The media likes to present the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community as if they speak with one voice, as a monolithic group. But more and more members of that community are speaking out in defense of marriage—between a man and woman.

Courtesy of the National Organization for Marriage

Doug Mainwaring is one such advocate. An adoptive parent and openly gay man, he is perhaps the unlikeliest opponent of redefining marriage. But his own experience as a parent revealed to him that children need a mom and a dad, and that marriage is ultimately about putting the needs of children before the desires of adults.

In a recent article at Public Discourse titled “I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage,” Mainwaring makes the bold claim that:

To be fully formed, children need to be free to generously receive from and express affection to parents of both genders. Genderless marriages deny this fullness.

Mainwaring reflected on the day-to-day routines of mothering and fathering, and came away with the conviction that children should not be denied the uniqueness of what mothers and fathers bring to their upbringing. As Mainwaring says:

There are perhaps a hundred different things, small and large, that are negotiated between parents and kids every week. Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy.

Mainwaring is also clear on what influenced his thinking about marriage: “Neither religion nor tradition has played a significant role in forming my stance. But reason and experience certainly have.”

His reason and experience led him to conclude that marriage is about connecting children to a mom and a dad. As marriage goes before the Supreme Court in late March, it is time to focus on this central matter in the marriage debate. That issue is undermined if marriage is redefined to center the institution on adults, rather than children.