There is no such right. Obviously every kid has a biological father, but that doesn’t guarantee any rights for the child (or father).Firstly, your assumption that men going to war means that kids don’t have a right to a father is flawed. Many men go to war out of a sense of duty, which at it’s heart is protection of the child, the family and the society he wants them to grow up in. Just because a man goes to war to protect his family, you cannot conclude that this “over-rides” a right to have a father, you misuse the concept of rights in this way.
WW I and WW II are prime examples of the priority many fathers put on fighting for their country over being a father for their children.
The concept of “rights” is bandied about nowadays as an excuse to get something. Thus, the “right” to marriage equality. It’s this constant redefining words to suit self-interest that is at the heart of most of these debates. On that basis, kids clearly have a “right” to a father and mother. That circumstances remove a parent is not to take away their rights, just to change their situation. Part of what society needs to strive for is to promote and protect a basic set of ideals that clearly set out what the optimal situations, ethics, morals and behaviours are. They become goals that may or may not be achieved, but nevertheless, appreciated for their intrinsic virtue.
This is the other problem – by declaring a standard, some people refuse to be measured by them, or take offense at them, and want to destroy those standards. We need to strike a balance between having ideals that lift us up, and recognising that not every-one will make them. This is where it is important not to judge and not to condemn others, as we are all far less than perfect on one matter or another.
Civil Unions granted that legal recognition, and marriage was a word reserved for an ideal in family structure, and recognition of the complementarity of the sexes, and that each child would usually fare best being raised by both a mother and a father. Once the word marriage no longer means this, society will change for thee worse. Actually, it has already changed for the worse, because marriage used to mean “until death do us part” and that change was, in my opinion more harmful than the gay marriage debate. I suspect it is the “protection of marriage” where gays are feeling the brunt of a reaction to the sum of grievous blows to the ideal of marriage (and family) that has been hammered into us from the 60′s. Easy divorce, adultery, mothers forced to put children into child care sooner and longer than they would like as they need to pay the mortgage, and even the shift of focus to self-actualisation and the philosophy that we need to put ourselves first; before God (which is to say, before our moral obligations and our self-interest), before family, before children.
We’ve watched all of this slipping away from the ideal, and those ideals being reduced to “seek happiness, and if you don’t get it immediately, look after number one. Walk out. Change partners. Get angry. Get even.” So, the slippery slope argument doesn’t start with gay marriage, and slide down into polygamy, and then down to children produced and sold to fill a new market – the market of the non-biological family. The slippery slope started the moment that we believed that our vows could be broken because our feelings define us rather than our integrity. This in turn meant that rather than strive to be a better person, to live up to our word, we started to act as if we had a “right” to happiness, and anyone standing in the way of that “right” was the enemy.
So if you are going to take away the child’s right to both a father and a mother, you will have to be as casual with that term with every other person demanding their right to do what they want, as long as it hurts no-one. And just in case multiple families, and splitting children up and sending them around with 5 or 6 “re-marriages” can be argued to be hurting them, well, now I see just why it’s so important to declare that children will not have any “rights” that might harm the newly emerging attitude that children should be grateful just for not being aborted, and if they keep complaining, there are two nice old men getting tired of the gay scene willing to adopt them.
My feeling is the gay marriage debate is lost. The concept of marriage and traditional family is lost. Children will increasingly become commodities. The next phase of this debate will be religious persecution. Ultimately, all ideologies seek to stamp out any rival, and secular atheism will be no different than Islam in it’s desire to stamp out Christianity.
Christians need to prepare for this inevitability. I argued a while ago that Christianity is now counter-cultural. It helped build this society, now it is a thorn in its side. However, it’s central tenets of love, self-sacrifice, family values, a strong work ethic, and overall, a long forgotten call to turn ourselves into saints is attractive to many people who will turn away from the materialistic and self-absorbed culture replacing this. This is why I believe the Church can offer a new form of marriage, one it defines and carves out and sets as a goal for its own people – sacramental marriage, or covenant marriage. We need to fight now for the freedom to define this term and allow Church members to strive to meet the criteria. Like the Roman times, Christianity will serve as an example to others, and it can only do that by becoming an example. For that to happen, we need to just get on with living our lives in a Christian way.