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Gay parents

December 21, 2010

A top conservative German politician has said that gays and lesbians do not have the right to have children because kids would not be happy in such a family

Two women and their children
Kauder believes that these children must be disadvantagedImage: stephaniehaynes

The head of the parliamentary group of the ruling Christian Democrats, Volker Kauder, has caused a small storm over his view that homosexual couples should not have the right to have a child.

He told Monday's Berliner Zeitung newspaper, "the welfare of the child must be the first consideration. It's not so much an issue of whether the adults want to live as a happy family. I don't believe that children want to grow up in a homosexual partnership."

Uta Kehr, spokeswoman for the Association of Lesbians and Gays in Germany, said that Kauder was encouraging prejudices against homosexual parents who care for children. But worse still was the fact that he was humiliating homosexual parents in the eyes of their children.

"How will the 15-year-old son of a lesbian couple feel, for example, if he reads such things in the paper?" she said.

Children in "rainbow" families just as happy

Her position was backed up by leaders of the Green party, who also pointed out that the German ministry for family affairs had recently published a study showing children who lived in so-called "rainbow" families felt just as well-looked-after and were just as successful as children of the same age in conventional families.

Volker Kauder has met with sharp criticism for his remarksImage: AP

Kauder made his comment in remarks on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a procedure which allows genetic control of artificially inseminated embryos before they are placed in the mother's womb. The German parliament is to have a free vote on proposals to allow highly restricted access to PGD in cases where there are good grounds to fear that the unborn child could suffer from a serious genetic disease.

Kauder argued in the interview that "PGD opens the door to the temptation to select and manipulate life." But, he said, there was no "right to a child."

Author: Michael Lawton (KNA, dapd)
Editor: Chuck Penfold