Four adult children of same-sex parents have submitted amicus curiae briefs in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals asking that it oppose the legalization of same-sex “marriage."
The Court, in New Orleans, La., heard arguments on Jan. 9 as it considers whether to uphold traditional marriage – defined as being between one man and one woman -- in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
B.N. Klein, Robert Oscar Lopez, Dawn Stefanowicz, and Katy Faust all grew up with homosexual parents. All four argued that redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would harm children by depriving them of a mother or father.
In her brief, Dawn Stefanowicz described her experience living in a same-sex household.
“I wasn’t surrounded by average heterosexual couples,” she says in her court brief. “Dad’s partners slept and ate in our home, and they took me along to meeting places in the LGBT communities. I was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk.”
“There was no guarantee that any of my Dad’s partners would be around for long, and yet I often had to obey them,” she said. “My rights and innocence were violated.”
“As children, we are not allowed to express our disagreement, pain and confusion,” Stefanowicz explained. “Most adult children from gay households do not feel safe or free to publicly express their stories and life-long challenges; they fear losing professional licenses, not obtaining employment in their chosen field, being cut off from some family members or losing whatever relationship they have with their gay parent(s). Some gay parents have threatened to leave no inheritance, if the children don’t accept their parent’s partner du jour.”
“I grew up with a parent and her partner[s] in an atmosphere in which gay ideology was used as a tool of repression, retribution and abuse,” B.N. Klein wrote of her experience with a lesbian mother. “I have seen that children in gay households often become props to be publicly displayed to prove that gay families are just like heterosexual ones.”
Klein said she was taught that “some Jews and most Christians were stupid and hated gays and were violent,” and that homosexuals were “much more creative and artistic” because they were not repressed and were naturally more ‘feeling.’”
“At the same time I was given the message that if I did not agree (which I did not), I was stupid and damned to a life of punishing hostility from my mother and her partner,” she recounts. “They did this with the encouragement of all their gay friends in the community and they were like a cheering squad. I was only allowed out of my room to go to school. This could go on for weeks.”
“I was supposed to hate everyone based on what they thought of my mother and her partner,” said Klein. “People’s accomplishments did not matter, their personal struggles did not matter, and their own histories were of no consequence. The only thing that mattered was what they thought of gays.”
Robert Oscar Lopez who was also raised by a lesbian mother and her partner, had a different experience which he described as the “best possible conditions for a child raised by a same-sex couple.”
“Had I been formally studied by same-sex parenting ‘experts’ in 1985, I would have confirmed their rosiest estimations of LGBT family life,” Lopez wrote, but then went on to argue against same-sex marriage saying that, “behind these facades of a happy ‘outcome’ lay many problems.”
He describes experiencing a great deal of sexual confusion due to the lack of a father figure in his life. He turned to a life of prostitution with older men as a teenager.
“I had an inexplicable compulsion to have sex with older males,” he recounted, saying he “wanted to have sex with older men who were my father’s age, though at the time I could scarcely understand what I was doing.”
“The money I received for sex certainly helped me financially because it allowed me certain spending money beyond what I earned with my teenage jobs at a pizzeria and in my mother’s [psychiatric] clinic,” he states in the brief. “But the money was not as impactful as the fact that I needed to feel loved and wanted by an older male figure, even if for only as short as a half hour.”
“As early as ten years ago, I developed a clear stance on homosexual relationships. A civil union or some kind of state recognition would have helped my mother and her partner,” Lopez writes.
“Yet the traditional marriage laws in New York State as they existed back then prevented my mother and her partner from entirely cutting my father out of my life,” he explained. “The latter reality proved pivotal because my re-establishment of ties to my father in 1998 led to a transition in my life, from being lost and sexually confused to being stable and romantically fulfilled.”
Katy Faust, who grew up with a lesbian mother and her partner also testified against gay marriage but clarified that “my advocacy against gay marriage and for the rights of children will never include condemnation of my mother and her partner or details about their private lives.”
“When we institutionalize same-sex marriage,” Faust writes, “we move from permitting citizens the freedom to live as they choose, to promoting same-sex headed households. In doing so, we ignore the true nature of the outcropping of marriage.”
“Now we are normalizing a family structure where a child will always be deprived daily of one gender influence and the relationship with at least one natural parent,” she explains, “Our cultural narrative becomes one that, in essence, tells children that they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires.”
The 5th Circuit is still considering the legality of state bans on same-sex “marriage” and will issue an opinion in the coming months.