for their son." The lawyer for the partner seeking to be
the third parent argues that Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms would be
violated if she is rejected. "It's discriminatory, because one of them gets
legally recognized -- the biological mother -- but the non-biological mother,
who is equally part of the process except for the biological bits, can't be
legally recognized even though they both decided to have a child, planned for
the child, arranged for the procreation and the birth, and they both jointly
parent the child," attorney Peter Jervis said.
Conservative social action groups, including the Catholic Civil Rights League, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and Focus on the Family have filed a so-called friend of the court brief opposing the appeal. In 2003 a lower court rejected the partner's attempt to be listed as a co-parent.
In his ruling, Mr. Justice David Aston said the woman plays the role of parent to the child in every sense imaginable, and suggested that allowing the trio to share equal rights as parents would be in the boy's best interests. "The child is a bright,
healthy, happy individual who is obviously thriving in a loving family that
meets his every need," he said. "The applicant has been a daily and consistent
presence in his life. She is fully committed to a parental role."
But Ontario law, he ruled, binds his hands. Provincial family law allows two parents of the opposite sex, or two parents of the same sex, but not three parents.
Among the Court of Appeal justices hearing the case is Chief Justice Roy
McMurtry. The court under McMurtry was the first in Canada to strike down
the ban on same-sex marriage leading to similar rulings in most other provinces
and resulting in the federal government rewriting marriage law to provide for
A year ago, I posted an article suggesting that there is a relationship between racism and the Christian Right. Here is another shocking quote from an advocate of "ex-gay" groups, Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf, a member of the advisory board of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). NARTH is an organization that attempts to give crackpot "ex-gay" theories scientific legitimacy, and its President Joseph Nicolosi was featured at Boston's Love Won Out conference last October at Tremont Temple Baptist Church, a predominantly black church. Dr. Schoenewolf said:
With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America. It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people, and that it was the Africans themselves who first enslaved their own people. They sold their own people to other countries, and those [slaves] brought to Europe, South America, America, and other countries, were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa. But if one even begins to say these things one is quickly shouted down as though one were a complete madman.
WTF?!?!? That's because you would have to be a madman to say something this fucking racist. To think, Tremont Temple Baptist Church, a church with historic ties to abolitionism, would host an organization with an open racist on their advisory board is sick, cruel irony. I only wish we had had this quote last year to ask the pastor of Tremont Temple what he thought of Dr. Schoenewolf's comments.
Schoenewolf dregs up some shockingingly primeval justifications of the slave trade, even going back to eighteenth and nineteenth century portrayals of Africans as "savages." He rehashes the old pro-slavery arguments that America was "Christianizing" and "civilizing" Africans. The idea that Africa may have had its own, proud, sophisticated culture (nah, they were just a bunch of primitive bushmen) and may have wanted to industrialize on its own terms (yea, even that they may have had the right to do this!) escapes the good doctor.
These terms were also applied to other victims of European conquests, e.g. Native Americans, Aztecs, Incas, Africans, Indians, the Chinese, aboriginees, Arabs, etc--cultures with very different worldviews than that of Europeans.
Equally disgusting is the fact that Schoenewolf has no concept of the scope and scale of slavery's brutality in the United States. While slavery in all contexts is immoral, there is no comparison between the ravaging and kidnapping of African slaves and the slavery practiced by indigenous Africans. Slavery was practiced by Africans, but their entire economic system was not based on chattel slavery. Slavery was critical to the economic foundations of this country and the free labor gave capitalism a big kick--and led to the industrial capitalism Schoenewolf was talking about.
The problems that indigenous peoples have are often used to justify their conquest. Of course, the problems of the "civilized" Europeans with their two extraordinarily destructive world wars, not to mention their unjustifiable acts of cruelty and brutality to third world countries, are never used to suggest that the West deserves to be conquered.
Schoenewolf's comment was made in the context of a tirade against how the gay rights movement and civil rights movement used "hysteria" and "emotion" to get their points across. Now, let's see. You had millions of people living in deplorable poverty, segregated schools, under regimes of police brutality and everytime blacks protested they were confronted with angry white mobs, fire hoses, attack dogs, tear gas and horses. Add on top of that a slow federal government that had to practically be threatened into doing anything. Why in the world would black people get emotional? Again, Schoenewolf's inability to grasp the scope and scale of black suffering is incredible. So, he added this gem to his essay:
The irony is that the Civil Rights Movement has been vehement about pointing out the hysterical lynchings that took place in the old South, but completely blind to its own hysterical tactics.
Yes, the horror of a lynching (he obviously has not seen a picture of a lynching) is the same thing as advocating for being treated like a human being. And furthermore, WHAT hysterical tactics? Marching? Sitting at a lunch counter and demanding to be served? Not moving to the back of the bus?
There are a lot of other criticisms I could make of Schoenwolf's essay, such as his juvenile understanding of Marxism, its influence on contemporary political movements and his attempts to use the bogeyman of Communism to delegitimize any movement for social justice (another old tactic), but his boorish racism is more than enough to, once again, ask anti-gay black churches whose side they really want to be on.