Children’s Rights before Adult Preferences

Mary Cassatt--Mother and Child

Mary Cassatt--Mother and Child

Reasoning Behind France’s Rejection of Same Sex Marriage

By John-Henry Westen

MONTREAL, March 20, 2006 ( – In late January, a 30 member parliamentary commission of the French National Assembly published a 453 page Report on the Family and the rights of Children, which rejected same-sex marriage.

DeSerres, told “Referring to the rights of children as a human rights issue, the report argued that children ‘now have rights and to systematically give preference to adult aspirations over respect for these rights is not possible any more.'”

In the report, the commission says that “the child represents the future of society.” The commission asks legislators to make sure that “children, confronted with mutations in family models, be fully taken into account and not suffer from situations imposed upon them by adults.” It adds: “The interest of the child must take precedence over adults’ exercise of their freedom (…) including with regards to parents’ lifestyle choices.”

The report also stresses that marriage; adoption and medically assisted reproduction are inseparable.  The report thus, rules out homosexual adoption, and medically assisted reproduction for homosexual couples.

“Based on the best interests of the child,” DeSerres told, “our Canadian Parliament must re-evaluate the definition of marriage in light of these new developments.”  The Montréal based national movement has invited Members of Parliament from all parties to reconsider the definition of marriage by giving priority to the rights of the child, as France has done.

See the 2-page summary of the French report in English:

See the fuller translation here:

Related articles here:



  1. Mary L. said,

    October 24, 2008 at 8:32 am

    I am so glad to see this information come out! It just backs up what I’ve always felt, kids ought to come first. Which parent would you deprive a kid of? Mother or Father? It shouldn’t even be a question. Kids are entitled to both a father and a mother. I am surprised to see France on the right side of an issue, but even France rejected same sex marriage because they recognized a child’s human rights.

  2. benjamin8 said,

    October 24, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    I saw the results of the French commission report and I think theirdecision making process was a very wise. The members of the commission visited the countries where gay marriage has been legalized and looked at the impact that allowing same-sex marriage has had on such things as domestic violence, teen pregnancy, etc. Given their findings (dramatic increases in domestic violence, teen pregnancy, etc.) the best choice was obviosly to prohibit gay marriage and they even went so far as to ban civil unions and adoption/child custody by gay couples.
    The French government thought these measures were necessary to ensure that the next generation will have a promising future. I agree that the needs of children should always take priority to the desires of adults.

  3. Bethany said,

    October 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    I keep thinking that it seems like we’re depriving our children of all sorts of natural rights, just to satisfy adult desires. Abortion, gay marriage, drug and alcohol abuse, just to name a few of the big issues. If we could just start thinking about our children as individuals who also have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we would be much more responsible as a society.

  4. beetlebabee said,

    October 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Bethany, you’re always so thoughtful in your comments. This is such a big issue to me and to my family, I wish everyone had the same drive and instinct to protect their families. Some don’t, they participate in self destructive behaviors and drag their kids through it with them. That is a tragedy by itself, but it is an outrage to demand my children be dragged through the same smut and misery as their children are.

  5. abbyearth said,

    October 24, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Homosexual Relationships Are Statisically Very Unstable With Anti-Marriage Partner & Sex Habits. Check Out The Hard Core Research Statistics Yourself. Then Vote Yes Prop. 8. For REAL Marriage…Here’s the original article containing massive research from a lot of independent researchers: Publication “Homosexual Marriage: A Social Science View” Here:

  6. beetlebabee said,

    October 24, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    abbyearth, Hey I think I’ve read this one, It’s the Haynes paper isn’t it? I thought it was very well written. I added a link to it in my source material so I can find it again.

  7. standingfortruth2008 said,

    October 25, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Very telling, this is starting to get more traction. keep posting!

  8. beetlebabee said,

    October 25, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    well to hear the opposition tell it, you’d think we were the only backward country in the world that hadn’t already accepted the inevitable. Only five countries have legalized same sex marriage. France is one of the ones who studied it out first. They went to those five countries and saw what their choice had done to the stability of their countries. There are marked declines in health and family. It’s worth looking into, rather than just running full steam ahead into oblivion. I am always leery of people who want to guilt me into voting a certain way. It makes me want to say, so….what’s the other side? here it is.

  9. busywithconviction said,

    October 26, 2008 at 12:02 am

    I just have to tell you, I see your comments all over the place. They are insightful and powerful. You write great posts, full of truthful information. I am sure you are spending a tone of time trying to protect marriage. Know I appropriate it and think you are doing a wonderful job.

