02/09/2013 08:38 BST | Updated 01/11/2013 05:12 GMT

The Importance of Our Youth

We venerate our older, wiser leaders when we should be listening to the youngest members of our society: our children. They know the least but strangely enough, children offer simple solutions that neither political filibustering nor social argument ever get to. This logic is particularly relevant to the gay marriage debate. No, electing 11-yr olds to Congress or the British Parliament would not be wise. But, Little Susy, Little Billy and their playground cronies have a 21st century mindset for a harmless and historic "problem."

A recent Cheerios commercial featuring a biracial couple has, strangely enough, incited a racist backlash on the company's YouTube page. Had the commercial featured a same-sex couple, chances are, it would have also been met with criticism. In both cases, that there would be a backlash against a children's commercial at all is juvenile and senseless. I'm not the only one who thinks so. Several children were asked for their feedback after seeing the commercial. Some of their responses included: "If they love each other, then they should get married"; "was this made in the 1950s"; "it's their path"; "what is this country for...o ya, equality." These kids give a unique insight into where our society and our human nature should be.

The anti-gay rhetoric is outdated. The church needs to re-think its stance on marriage in light of financial corruption and unending child-abuse allegations. True, Pope Francis recently said: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" However, traditional marriage between a man and a women was a means of ensuring family lineage, a lineage which would guarantee money for the church and for its missionary endeavors. This idea still holds sway with the majority of Catholic priests and with Pope Francis's predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. However, it is an idea that must change to accommodate 21st century values. If it doesn't, more people will continue leaving the church. Catholicism will then have a serious financial issue. What's more, there is in fact no data to suggest that children of gay couples grow up with a higher likelihood of mental breakdown and general unhappiness according to the American Psychological Association. Not having a mom and dad does not statistically jeopardize the success of these children.

The international sympathy in response to Vladimir Putin's draconian anti-gay legislation offers an appropriate outlook for our times. Celebrities and athletes coming out is a first and important step. The second: concrete legislation that will prohibit government crack-downs on pro-gay rallies, criticize countries that do and prevent the everyday issue of school bullying. We need to elect Congressional and Parliamentary members not based on their steadfastness to traditional values. Rather, we should revere politicians who listen to data and to 21st century morals. The conservative mentality will not organically change. We need to force it out of the closet.