Yesterday’s Herald Sun had an article by Jeff Kennett talking about how, in his opinion, “the best environment in which to bring a child into the world is a stable, loving environment in which a male and female are married to each other.” He uses a report released this week, titled For Kids’ Sake and authored by Professor Patrick Parkinson of the University of Sydney. It says, in part: “The wellbeing of Australia’s children and young adults has declined sharply in the past decade, and …sliding marriage rates are partly to blame”.
I’m not going to disagree that it’s better for children to be raised in a stable family environment, that seems obvious. I disagree with Jeff’s opinion that you need a married man and woman to achieve that, because that comment from him is just that – opinion. It’s not based on any credible research, including the research he quotes above.
What the research does tell us is that we should spend our time focussed on how we help create a stable family environment. I’m sure there are lots of ideas on how to achieve this, such as more government funded relationship counselling or support for new families. Or allowing same sex couples to get married? That seems like an obvious idea.
The debate over same sex marriage will heat up as the ALP discuss it at their National Conference in December, so be prepared for campaigning from all the lobby groups. Unfortunately, Jeff Kennett appears to just want to further his prejudice against same sex marriage, and is using irrelevant research and his position at Beyond Blue to do that. He’s become blinded by the strength of his conviction, and I think the Board of Beyond Blue need to assess his ability to serve as an un-biased Director.
As a friend of our two dad family, I hope you see first hand how we’re able to raise happy and healthy children in a loving and stable environment. In fact, I know countless families in our situation, all raising wonderfully happy children. Let’s focus on how we continue to do that for all families, regardless of the sexuality of the parents.