October 16, 2006
And babies make four
Posted by: Chris
After arriving in Rio on Saturday following a nightmare trip from Washington, I was so excited that my partne and I could spend time with a good friend from law school and his partner, who was celebrating his 40th birthday here. Two other friends from school came along as well, along with the partner's parents and (straight) brother. But the highlight of the weekend was meeting their adorable baby daughters — twins the couple adopted at birth 14 months ago.
As I saw the two daddies dote on their two daughters, with the loving support of their extended family and friends, I thought how ridiculous it is that conservative politicians are still scapegoating gay parents as the third rail argument against allowing gays to marry. In fact, on Sunday, as we visited with my friends' family, Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts was appearing on video uplink to hundreds of evangelical Christian churches across the U.S., using the issue to rally the troops to the November ballot box:
"The price of same-sex marriage is paid by the children,” said Romney during a brief but peppy speech from Boston during a forum hosted by the Family Research Council. “The child’s development is enhanced by the nurturing of parents of both genders. Every child deserves a mother and a father."
Many gay activists consider that sort of rhetoric to be "demonizing" or "bashing" gay parents, but most gay parents I know are keenly aware of the need to provide role models for their kids from both genders.
Follow the jump for a video glimpse into the future:
What you don't hear these conservative politicians acknowledge is that there's no such thing as "unwanted" or "surprise" children for gay parents. To the contrary, the long and involved process of adoption, insemination or surrogacy weeds out all but the most interested and committed.
Even if you accept Romney's premise, which we've heard in one form or another from every right-winger from the president on down, using it to argue against gay marriage makes absolutely no sense. If the children of gay couples are disadvantaged by not having parents from both genders, why further disadvantage them by depriving them of the legal protections that come from allowing their parents to marry?
It's actually a bit reassuring that the opponents of gay marriage rely on arguments with such weak intellectual force, since that means what they're really only doing is playing to fears: the idea of children having two mommies or two daddies. The effectiveness of that sort of pandering will only fade with time, as more and more straight people are introduced to gay couples with children. It's the same familiarization process that heterosexuals have had with individual gay friends and family members.
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