Will Gays Suffer Discrimination in Divorce Too?

You think you’ve cured injustice by obtaining equal rights to marriage. You think you won’t suffer prejudice and discrimination anymore after you have the right to marry and divorce. Just wait until you try to divorce with children. You will be discriminated against all over again and thrown right back into a despised class as soon as you divorce. Except this time it will be like going back in time when gays were “in the closet” and their struggles were fought alone. You will be treated equally with all other divorced parents. You will be discriminated against for fighting for your rights to be with your child equally, share experiences with your child equally, and be there for your child equally, not for your sexual orientation per se now, but for getting divorced. Divorcing parents are a despised class who have been “marginalized” and “dealt with unjustly under the law”[1] for generations. Sound familiar? Perhaps because these are the words that have been used to describe the treatment of gays. Unless more people come forward to stop the practice of unequal treatment of divorced parents, you will be marginalized again and your children used against you and ripped from either you or your divorcing partner. Just as gays have fought for passage of laws specifically protecting them from these injustices and unequal treatment from the states, divorced parents and their children need the same protections.

Divorce is being used as a tool of oppression, just as “Marriage laws have continued to be used as a tool of oppression. The Nuremburg laws in 1935 prohibited marriage between German nationals and Jews, the South African immorality act, and the mixed marriage act prohibited marriage and sexual contact between races until it was repealed in 1985. 40 US states prohibited interracial marriage. Women lost all property rights and their identity on marriage. Excluding a group in society from marriage is oppressive and unacceptable….In every instance it was action by the states….it’s about the state excluding people because of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation….principles of justice and equality aren’t served if the key civil institution of marriage is reserved for heterosexuals only.” [2] And the same can be said of divorce.

Those opposed to equal time rights for parents adamantly and vehemently release all of their “fire and brimstone”[3] on those that are supportive. They try to make everyone think that providing equal rights and equal time to divorcing parents is harmful to the children, is not listening to what the children want, is violating children’s rights, that children’s rights are in conflict with their parents’ rights, and will destroy the child. I find this amusing since children that have not had their equal time protected with both of their parents have higher rates of being dropouts, more of them develop drug abuse issues, and suffer damage to usually their relationship with their father. I assure you that protecting parents’ equal time with their children in divorce will produce no worse results in children than we already see from children of intact marriages and primary parent households. Equal parenting in divorce can have no worse effects on children and is no more likely to turn children into dropouts, drug addicts, have suicidal tendencies, or make them dysfunctional adults, any more than ripping them from one parent has done, and any more than children have with parents that have remained married. In fact, it is more likely and has been seen that children actually do better when there are two equally participating adults. And in fact I have seen many parents participate even more in their child’s life after divorce. And for those that claim that it is unnatural for a child to have two homes. I find it no more unnatural than having freedom of speech or freedom of religion or freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Supporting policies that are “fair, just, and right”[4] is what is natural, not policies that deprive and encourage hate, and destroy relationships between parents and harm their children.

If you think it was brutal to experience discrimination directed on you as an individual that hurts you personally just wait until you experience that directed at your children and your children ripped from you and you find a new depth and despair beyond what even you are familiar with. Now that you are gaining the right to marry you are also getting the burdens and the injustices imposed on those who choose to dissolve their marriage.

Divorced parents are still being pushed into the closet waiting on policymakers to take steps “to right the wrongs…suffered”[5]

 


[1] Members order of the day, Tina Catour (please forgive me I do not know how to spell her name), reading of Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill – third reading to the 50th parliament – on April 17, 2013 http://youtu.be/i8VKcqRP1KQ . I used her words because while she applied them to gays, I feel that they also very appropriately apply to divorced parents. And that most everything that she describes can also be applied to divorced parents.

[2] Ibid

[3] Maurice Williamson, National-Pakuranga, Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill – third reading to the 50th parliament – on April 17, 2013 Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill – third reading to the 50th parliament – on April 17, 2013, accessed on April 18, 2013.

[4] Ibid

[5] Members order of the day, Tina Catour (please forgive me I do not know how to spell her name), reading of Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill – third reading to the 50th parliament – on April 17, 2013 http://youtu.be/i8VKcqRP1KQ . I used her words because while she applied them to gays, I feel that they also very appropriately apply to divorced parents. And that most everything that she describes can also be applied to divorced parents.