On Family.

When same sex marriage become legal in Canada, it was something that I did not fully understand. Having just barely come out to some of my friends and falling in love for the first time, its something that came and went with minimal celebration on my part. In fact, instead of trying to understand the gravity of this beautiful legislation, I became dubious of it. Perhaps it was my discomfort with my own sexually that led to me educate myself on the contrary opinions of same sex marriage. Or perhaps it was the right mix of time and heartbreak that forced me to evaluate my "liberal" views. It was shortly after this that I started to consider myself a conservative liberal. A follower of a secular sacred.

My main opposition for same sex marriage was not the right for same sex couples to marry, but the right for same sex couples to found a family. While I now support same sex couples to naturally found a family, I still stand behind some of these ideas. I oppose In Vitro fertilization, genetic modifications and although I am pro choice, stem cell technology because of how embyros are used. I support a family structure of 2 adults and I believe that however that family is structured, it is typically in the best interest of the child to have both biological parents present in their upbringing. I say this all in the best scenario, and I believe that whenever it can be possible, the structure of a family should stay in line along this configuration.

I have thought a lot about family. What kind of father I will someday become and what kind of upbringing I can offer for my children. As a gay man who desperately hopes to have biological kids one day, I am fraught with my contradictions. Having sex with a woman is no big deal. What I am more afraid of is this configuration of my family that I envision. What type of relationship will my child realistically have with his mother? And what type of life will this mother have when she doesn't really exist as a permanent member of the family configuration, but more as an extension, a mother-aunt. How will society change their perception of the father and mother? As a relatively progressive minded person, I believe that it is important to challenge these ideas before joining the same sex marriage fanfare. Canada's Bill C-38 received Royal Assent on July 20, 2005 without any real resistance from the public. I am proud to be living in a country that saw this legislation from day one as a rights issue. But what I do maintain a weariness to is the lack of discussion of the impact it will have. It has been 4 years and it is really only now that the real discussions are being made, and it is only really triggered by whats going on in the US. I believe that the discussions need to happen about the shapes of families; how they are constructed and configured. I believe that in dealing with the redefinition of the traditions of marriage, we have forgotten to address the redefinition of a traditional family. Now whether this "traditional" family ever really existed is another discussion, but whats important to address is the impact that marriage and family have in our society and why this structure exists.

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