Ditch “It’s About the Children”

Defenders of the true meaning and purpose of marriage often use the shorthand slogan, “It’s about the children.” While intending to witness the good of marriage reality based on outcomes for children, the phrase surprisingly falls short. Instead, adjust the slogan by saying, “It’s about the rights of children.”

On its own, “It’s about the children” …

  1. Does not shed any light on the reality of marriage in God’s plan. What does “It’s about the children” mean?
  2. Can open up an argument about what is good for children and what they need or don’t need, both of which are unrelated to marriage.
  3. Is used by proponents of redefining marriage with a different meaning — “Children of same-sex couples deserve married parents, too.” Or, “Marriage would provide the same kind of stability for irregular families as it does for regular families (child with their married mother and father).”

In reality, children have a fundamental human right to be “brought up within marriage: it is through the secure and recognized relationship to his own parents that the child can discover his own identity and achieve his own proper human development.”[1]

Who do I look like? Where do my personality traits come from? Who is my grandmother or aunt or uncle? Being loved by the man and woman whose flesh we carry for all of eternity is also a natural right that can be confirmed by the longing of the heart. It is very plain that this right has nothing to do with outcomes or what someone thinks a child needs or doesn’t.

With increasing births outside of marriage and the acceptance of donor conception, people often forget that every child (person) has a mother and father. But, no one forgets that they have a mother and father, their own mother and father, even if they never knew them.

Since marriage has become purely adult-centered today, and has been separated from children in the minds of the majority, it is important to emphasize that marriage, in reality, is about the rights of children. In fact, with every human right, there is a corresponding duty. In the case of the rights of children related to marriage, men and women have a duty that corresponds to that right. Until a man and woman make themselves irreplaceable to each other through marriage, no one has the right to procreate, period![2]

See more Quick Reflections on Reality​


[1] Donum Vitae (Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation) IIA1. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1987

[2] Cf. William E May, PhD. Marriage: The Rock on Which the Family Is Built. p2-3 Ignatitus Press. 2009. Also, Centesimus Annus  #47 Pope St. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter. The human right to procreate (“the responsible exercise of one’s sexuality”) is subordinate to the right of the child to be raised in a united family.