Sexuality of parents is pretty irrelevant to children’s prospects

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 9:41pm

The argument put forward by Eunice Li Dan-yue in her letter (“Same-sex marriage is against traditional teaching on families”, January 7) should be subjected to some logic and facts.

She says the purpose of marriage is to produce children. This is clearly not the purpose of marriage in Hong Kong where the government recognises it on a legal – not religious – basis – and provides numerous fiscal, immigration and other benefits to married couples, regardless of whether they have children or not. Couples are also not required to state whether they have any intention or ability to have children when they marry.

Furthermore, there are numerous studies showing that married couples are happier and healthier, and that people able to be open about their relationships are more productive in the workplace. Put simply, a failure to offer marriage to all – regardless of sexuality – is discrimination and has nothing to do with children.

Li cites work by sociologist Mark Regnerus, implying that children brought up by same-sex parents are likely to be worse off. This research, as a quick internet search will show, was deeply flawed, considered almost no children being brought up by same-sex parents together in a relationship.

When peer reviewed, the study led to the conclusion that children of same-sex couples have just as positive life chances as those brought up by straight couples.

This is in line with almost all other independent research which suggests that the sexuality of parents is pretty irrelevant to children’s prospects.

I am sure many women in Hong Kong – straight or otherwise – will be stunned to know that only men are expected to be “brave, daring and have to be the breadwinner ... so as to be a role model”. Does Ms Li really want women to be cowardly, fearful and to stay at home?

I work with many outstanding women, and know how Hong Kong would be diminished without their input at work.

Ms Li seems to think her desire to live her life according to the book of Genesis allows her to impose this on everyone else, without explaining why.

Providing she remains within Hong Kong’s laws, I would support her right to live her own life as she wishes; she should, however, accept that she has no right to push her illogical, fundamentalist views on the rest of us.

Peter Stigant, Stanley