Traditional parenting is being drowned out by “gay rights sharia”, the respected journalist Charles Moore has said. Commenting on the recent spat between fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana and Elton John over the rights of gay parents to have children, Mr Moore opined that the holding of socially conservative views is now “teetering on the edge of criminality”.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana hit international headlines last week when, during a magazine interview, they described children born via IVF treatment as “chemical” children and said that, despite being gay themselves, they supported traditional families. “We oppose gay adoptions,” they said. “The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”
Their comments drew the ire of the gay rights lobby, mostly via singer Elton John who called on people to “boycott” the pair’s high end fashion line. “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’,” Sir Elton flounced. “And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.
“Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.” His boycott was backed by a number of celebrities including Martina Navratilova and Ricky Martin.
Yet writing in today’s Telegraph, Mr Moore insisted that “to think that a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman, preferably married to one another, are – other things being equal – the best parents, is common sense. It derives from an inherited knowledge of the complementary nature of the sexes, the need for security and burden-sharing, and the fact that blood is thicker than water.
He clarified that believing so doesn’t exclude other types of families, saying “Sensible people do not maintain this proposition rigidly: we can all think of excellent single parents, rotten double ones, outstanding fathers or mothers who turned out to be homosexual, loving stepfathers and stepmothers, wonderful adopters, kind aunts replacing unkind parents, posh people who got real love from their nannies rather than their own blood.”
But he pointed out that holding the common sense position was now close to being tantamount to thought crime. “Now you can barely say [that heterosexual parenting is preferable]. I am sure I would be barred from working in the public services if I said it at a job interview. I could not become a Labour parliamentary candidate, and probably not even a Conservative one. If I were 28 rather than 58, I doubt if I would dare say it in print if I wanted a successful career in media. Socially conservative moral views are now teetering on the edge of criminality, and are over the edge of disapproval by those who run modern Britain.”
Questioning how this had happened, Mr Moore reasoned that some of it has to do with marginalised people: gay, single parents, and even divorced people, wanting retribution for the way they were treated in the past.
But he says that retribution isn’t enough alone to explain the trend. Rather, he looks to the “gay rights sharia” that has been allowed to take hold. If you are gay, […] there are certain things you must believe. Nothing else is permitted under the gay rights sharia.”
“[Rights] are not questions of mere personal choice. Modern rights don’t work like that: they claim bits of public ground in the name of equality – the right of gays to marry and “have children” (though a homosexual couple cannot conceive), for instance. And once rights are conceded to one such group, they are annexed by another.
“If you follow this rights-based way of thinking, children are an afterthought. You identify your sexuality. You assert your rights. You decide that your rights include children. As with abortion, you are not encouraged to ask, “What about the child herself?” And if someone else asks that question of you, you start shaking with rage.”
Mr Moore predicts that, as the children raised by gay couples, grow up, more and more will “be finding their voice”, speaking up about “how difficult it was for them”. One such voice is that of Heather Barwick, a former gay marriage activist turned childrens rights activist and mother of four.
In a letter published by The Federalist, addressed to the gay community, Heather wrote: I’m writing to you because I’m letting myself out of the closet: I don’t support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think.
“It’s not because you’re gay. I love you, so much. It’s because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself.
“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.”
For her troubles, Barwick predictably received a hate-filled backlash and a slew of counter-letters. On Twitter she was described as a “the worst human being in the world,” “pathetic”, and “an ungrateful little t**t”.
One Twitter user wrote “A message for Heather Barwick from the LGBT community: Suck My Ass”. Another pointed out what may be her worst crime: “You don’t see it in her “loving letter,” but the reason Heather Barwick is now against gay marriage – she’s now a fundamentalist christian [sic].”
And then of course there was the recourse to rights:
.#HeatherBarwick needs to blame straight mothers for picking lousy men, not try to deny same-sex couples the right to have children.
— Mark Zustovich (@markzustovich) March 19, 2015
I’m really sad Heather Barwick was hurt by her father leaving, but it doesn’t mean our families don’t deserve rights. http://t.co/IaRej8JqPg
— Cathy Sakimura (@CathySakimura) March 19, 2015
But Moore hopes that more children will be inspired to speak out. “There is a growing online community of people brought up by gay couples who describe how difficult it was for them,” he says “In particular, they talk of their innate desire, which their situation could not satisfy, for the real parent – father or mother, known or unknown – who was not there. We shall hear a lot more of this, and we shall learn that the era of liberation was not always so good for those who never asked to be liberated.”