Just in case you were wondering…

As a result of Pink News’ founder Ben Cohen’s repeated online needling (latest being that I wish to oppress people’s freedoms of religion, specifically liberal and progressive Jews) one of his friends has also engaged in a two week goading.

I gave up when he posted a photograph of a man wearing fake breasts in order to be able to nurse a newborn child and talked about hiring wet nurses and denied the importance of a mothers’ loving care but nonetheless he has relentlessly continued to attempt to needle, goad and provoke some sort of intemperate comment as well as assert my homophobia.

Nothing new to see here then.

However he has gone on to write this lovely opinion piece in some obscure publication called “The Columnist” which I’ve never previously heard of. It’s entitled “Caroline Farrow IS homophobic – there I’ve said it now”. Hope this bumps up their hits a little.

A brief precis “Gay people have a right to have children. Caroline denies this, ergo she is homophobic”.  I hate gay people, want to oppress them, deny them their rights and I really should consider quite how hurtful this point of view is.

I’ve engaged with this line of debate ad nauseum, the only thing I have to say is that I am sorry if people do feel hurt by my beliefs that a child shouldn’t be deliberately deprived of a loving mum and dad, but it really doesn’t follow that I hate, despise or wish any harm on the LGBTQ* community.

A few other points of note. I’m really not as important or influential as Skylar thinks I am, flattering though it is to have an entire column and headline devoted to me.

One glaring problem is this article is that Skylar claims I cited a discredited 22 year old Australian study to claim that babies of IVF are more likely to suffer neonatal death. When I read this I scratched my head in bemusement having no memory of doing such a thing. If you read the blogpost to which Skylar refers, I linked to a Guardian article from January 2014, and stated that it is believed that babies born from IVF may suffer from more health complications. That’s a very different prospect to specifically citing a named study or claiming neonatal death. *

Another problem is this. I don’t believe that anyone straight or gay has the ‘right’ to adopt children. Anyone wishing to adopt children needs to go through the appropriate channels. While I would not campaign to restrict the ‘rights’ of any section of the community to adopt – not believing that adoption is a right, equally I support Catholic adoption agencies who will only place children with heterosexual couples in accordance with Catholic doctrine. Believing that where possible a child should be placed with a mum and dad and enjoy complementarity in parenting isn’t discriminating on the grounds of sexuality. An element of discrimination (i.e. choice or preference) is always used when deciding where to place children and which set of circumstances would provide an optimum environment. Deciding that a male/female household would be preferable to male/male one or a female/female one is not saying that individuals are inferior on the basis of their sexuality, but that children benefit from having where possible, both male and female parenting roles. Let’s spell it out – shouldn’t an adolescent girl have a mum to turn to for explanations about intimate issues in puberty, where possible? Doesn’t a young boy need a strong male role model as well as his mother?

I’d also be interested in whether or not this piece is potentially libellous. Whether or not I am homophobic is not something that a random stranger who knows nothing of my real-life friendships can pass judgement on and were he to be influential or important, I wonder whether or not I could cite that this is an attack upon my good name and reputation? In any event, 2,000 words devoted to proving my ‘homophobia’ and inviting others to comment, doesn’t seem the most insightful analysis, especially when one considers that outside of Catholic circles (and probably inside most of them) most people haven’t got the foggiest idea who I am and neither do they care.

Onwards and upwards. It all goes to prove my original point. Saying that a baby needs a mum and a dad or that marriage was between a man and woman never used to be contentious or proof of wanting to hurt people. Neither would it merit a 2,000 word opinion piece on a UK website or be thought worthy of opprobrium. What happened?

* Just before hitting publish I noticed that Skylar has in fact corrected his original piece about the IVF study and apologised for which I am grateful.