One of the biggest defenses used by people who are not in favor of gay marriage — even from those who don’t oppose civil unions or other gay rights issues — is that marriage is an institution that’s founded on connecting mothers and fathers to their children. Writes Jennifer Roback Morse for the National Review, in her article “8 Is Not Hate”:
“I view marriage as a gender-based institution that attaches mothers and fathers to each other and to their children. Those of us who support Proposition 8 believe that children deserve at least the chance to have a relationship with a mom and a dad. That isn’t hateful toward anyone.”
Righty-o! Using “the children” as a shield for bigotry seems like shifty parenting to me, but whatevs. When the divorce rate is at 50% in this country, marriage is already under attack — by straight people!
Rachel Kramer Bussel discusses this article on her blog, saying:
“I am not anti-marriage and think it’s fine to have that as an ideal, but to pretend that that ideal in any way approximates reality makes some pretty assinine assumptions….It’s interesting in a horrifying kind of way to see just how stubbornly people are clinging to that institution, and want to “protect” it from those who would seemingly threaten it, which of course makes no sense when it’s dying anyway, clearly.”
So true. My parents divorced after I had gone away to college, so I did get that warm and cuddly childhood with both parents — it was nice! But my friend Andrea grew up with two moms — her dad went AWOL when she was born, her mom came out as a lesbian and had the same partner for all of her childhood, so Andrea also enjoyed the luxury of a two-parent household. They just both happened to be women. Another friend of mine, her parents are still married — but her dad is a total a-hole, barely engaged her in conversation for most of her teenage years, and wasn’t particularly loving to her mother either. Clearly, having married parents was super fun for her.
The point is, parents rule or suck, regardless of whether they’re married or not. And besides that, to argue that marriage is for parents is to ignore the fact that gay people can have children, through a variety of different methods (adoption, surrogacy, in-vitro, and, duh, intercourse). If marriage is such a wonderful institution to raise children in, shouldn’t children of gay men and women enjoy it too? Unless, of course, being anti-gay marriage is just one step closer towards preventing homosexuals from becoming parents…