  10. ted said,

    October 26, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I followed a comment you left on another blog here because I was curious about these French studies, which you claimed to have been looking into. Do you read the certified English version? I just did, and it doesn’t really say what the anti-gay propagandist you quote above claims it says.

    Most importantly, while there is discussion of children not being subject to “adult aspirations,” this was not in any way meant to deride gay people.

    While the report argued against same-sex marriage, it did so purely for absolutist reasons about what they claim defines ideal marriage, not because of “marked declines in heatlth and family.” Nowhere in the report is that mentioned. In fact, the report is argued solely on philosophy and politics, not on studies of the sociological or psychological effects of same-sex marriage.

    (Similarly, the Haynes paper is deeply problematic, as she not only willfully misreads many of the studies referenced but also finds causation when there is only correlation. And not one thing she says is an argument against gay marriage, just an argument that gay people are more troubled than straight people, which wouldn’t be surprising, since millions of people keep telling them that they are evil, diseased dangers to society.)

    Also, France still recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other countries, and same-sex couples are allowed to be in civil unions. And finally, the report was not made into law; it was rejected by many members of the commission and the Assembly because its weak reasoning against same-sex marriage.

    Of course, this is all moot. A nearly three-year-old French report that was ideologically argued has very little relevance to Prop 8. France has a different legal system and a different culture.

    There isn’t a shred of evidence that same-sex marriage has harmed anyone. It is intellectually dishonest to claim evidence that isn’t there.

  11. beetlebabee said,

    October 26, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Thanks busywithconviction, (love the name btw) I have a love for writing and a passion for family. There is nothing more important to me than my kids and my family. This issue really strikes at the heart doesn’t it? I hate to see so many people swayed by the intellectually sloppy argument that because we are against gay unions being called “marriage” that we must somehow be motivated by hate. That is so barstool logic. The issues go way further than that if you but take a moment to scratch the surface.

    Ted, it’s almost 1am, I’ll get to you with the studies, never fear. They’re there. See you in the AM. In the meantime, check out the plethora of reports and studies on this site: he has been collecting data for quite some time on the subject and can answer more detailed questions.

  12. LourdesM said,

    October 26, 2008 at 9:13 am

    “A child also has a right to be protected, including in relation to the members of the child’s family when they may compromise the child’s development. Article 3 of the New York Convention requires States Parties to “take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures” to afford the child “such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being.” We must therefore seek a balance between respect for privacy and the guarantees that society must extend to all individuals, particularly the weakest among us.”

    Now see? The French do have something good going for them. Children’s Rights!

  13. angelarock said,

    October 26, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Even advocates of same sex parenting admit it amounts to an experiment with the lives of children. Dr. Meilee Clunis and Dr. Dorsey Green write on page 243 of “The Lesbian Parenting Book’ that “It will be interesting to see over time whether lesbian sons have an easier or harder time developing their gender identity than do boys with live-in fathers”

    The reason we have a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day every year is to recognize the fact that good parenting requires sacrifices, and not just financial sacrifices. We hold in deep respect parents who put the needs of their children above their own freedom, goals, and desires.

  14. October 26, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    […] Click here for more information. […]

  15. beetlebabee said,

    October 26, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Exactly. Statistics show that children raised in a gay environment are much more likely to choose the gay lifestyle themselves. While there may be some genetic component, the consensus is that it is most likely a combination of genetics and societal influence. For instance, one of our high schools is having a rash of homosexual type experimentation because it’s become the edge thing to do. That has everything to do with environment and nothing to do with genetics.

  16. October 27, 2008 at 8:57 am

    I have looked through the French study and I don’t see anything wrong with the way Beetle has used it. Particularly your point that it’s THREE YEARS old is ludicrous. It takes significant time to gather data and publish such an extensive report. Three years old is basically brand new. I would challenge you to find such a well thought out and complete report that says that same sex couples actually bring something to marriage that is positive. You should be more specific about what you think is misleading. Without some quotes, you are just spreading uncertainty unnecessarily. I don’t think Beetle or anyone else is attempting to deride homosexuals.

    I have read the Haynes paper. Before claiming that it’s “deeply problematic” you need to specifically site what is misleading. Honestly, I think you are just trying to spread uncertainty and undermine the credibility of Beetle which I think is stellar. EVERYTHING Haynes says is an argument against extending the definition of marriage to include same sex couples. Why would we want to extend it to a group that is plagued with so many problems that it will weaken marriage even further?

    The evidence that is sadly lacking, in my opinion, is anything that says that same sex couples will be GOOD for marriage in any respect. I don’t think we need to be a social test tube for whatever a small minority of the country wants to try out, especially one that has so consistently shown an inability to overcome the problems relevant to couples in that group.

