Written by Alexandra Muntean
The day has come. Germany joins the fight for LGBT rights. Welcome on board! From today on, all same-sex couples in Germany can officially get married and not just record their relationship. It’s been a long way to this decision: from considering the sexual orientation of LGBT communities as illegal to declaring “marriage for all”.
However the world still asks herself, what’s next? Will the traditional family matrix disappear? Is the decision to legalize gay marriage a sign of a values change in Germany? The debate is on fire and the word that ignited it is adoption. Should they be allowed to form a normal family? What is a normal family nowadays anyway? Should they be allowed to adopt children together or not? The society has split up in supporters and critics of the following hypothetical future scenery: a child with same-sex parents.
The chancellor of Germany herself, Angela Merkel, has voted against the new law initiative with the argument that this were to be a violation to the state constitution if approved. However she is not against giving the LGBT community the right to form a real family, for she also stands for making their right to adopt possible. The only problem she and her conservative party CDU seem to have, is with the definition of the word marriage, stating that the constitution’s founders have thought of marriage as the union between a woman and a man and want to keep its religious/christian definition that way. Still the bible is not a valid argument to support or destroy a law or the idea of it. Despite the negative vote of the head of state, the law initiative has been passed and will be adopted. As of now, heterosexual and homosexual are equal both in marriage and adoption rights. If until now, same-sex couples weren’t allowed to adopt a child together, now they have the same rights and chances at adoption as the heterosexual couples. This means they can adopt a child and form a family together. Today is an important celebration in the LGBT history and will probably be an important history event one day, as it is seen as a progress and a step forward towards a more tolerant world.
The critics however have another opinion. They fear that this law will affect the development of children, for in their opinion, being raised by a gay or lesbian couple comes with a multitude of disadvantages for the children concerned. They believe that the future of these children would include a big amount of discrimination, difficulties in integrating in social groups or even a change in sexual orientation. But if these critics are so concerned with the well-being of children, maybe they should stop concentrating on this law, take a look at the German constitution and search for the paragraph on children’s rights. Surprise! They won’t find it, because it doesn’t exist. I don’t want to say that Germany isn’t a good defender of human rights, but their approach on the children rights doesn’t exist in the fundamental rights defined in Germany.
All the ones against this law, including political parties should finally consider including the children’s rights into their fundamental rights. It’s about time. Children shouldn’t be used in political arguments against something, if their situation is not even taken care of. I know this article isn’t only about that, but I can’t resist seeing political actors using children and their development as a weapon in elections or manipulating the society. Children need their rights, especially the right to have parents and a family, no matter their sexual orientation. There are children, who’d wish to at least experience a familiar atmosphere, if not a real family. So why refuse a chance to give for example orphan children a chance at a new, loving family, just because you have some arguments without solid proof. The child’s right of family relations should not be ignored. So before attacking this law with children’s rights violations, the rights should at least be defined in the fundamental rights of Germany. The government should start planning the inclusion of children rights, better said, finally include the children rights after the endless fighting of numerous NGOs for this cause. Also, most importantly, make sure that this rights are protected and think of the children’s well-being and not their political ideologies. There are worse children’s rights violations that the supposing effect same-sex parents have on child development. Only after this step is taken, could Germany one day became a entirely human rights-friendly state.