Children Raised in Same-Sex Households Are Not Complete, Argues Christian Woman Raised By Lesbian Couple

Mar 19, 2015 01:22 PM EDT

The same-sex marriage opposition has just gained an unlikely ally through Heather Barwick, a woman who was raised by two lesbian women and was once an advocate for gay marriage. But she says that she doesn't believe in gay marriage anymore because a father is needed in the proper nurturing of any child.

The 31-year-old South Carolina native is now a mother of four children herself, and despite growing up around what she says was a loving family, she has realized that two people of the same sex can't properly raise a child.

"Gay community, I am your daughter. My mom raised me with her same-sex partner back in the '80s and '90s," Barwick wrote in The Federalist. "I'm writing to you because I'm letting myself out of the closet: I don't support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think. It's not because you're gay. I love you, so much. It's because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself."

As one might expect, this type of proclamation has caused quite a stir among gay-rights advocates. It's rare to see someone who once supported same-sex marriage make such an about-face, but the nature of Barwick's message is clear and important, and often ignored.

"Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn't matter. That it's all the same. But it's not," she writes. "A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father's absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom's partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost."

Heather Barwick's mother left her father when Heather was only three years old. Her mother then entered into a lesbian relationship that last for ten years, but Heather says that she never felt complete. She began attending a counselor at age 10 and sought male attention by the time she was 15. "I really used sex at a young age as a way to feel loved," she said.

When Barwick grew up and first began to attend church with the man who would later become her husband and father to her children, the woman discovered healing for what she called her "father wound."

"It really wasn't until I came to Christ that I felt that burden lifted off of me. And I'm not bitter. I'm not angry," she said to Christian publication World Magazine. "I forgive my dad."

While many say that a child raised with gay parents can "turn gay," Barwick acknowledges that she felt that she just didn't know any other way to be, and it confused her because she knew that she wasn't gay herself. 

"I really like her dress. Does that mean I'm attracted to her? Does that mean I want to kiss her?" she remembers thinking at a young age. 

Barwick is just one of six others who penned an open letter to fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana, who have been ostricized for their traditional stance on marriage. 

"The only family is the traditional one. The family is not a fad," Stefano Gabbana told Panorama magazine during an interview. "In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging." He went on to describe his beliefs that procreation "must be an act of love"  and that children born through artificial insemination or egg donors are "children of chemistry, synthetic children." "Uteruses for rent, semen chosen from a catalog," adds business partner Domenico Dolce.

The kicker here is that Dolce and Gabbana are gay lovers themselves, but they have famously spoken out against the raising of children in a same-sex household. 

But in the letter written by Barwick and her colleagues, they praise the Italian fashion designers for their bravery and honesty. "We want to thank you for giving voice to something that we learned by experience: Every human being has a mother and a father, and to cut either from a child's life is to rob the child of dignity, humanity, and equality."

"We want to praise your courage and thank you for your inspiration," the letter continues. "We also implore you not to surrender when the backlash grows in intensity. If you back down from what you said and apologize, it will leave the children of gay homes even more vulnerable and discredited. It is important for our sake, for the sake of Italian children as well, that you not apologize or capitulate. Please support the idea that all children need to be bonded with their mothers and fathers. It is a human right."