    There isn’t a shred of evidence that same-sex marriage has harmed anyone. It is intellectually dishonest to claim evidence that isn’t there.

  17. ted said,

    October 27, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Every time I leave a long comment on a pro-Prop 8 blog, the response almost always ignores the substance of the comment and focuses on minor points that seem vulnerable.

    Anyway: Three years *is* old for this report. Same-sex marriage has only been legal in the Netherlands for seven years, and in Spain and Canada for three years. Civil unions have been legal in the UK for two years old. Therefore, whatever the report says about the social ramifications of same-sex is based on a minuscule amount of evidence. Also, it doesn’t make any statement about the social ramifications of same-sex marriage. The French report doesn’t further your agenda whatsoever.

    And I’m not going to shred Haynes’s article in a comment field just because you claim I’m spreading uncertainty — as if the Prop 8 campaign isn’t spreading uncertainty by claiming that gay marriage will lead to Armageddon, and you aren’t spreading uncertainty by predicting what same-sex marriage will do to the world. Haynes is an ideologue, not a researcher. I suggest you follow her citations and see whether she is accurately portraying the research of others correctly.

    Oh, and the challenge, here’s the link: Try following those citations. You’ll probably disagree with Times because it’s run by liberal monsters. But try to be fair. I mean: Just try.

    Everyone has the right to an opinion, but not to the facts.

  18. beetlebabee said,

    October 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    hm, I think you make my point beautifully Ted. I have been saying for some time, what’s the hurry? Why do we have to rush into this openly gay societal revolution? Seven years is not a long time. Why should families be forced to ride this runaway train that has no known destination? If gay marriage is such a great thing, why haven’t other societies tried it long before this? Why don’t we study it out first and see if it’s really best, because honestly, I don’t think it’s best, and the evidence is mounting, showing the detrimental influence embracing the gay lifestyle brings to society. I have studies I trust, you obviously have studies you trust, so……..what’s the rush when no one has been able to come to a reasonable consensus on the issue? It just underlines the point that the gay lobby wants what they want regardless of consequences.

    If gay marriage is so well proven to be great, why force it on society by using judges to usurp the will of the people? Why not bring the case on it’s merits to the people and let them choose freely instead of imposing it on a free people “Whether we like it or not?”

  19. ted said,

    November 1, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Here’s my point-by-point response to Haynes’s completely dishonest paper: If you trust Haynes, you have no business claiming an ability to understand social science. She’s a liar.

    Gay rights have not been rushed. It’s been 40 years since Stonewall. It’s only a “rush” because you can’t stand the idea that gays and lesbians have legal equality. Your position is based solely on a desire to discriminate, not on “science.”

  20. Troyrock said,

    November 2, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Thanks for the link to the NYT paper, however there are no sources. They say that a “study” shows that xyz but they don’t cite the study. There is nothing on sample size, how the questions were asked, etc. It basically amounts to an opinion piece as far as I can tell. I did like this gem to support Beetle’s argument that this is just a social experiment that immoral social scientists want to perform,

    “When I look at what’s happening in California, I think there’s a lot to be learned to explore how human beings relate to one another,” said Sondra E. Solomon, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Vermont.

    Here are some examples of data to show that the “stereotype” of same sex relationships not lasting is unfortunately true:

    Some Dutch AIDs researchers, published in 2003 in the journal AIDS, reported on the number of partners among Amsterdam’s homosexual population.

    They found that the average duration of committed relationships among gay steady partners was 1.5 years. One and a half years does not sound to me like a “mutually supportive and healthy family relationship.”

    Divorce magazine says the average length of marriage in the US is about 8 years.

    Data from the Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census shows that only 29% of relationships last more than 7 years.

    The American College of Pediatricians say that “homosexual partnerships are significantly more prone to dissolution than heterosexual marriages with the average homosexual relationship lasting only two to three years.”

    The Family Research Center has a compilation of some good data. I need to look more at this one, it is data for the United States.

    I also find the part in the NYT articles about conflict resolution interesting given that the data tells a completely different story:

    According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s National Statistical Agency, July 7, 2005, “Violence was twice as common among homosexual couples compared with heterosexual couples.”

    The American College of Pediatricians indicate that the number should be 2-3 times rather than the Canadian 2 times.

    I’m pleased that you are looking into finding some data but apparently the NYT isn’t interested in posting anything more that opinions of psychologists that support their point of view.

