Postmodern van Gend

Christian anti-marriage equality campaigner David van Gend (‘Pity the child of same sex union’, The Australian, 4/6) is confused about the role of the law in a civilised society. It is not the case that ‘marriage laws … exist to reinforce [a] biological foundation’. Biology takes care of itself. The law exists to ensure a stable, just and fair society. All are equal before it; this is the principle at stake.

Van Gend’s emotive talk of “abuse of a child’s birthright” is a smokescreen: married and unmarried people of all sexualities can already raise children, or not, as they choose. Marriage law reform will not change this. 

Van Gend blithely quotes social scientists like Claude Levi-Strauss (who held a very different view!) to further his jarringly postmodern theory of law as anthropology, yet rejects as ‘shallow’ studies which consistently show that children of same-sex couples do just as well as others. If his concerns for children are not based on fact, then what? He should remember that the law is also secular.


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