Heather Barwick, who was raised by her mother and her mother's lesbian partner, wrote in an essay this week that same-sex "marriage" is not the same as normal marriage between a man and a woman, that the traditional family is best, and that while growing up she "ached every day for a dad."
Barwick, who is 31 now, married, and has four children, said that "same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn't matter. That it's all the same. But it's not."
"A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting," wrote Barwick in her essay for The Federalist website. "My father's absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom's partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost."
"I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man," said Barwick. "Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary."
Barwick stressed that she loves her gay mother and gay people in general but that "the nature of the same-sex relationship" is what caused her to come out of her own closet and write the essay about why she does not support gay "marriage."
"Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting," she says. "It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting."
The traditional man-woman marriage and family "can break down and cause kids to suffer," said Barwick, through "divorce, abandonment, infidelity, abuse, death, etc."
"But by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father," she said.
Children of divorce can note how the divorce affected them, or adopted kids may yearn to know their biological parents, but children of same-sex parents do not have that "same voice."
"It’s not just me," said Barwick. "There are so many of us. Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you’re not listening. That you don’t want to hear."
"If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater," she wrote.
At the end of her essay, Barwick appealed to the gay community and its apparent tolerance and openness to diverse ideas, stating, "I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us. You taught me that."
According to her bio at The Federalist, Barwick is a "former gay-marriage advocate turned children's rights activist" and is "a wife and mother of four rambunctious kids."