Men’s health ambassador Warwick Marsh and his Judao-Christian organisation The Fatherhood Foundation is flanking our primetime television screens with a feverish advertising blitz – and every one of us should be aware of their ill-informed intentions.
I first spied a 30-second Dads 4 Kids – Fatherhood Foundation ad during the penultimate finale of The Voice and its glorified hetero-normative narrative disgusted me. Since then, I’ve eyed more advertisements both on free-to-air television and online, and that’s simply untenable.
‘Dads 4 Kids’ is deceptively posing as an online educational parenting resource aimed at father-figures ‘of any age, religion or marital status’, backing up their methods with ‘proven social science’ from ‘expert academics’.
Yet if you happen to be a same-sex attracted dad, Marsh and his cavalcade of chastity-obsessed contributors won’t champion your rights to succeed as a caregiver in the ever-changing world of modern parenting.
“Nothing more than bigotry sheathed under a pseudo-scientific cloak”
‘Dads 4 Kids’ and its parent group The Fatherhood Foundation is marooned in a past of traditional idealistic family values. Families do indeed thrive with a mother and father at the helm – but the same can be said for single parents raising a brood of youngsters or same-sex parents fending for the rights of their children.
A vociferous claim from the website states “successful marriages between men and women help girls and boys confirm their own gender and avoid gender disorientation that can occur in formative years” – yet we all know this trend of thinking is nothing more than bigotry sheathed under a pseudo-scientific cloak.
“Sexual union is not a commodity to be bought and sold at will, but a beautiful expression of committed love between a man and a woman deeply in love” is yet another quote from the ‘Dads 4 kids’ website – since when is sexual intercourse strictly reserved for people in love, let alone between a man and woman?
Consensual sex is the greatest act of freedom we have in life and acts as a vital pillar of empowerment in our gay male community – and love is certainly not required nor desired.
At the end of the day family isn’t a formulaic concept – it’s a diverse beast that is outside the realm of Catholicism and its petulant self-righteous preaching. GLBTI crusaders like myself are deemed unworthy of raising children and marrying same-sex partners by the dwindling Catholic diocese, and for that they should be ashamed of themselves for restricting access to the notion of family.
I’m stunned that Catholic parishioners and their followers would have the audacity to claim same-sex couples are inadequate parents, because while we may be biologically unable to reproduce without assistance from surrogacy services or IVF, our community doesn’t have an entrenched history of child abuse dating back to B.C and beyond – so back off when it comes to the rights of children and same-sex parents.
The strongest argument from the bible-bashing minority is that a man and a woman in a loving committed ‘monogamous’ relationship form an ideal structure for children. The ‘Dads 4 Kids’ website also claims that children have a “right” to both a mother and a father.
That is in fact an untruth, as a child does not have a legal right to be raised by two consenting adults of the opposite sex, nor do they even have the right to be raised by their biological parents – adoption is one but example of this, and another is IVF surrogacy for a client who is a single male or female seeking children.
But life isn’t ideal, it’s far from perfect and it throws curveballs at each of its inhabitants ritualistically. What makes us human is our ability to adapt and ‘make-do’ with our respective set of circumstances, and at the end of the day we’re stronger and fortified all the more for our resiliency as a species.
The Fatherhood Foundation is a blight on our intelligence as a forward-thinking community and a disgrace in our nation’s public discourse.
I pity Warwick Marsh for his narrow-minded parenting prowess, his abhorrent religious extremism and his sly organisation which is poisoning the waters of purity in our big, gay sunburnt country.
I’m not an anti-Christian subordinate by any means. As a nurse working with vulnerable people in the aged-care sector, I value religion and the comfort it can give to people in need and the rituals which energise clients and lend them a sense of purpose.
But when religion and its purveyors cross the line and try to deny people their god-given rights, that’s a step too far, and we should all keep our pink crosshairs firmly fixed on any entity that could derail our chances as full-blown equality, because we deserve nothing less.
Robert Edward Smith is a Communications graduate, freelance writer and aged-care worker based in Melbourne.