Dawn Stefanowicz is a Canadian national who grew up in a homosexual household during the 1960s and 1970s in Toronto, exposed to many different people in GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, bisexual, Transsexual) subcultures, and explicit sexual practices. As well, she was a witness at the Canadian Parliament's Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on Bill C-250 (hate crimes) in 2004, Since then, she has testified throughout the United States, and also in Australia, Argentina, and Paraguay, and world-wide through radio, television, and print interviews. She speaks to various audiences by request and have a number of published articles. She is an advocate for children and families, pertaining to marriage, parenting, sexuality, and education, She is also a resource to family policy, legislative, medical, research, and scholastic organizations.
As Australia's debate over gay marriage intensifies, Stefanowicz recently visited Australia for a series of public meetings. Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend one of these meetings in suburban Melbourne. It was intense, but very informative.
Same sex marriage became law in Canada in July 2005. Since then, freedom of speech, association, religion, and the press have all suffered and have been curtailed. To say that you believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman is considered to be an act of hate speech and homophobia. For people of faith, the genuine fear of censure means that they feel less able to live out their faith in the public sphere. Under Canadian law she would not be able to give this presentation.
Stefanowicz was raised as the daughter of a gay father. Her father was unable to love the opposite sex. She was unable to receive her father's love or affirmation because he couldn't give it to her. She was molested as a child, which affected her badly. Her father fully exposed her to Toronto's gay subculture, and told her she could be any gender she wanted to be.
Her father had a succession of partners that he brought into the family home. Two of them committed suicide because they were not chosen as his favourite partner. Her father died of AIDS in 1991. He had accepted Christ 3 years before he died, and they had a reconciliation not long before his death
In her book, Out From Under, as well as telling her own story, she draws on the experience of other adult children who were raised by same sex parents. They often feel bitterness and anger towards them, but also love. They tend to be more unstable than opposite sex parent relationships. Contrary to the arguments of progressives, who claim that there is no adverse affect upon children by being raised by same sex parents, mothers and fathers matter. They are different and complimentary.
Children of same-sex households will often deny their grief and pretend that they don't need a biological parent, feeling pressured to speak positively due to the politics surrounding LGBT households. Since a gay couple cannot conceive a biological child, they have to adopt or use surrogacy. It's confusing for a child to not know who their real parents are. No gay parent can ever replace a biological parent. Any of her father's succession of partners could have gone to court to be designated as her parent under Canadian law.
Stefanowicz warned the audience to expect severe erosion of freedoms if same sex marriage is mandated by the Australian federal government, just as they were in Canada. Same sex marriage advocates try to assure people that nothing will change if they achieve their aims. Nobody will be adversely affected, they claim. The Canadian experience doesn't match up with their claims. The implications have been Orwellian in scope and nature.
In Canada, it is considered discriminatory to say that marriage is between a man and a woman, or that every child should be raised by his or her own biological married parents. Activists can take taxpayer funded legal action against those who express this view. Defendants have been saddled with massive legal bills, fines, and have been forced to take sensitivity training. We only hear about a handful of these cases, because often the defendants are given gag orders to prevent them going public.
Bishop Frederick Henry of Alberta and former Canadian pastor Stephen Boissoin are just two of those who have had to deal with these hate tribunals. Activists are now sitting in on church services to report to these tribunals on what they teach. There is a very real danger that these churches could lose their charitable status if they teach something about sexual ethics to their congregations that offends these activists. Any church could have a mole in it. Pastors also believe that their emails are under government surveillance.
The print and electronic media is policed. A media outlet can lose its license, get fined, or made to take sensitivity training if an activist takes offense at a program or article. This means that her book is difficult to obtain in Canada. Stefanowicz reports people ordering her book, and never receiving it, and incidents of people buying it in the United States, but having their copies confiscated by Canadian authorities at the border. Activists have also attempted to shut down her blog.
I am not a parent, but I'm also concerned about safe schools policies. These are meant to be anti-bullying programs, but they are really designed to condition students to accept diversity in gender identity, and to explore their sexuality in any way they want to. These are already being rolled out in government schools in my state of Victoria.
It is not just students that are affected. Teachers cannot make comments in their social networks, write letters to editors, publicly debate, or dissent from the government line. They can be disciplined or lose any chance of tenure. They can be forced at a bureaucrat's whim to take re-education classes or sensitivity training, or be fired for thinking politically incorrect thoughts.
It is clear that when same sex marriage supporters claim that nobody will be adversely affected if same sex marriage becomes law, they are either ignorant, in denial or lying. I came away from this presentation feeling very concerned. Everything I have written here is well documented. The interested reader is invited to visit Dawn Stefanowicz's website to see for themselves.