Naturally: A Victim of Same Sex “Marriage”

The policy proposal known as “same-sex marriage” is actually a proposal to redefine marriage. Instead of being a gender-based institution oriented toward the procreation of children and the good of the spouses, what is called “same-sex marriage” makes marriage into a genderless institution, oriented toward the good of adults only. Any possible negative consequences for children, according to this way of thinking, are not worth considering. We, and the children themselves, must simply accept any negative outcomes as collateral damage on the road to the nirvana of “marriage equality.”

A little girl known only to the public as M.C. is a public victim of the redefinition of marriage in California. If lukewarm Christians are tempted to sit out the marriage battle because they find it too contentious and emotional, they might give a moment’s thought to the situation of M.C.

Little M.C. was born in March 2009, to a woman named Melissa. Melissa had contracted a marriage with a woman named Irene in October 2008, during the window of time that same-sex marriage was permitted in California. Melissa had become pregnant with M.C. by a man named Jesus in the summer of 2008, prior to the state-sanctioned “marriage” ceremony.

Melissa and M.C. lived with Irene for 3 or 4 weeks after M.C.’s birth. When Melissa moved out, Irene attempted to obtain joint legal and physical custody of M.C. Melissa got in touch with Jesus, the child’s father, who had since moved to Oklahoma. He sent her money, and stayed in contact with her.

Melissa was not happy with Irene’s continuing attempts to be involved with her and M.C. In September 2009, Melissa’s new boyfriend, José, attacked Irene, stabbing her so severely that she had to be hospitalized. Melissa was imprisoned, charged with accessory to attempted murder.

M.C. was taken into foster care. At that point, the urgent question arose: Who are her parents? Who can and should care for M.C. while her mother, Melissa, serves her prison sentence?

The courts found that M.C., for all intents and purposes, had three parents, recognized under different parts of the law. Melissa counted as a mother because she gave birth to the child. Irene was married to Melissa when Melissa gave birth to M.C. The courts applied a concept called the presumption of paternity. Under that concept, a woman’s husband is presumed to be the father of any children she gives birth to during the life of their union. Thanks to the redefinition of marriage to be a genderless institution, the family courts felt obligated to do a gender-neutral reading of this statute, transforming the “presumption of paternity” into a gender-neutral “presumption of parentage.”

Therefore, Irene counted as a presumed mother, or maybe I should say a “presumed generic parent.” However, she was not in any position to take care of M.C. in the short term, due to her injuries from being stabbed. She also had a history of domestic violence.

What about Jesus? No court ever denied that Jesus was a father. Nor did any court find him an unfit father in any way. So with Melissa in prison and Irene in the hospital, why couldn’t the court simply give M.C. to Jesus, her biological father?

The courts declined to place M.C. with Jesus because this would jeopardize what they saw as the child’s interest in reunification with Irene. Bear in mind that Irene was not the biological mother. She was not an adoptive mother. She had lived with Melissa and M.C. for about three or four weeks after the child was born. Irene, in short, was not a mother to M.C. in any meaningful sense.

Irene was a “presumed” mother for one reason and one reason only: same-sex marriage. That marriage is what prompted the court to call Irene a “presumed mother,” under a gender-neutral reading of the Uniform Parentage Act.

One of the attorneys for M.C. pointed out the absurdity of a gender-neutral reading of this statute, substituting for the husband, who is almost always the child’s other biological parent, a female partner who could never possibly have been the child’s other biological parent.

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Jennifer Morse


Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is the Founding President of the Ruth Institute, an educational organization promoting lifelong married love to college students and young adults. She thanks Mr. Austin Muck, her 2011 Blackstone Legal Fellowship intern, for his assistance with the legal research on "In re M.C."

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  • Frances

    In my many years of working in the mental health field, I find it very common for women in same-sex “relationships” to also be victims of domestic violence in those relationships. Also, a paramedic friend said he found the same for male same sex relationships. You can say this is just anecdotal, but the abuse is found in almost every one of these relationships. So much for these relationships being all so healthy and good – not to even mention the children involved.

  • Jenice

    If all the circumstances had been the same except that Irene had been a man, married to Melissa, M.C.’s stepfather for 3-4 weeks, abusive, what would have happened? Would the court have found that M.C. should be placed with her stepfather or her biological father?

  • John

    People in general are afraid to confront evil for fear of being called evil themselves. I think deeply about how to reverse this and need help. We need a coherent and compelling narrative to bring our world back to its senses. Stories like this help.

  • Phantom

    Just cause its legal doesnt make it moral!The legal system touts fairness,trust,justice

    and honesty I dont get it! God Bless America!

  • Mike

    The fact that Jesus is her dad might explain why it’s all fucked up. No?

  • Sara

    Oh, please — talk about finding one extreme case of a same-sex union gone bad. Is there any evidence that domestic violence happens more often in same-sex unions than in male-female marriages?

  • Annamarie

    Part, a large part, of the problem with family courts across the country if the phenomenon of God-like judges who have too much power, with the result being children are hung out to dry with little or no consideration being given to the child! Oh, and let us not forget or fail to incriminate their “partners in crime,” the DHR, or whatever the bureaucracy is called that determines the fate of children in distress is called where you live. Like all bureaucracies, it exists for one reason only: to justify and continue its own existence! They produce nothing, accomplish nothing, and only keep certain people off the streets with a paycheck that WE, the people, write a regular intervals. Make no mistake, these paycheck recipients are the most ferocious of these bureaucracies’ defenders, otherwise they would have to admit the emperor has no clothes, while they busily run around making everything worse than it was to begin with. (Just imagine what our illustrious president has done so far!)

    If WE, the people, actually want to improve things in these United States (and right now they have nowhere to go but up) then our first move MUST be to get rid of all the bureaucracies in this once great country! Wipe them all out and start over! Other than having a new batch of unemployed people (wouldn’t it be novel to have someone working for the government out of a job?!?), we have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Of course, this presupposes that Americans are willing to roll up our sleeves and reach out a helping hand to those most in need of one.

    God help us all!

  • Joseph Hartman

    No doubt that domestic violence is sad in any relationship, but you’re so wrong about the statistic for same-sex relationships. Saying that abuse is found in almost every same-sex relationship is false and abusive for you to perpetrate. Remember, bearing false witness (as you’ve just done) is gravely sinful. And for your edification, two people of the same sex can share their lives together without having violence or abuse. It’s called, LOVE.

  • Hammerstrike

    No, that was obviously anecdotal, not statistical. Neither do you care to provide statistics on the subject.

    It is you who is bearing false witness, deliberately so.