  21. Sara said,

    November 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Ted, you’re the only person on this blog that I think has some intelligence. I’m sorry people, but what the hell is wrong with you? You really need to open up your eyes and be willing to understand thngs in a different light. Reading this blog, just reminds me of the 1930’s when americans really thought that blacks should be seperated and that they were just horrible beings without the ability to learn or succeed, now if you still think that you have problems, but seriously, you people are speaking the same way about homosexuals. And then you try to play it off like it’s for the kids, oh, it for the kids? Really? How many kids turn out messed up with a mother and a father? How many kids have to deal with parents who abuse them, or have substance abuse problems, or who just dont pay them any attention-what about those kids? Who cares about them right, because they have a mother and a father, so its ok-they will turn out fine. Thats a bunch of bull, homosexuals have just as much a right to marriage than any other human being, and anyway, who says they are going to raise children? The problem is too many people assume, and they think what they assume is correct. And you know what, even if homosexuals don’t stay together as long, or have a harder time in a relationship, who the hell are we to decide for them that they can’t get married, I mean its a piece of paper, what the hells so important that we feel we have to keep that from them, like they don’t deserve it or something? And anyway, guess what, dont you think homosexuals will still find a way to raise children together, even if they arent married? DUH This wouldnt be keeping homosexuals from being together would it? No. It would just be robbing them of the same rights that you and I deserve as humans, and that is just discriminative. Everyone just loves to point fingers and cast people out, it makes them feel better.

  22. beetlebabee said,

    November 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    “You really need to open up your eyes and be willing to understand thngs in a different light.”

    Sara, why should anyone be forced to understand clear facts in a twisted light? Do you understand mathematics in a different light when someone tells you 2 and 2 are 5? If you really have read this blog and the comments in it, you know that people are valued, all people. That is not what is at issue.

  23. beetlebabee said,

    November 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    “And you know what, even if homosexuals don’t stay together as long, or have a harder time in a relationship, who the hell are we to decide for them that they can’t get married, I mean its a piece of paper, what the hells so important that we feel we have to keep that from them, like they don’t deserve it or something?”

    Are you willing to put the same impassioned effort into polygamous marriage? How about underage marriage? Group marriage? There are lots of ways to go here. If it’s all just a piece of paper, why have it at all?

    Honestly, if you believe marriage is just a piece of paper, that is the problem. Marriage is so much more than paper or government benefits. The core of marriage, what marriage actually is and why it exists should not be decided by people who disrespect or disregard the importance of marriage. Do you know why we have marriage as an institution? Do you know what it is about? Why independently evolving societies worldwide have upheld and sustained it for countless generations? And you think it’s all just about paper?

  24. Sara said,

    November 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Nice, you pick out one thing I said to prove a point, which still doesnt explain why you believe homosexuals can’t marry…….

    “honestly, I don’t think it’s best, and the evidence is mounting, showing the detrimental influence embracing the gay lifestyle brings to society.”

    You believe they are detrimental to society.-that is really what you are saying here… and then you go and say this….

    “If you really have read this blog and the comments in it, you know that people are valued, all people. That is not what is at issue.”

    But you just said they have a detrimental influence on society-that’s not being valued-is it?..Then what is at issue? This?-

    “Statistics show that children raised in a gay environment are much more likely to choose the gay lifestyle themselves.”

    Anyway I have my own views on marriage just as you do, just as we all do, and we all have our own right to our views, but when we begin to cast those views on others is when it is a problem. We shouldnt make decisions on who deserves marriage solely based on our own views on what marriage means-it means something different for us all.

    Saying, “those two people can’t get married just because they have the same genitals” seems highly discriminatory to me.

  25. beetlebabee said,

    November 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Actually, I thought the point you made was quite illustrative of your understanding, and also your position. The question still stands. In your understanding, what is the purpose of marriage if not just a piece of paper? Why have it at all?

    “Saying, “those two people can’t get married just because they have the same genitals” seems highly discriminatory to me.”

    This is not something I have said, and misrepresents my position completely. I can love and respect you as a person at the same time as holding opinions on your actions or choices you make. I don’t have to agree with you in order to love or respect you right? That’s what I’m saying. There is a difference between casting stones and disagreeing. I can disagree, that is my right. It doesn’t equate with casting stones. If I come after you with rocks, talk to me then.

  26. beetlebabee said,

    November 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    “We shouldnt make decisions on who deserves marriage solely based on our own views on what marriage means-it means something different for us all.”

    Actually it doesn’t really mean different things to us all. Marriage has been pretty stable for the last couple thousand years. In successful, healthy societies, marriage has certain aspects. Gay relationships don’t meet those requirements, and for good reason, just as other sexual relationships don’t meet those requirements. Why don’t we call sexually active single women married? Why don’t we call loving nonsexual adults sharing a residence married? What does marriage mean? There is an answer. Let’s address that issue. It could be the first step to understanding between us.

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