Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Here's the Public Discourse post on the Canadian gay parenting study (and my thoughts)-- we have to learn our lessons from last year
Read through the analysis, which is very good: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/10/109...
Knowing how much courage and skill it has taken for Mark Regnerus and Doug Allen to search for real, even if unsettling, truths about same-sex parenting, I applaud them and call on everyone to take this research seriously.
Having said that, I must be honest about how it feels to be the child of a same-sex couple reading these reports. When the Regnerus one came out, I felt somewhat vindicated. I'd always known that the child of a gay parent faces peculiar challenges; it was disturbing to me that for two decades gay activists had simply used their children as a shield or a weapon in the fight for same-sex marriage, while simultaneously suffocating any such children who suffered the severe and heavy consequences of being raised in such an unusual household.
Those who oppose same-sex marriage need not to repeat the mistakes of the past year. The Doug Allen study is useful but don't make this about which kinds of couples turn out better success stories. Too many times I have listened to right-wing "experts" argue that children raised by same-sex couples will have problems that the rest of society will pay for: they'll be dropouts, possibly criminals, sexually confused and needing therapy, etc.
The issue here has to be the rights of children, all children. All children have these rights:
1) The right to be born free, not bought or sold. This means no commercialized adoption, no child slavery, no sperm banking for pay, and no surrogacy of any kind. Obviously, it also means no abortion, no rape, and no prostitution designed for fertility tourism.
2) The right to a mom and dad wherever possible. This means no divorce based on frivolous desires, no abandonment, no same-sex parenting.
3) The right to know one's origins, wherever possible. This means no adoption without respect for the child's culture, no use of anonymous gamete donors, no unilateral divorces denying children knowledge of their parent, and no irresponsible sexual behavior that might result in a child being conceived and nobody knowing who the father was. Obviously, this also means no rape.
Whether or not children receive high grades or go on to be law-abiding, productive citizens, they deserve the same rights as everyone else.
I went to Yale but was denied a childhood with a father, for two reasons:(1) my biological father abandoned my mother, and (2) my mother, rather than focus on building a relationship between me and my father, got into a lifelong lesbian relationship and implicitly replaced my father with another woman.
It's not about good grades. It's not about numbers and statistics. It's about the right of a child not to go through what I went through. We shouldn't be in the position of defining a child's rights according to high school graduation rates, median incomes, or any other statistical factor that turns people's lives into report cards.