“When you have two fathers, two mothers, you cannot call it the definition of a regular family. A family is a mother, who is female, and a father, who is male, and a number of children caused by reproduction,” he said, adding, “We don’t believe in same-sex marriage because marriage is meant for a male and a female and the purpose is reproduction.”
Let’s unpack this.
This is really the same old tired argument we keep seeing used to reject same-sex marriage. The family unit is made up of an adult female and male and their children. That’s it, end of.
But that’s not what families look like even now without the legalization of same-sex marriage. There are so many other shapes that families can take. The nuclear family mold is not the standard. There are single-parent households, blended families, and intergenerational parenting.
What about couples without children, either by choice or because of infertility? Do you reject them too? What about couples with adopted children, children they didn’t give birth to but chose? Are they failing the “purpose” of a marriage?
And besides, what you think a family should look like is moot within the context of same-sex marriage. You can keep thinking that these families are not a “regular” family; so what? Just because a family doesn’t look the way you think a family should doesn’t mean that it’s invalid.
Here’s a secret: I don’t give a sh*t whether or not you think that same-sex marriages are immoral or not. You can keep thinking it’s unholy; I just want the right to have it.
Queer families already exist. There are already families filled with queer people who are bound together not by blood but by love. Rejecting same-sex marriage isn’t going to stop these families from existing; it’ll just make it harder for these people to live.
The purpose of marriage long ago may have been reproduction, but it stopped being that a long time ago. Marriage is about love, about commitment. Marriage isn’t more or less valid because someone’s semen won the race and impregnated the egg. I don’t know about you, but I think that a marriage between two queer people who love each other might be more reflective of a good marriage than one between two cishet people who can’t stand each other and can’t bear to be in the same room.
“If a Filipino male becomes pregnant, I will change my mind, meaning natural law has already changed also,” Atienza also said, which really just adds a neat layer of transphobia to all this.
It’s tempting to say that we’re watching Atienza’s political aspirations crumble before our very eyes with this interview, but that’s probably not true. ANC quotes Atienza saying, “I was advised by well-meaning friends to not be vocal about my pro-life advocacy because I might not win the election but that has been disproven time and again.”
He didn’t lose my vote—I never was going to vote for him to begin with. But other people are different. There are many out there who will vote for someone based on whether or not they reject same-sex marriage, are pro-life, and so on. Atienza is running with Manny “gay people are worse than animals” Pacquiao. He knows who he’s targeting, which people he’s courting with his words. He knows what he’s doing. And that’s a scary thing.