Friday, 14 January 2011

Times: An anomaly perceived as normality
13.1.2011 by Joseph A. Muscat, Ta' Xbiex

At about the same time that the Christian world was celebrating the birth of Mary’s child in a manger in Bethlehem, the news was broken that Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish had become the proud co-fathers of a child born in a Los Angeles Clinic from a surrogate mother. This last piece of information was joyously taken up by our own home-grown contemporary artist and lover of all things beautiful who waxed lyrical about the wonder of such an event; shades of the Angel of the Lord singing Gloria on that cold starry night, above the humble inn.

Now I must at the outset state that I am utterly indifferent to the sexual orientation of my fellow citizens. Only as a mature doctor and a student of life I cannot help observing that nature in her prodigal way has ensured the survival of the (human) species by making us male or female and providing an irresistible attraction between the two sexes. But nature is also a cruel and aberrant force and not uncommonly jumps the rails and brings into being what in medical parlance are called anomalies. This is not a pejorative term, it only indicates a deviation from the usual.

The problem arises when we start confusing or identifying an anomalous state with a normal one. In medicine we try to correct anomalous states and reduce them to natural ones as for example in the separation of conjoined twins. However, there are situations where this cannot be done and the error is made of trying to wipe out the difficulties of such impossibilities by creating the illusion that an anomalous state is the natural and normal one.

The latest Elton John affair is one for sad reflection not jubilation.

The rhetorical question put as to “when can we expect matters to change here in Malta to allow couples of the same sex to adopt children”, presumably by deluding ourselves that what is anomalous is natural and normal, should not cause problems.

The answer, I trust, will be “never”.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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