Child rights activist says same-sex marriage denies kids one parent’s love

New Delhi, April 23 (IANS)
As India is on the cusp of legalising same-sex unions, men rights activist, fighting for shared parenting in case of divorce or separation, said the law is a violation of natural law and will have a negative impact on societal values “if they go for children through surrogacy or adoption”.
Kumar V. Jahgirdar, founder and president of the Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), told IANS, “It is natural for any child to have a natural father and mother. We have the proposed law which is heading to the creation of a fatherless or motherless society”.
He said in this case one person will behave or act as though “he or she is a father or mother respectively.”
“The child raised by a same-sex couple is deprived of at least one parent, this is a human rights violation that the same-sex marriage movement will never address.
“This will have a devastating effect on the psychology of the child and is also a violation of child rights as per a UN convention to have two different genders as parents. It is set to become a fashion to speak about LGBTQ rights and nobody is bothered about child rights. The child rights and same sex rights can’t go in the same boat. I hope the apex court takes this seriously and does not hamper child fundamental rights,” Jahgirdar told IANS in an interview.
Advocating that a child needs the care and affection of both biological parents and grandparents, he said, “The children in same-sex marriage may feel a stigma that may end in drugs or school dropouts or land up in jail as a teenager.
“This law will be unconstitutional, and is not only against Indian social and cultural values but also in violation of basic human rights.
“Our demand, on behalf of children, is basically pro-family reforms. They are voiceless victims and their rights are directly connected with both biological parents.”
According to CRISP estimates, more than 25,000 divorce cases are pending in family courts in Bengaluru alone. In the country, the figure totals over 500,000.
The parents of the estranged couples have their own woes.
Bengaluru-based Jahgirdar’s NGO has also been demanding a separate union ministry for children and to de-link from the existing Ministry of Women and Child Development since the objectives of both women and children are different.
It is seeking an end to discrimination between maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents and has demanded that family courts treat both equally.
He said legalizing same sex marriage would add more confusion since the Domestic Violence Act is meant to protect women against men. “Now what happens to a gay marriage and stigma their child suffers from its peers.”
Jahgirdar said the law should not be made in haste and not by engaging in a discussion with various stakeholders, including men’s and women’s rights groups.
Also, he said, the law, if brought, should clarify about the custody of children in post-separation cases and what would happen to the children if the mother vanishes with the money received post-divorce and does not take care of the children.
The custody of children and shared parenting in cases of separation must be ensured, he added.
CRISP, with regional chapters in Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Lucknow, has also been demanding setting up of special courts to deal with child custody cases in case of biological parenting.

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