Sunday, July 14, 2013
My response to a same-sex couple that asked, "What do you say to our child to explain why you think our family doesn't count?"
I don't know you and won't be talking to the child you're raising any time soon, if ever.
I don't know if the child in your home ended up being raised by you two because of adoption, divorce, the death of a former heterosexual partner, insemination, or surrogacy, or some other method. The reason that I don't know such information is that you have kept that information secret, to protect yourself from scrutiny.
Seeing as you are the one tightly controlling what outsiders know or don't know about the girl you and your partner are raising, it's fairly feasible that you'll be able to control what she reads and doesn't read. Chances are she won't read my blog, and if she does, I assume that you've educated her enough in basic logic to understand that my blog isn't about her or her family. If her reading skills are adequate, she will know right away that I never said your family doesn't count.
The ball's really in your court, Same-Sex Couple. Nobody I know said that your family doesn't count. So when you ask me to explain the reasoning behind a statement that nobody made except for you, as you were ventriloquizing for a straw man you invented in your head, I have to take a pass on your invitation into a rhetorical sand trap.
Instead, I'll give you a list of things you ought to explain to your child:
1. Why did you think having two moms was good enough for this girl? Did you think because she came from an orphanage or a sperm bank that she doesn't deserve to have a dad, know her roots, or bond with a male authority figure?
2. Why did you place your own dreams ahead of her needs? Was it because you didn't think this through enough? Did you overthink it? Did you assume, in some self-deifying form of hubris, that you could mold her into the type of soul who would be happy with two moms and who wouldn't ever want a dad? Did you assume that if you failed to mold her into that type of person, you'd be able to make up for what you did to her, by buying her things and threatening to make her look ungrateful if she complained about it?
3. Why do you oversimplify and manipulate language by saying I think your family doesn't count? Why not engage in the deeper argument about whether what YOU did was ethical or not? Why engage in debate with me at all if you are going to limit our vocabulary to brainless platitudes like "my family counts," "my family exists," and "I am as good as you"? Do you plan to keep your daughter in this Orwellian state of dumbed-down doublespeak for her entire life, lest she suddenly realize that you deprived her of a dad and spent much of her childhood trying to deflect blame for this crime onto other people?
4. Do you ever plan to apologize to the girl you are raising for violating her basic human rights, severing her from her father and denying her a father and controlling her for your own quest for validation?
You see, Same-Sex Couple, I am the son of a lesbian but I am also a grown man with a PhD, and I teach English. I am not fooled by your dilatory clichés about wanting recognition, equality, and protection for your family. I find it rather offensive that you demand such things while failing to realize that you are insulting the children of widows, single parents, and parents who never got married--in your worldview do they not "count" because the people raising them aren't married? What if an orphan is being raised by an older sister and her roommate? Does his family not "count" because the two women raising him aren't sleeping together?
Why do you think you are better than all those other examples because you and your female partner have sex with each other and went out shopping for a kid? Rarely have I met a snob who thought she was a snob -- usually snobs are busy comparing themselves to the next higher class they want to get into, rather than thinking about how they treat the classes they view as inferior to themselves. I call this the paralegal syndrome. Paralegals wish they could be afforded the same respect as lawyers, but they don't like to be treated like secretaries.
That's also the same-sex parenting syndrome: Same-sex parenting households want to be treated just like heterosexual parenting households and don't want to be classed with out-of-wedlock children, single parents, or divorced children, even though those three latter classes all include people who didn't go out of their way, necessarily, to force a charade onto their children that they don't actually have a father somewhere. You did force that charade onto your children. So whether you feel I "count" your family enough, you are uniquely culpable among all the parenting scenarios we consider here.
When you say your family deserves the same "protections" as a heterosexual household and therefore you must have the right to marry, you are engaging in terrible dishonesty. You don't want protection for the children you are raising. If those children had protections -- such as the protection of their right to a mom and a dad -- you wouldn't be raising them. You want power for yourself. Among such powers would be the power to silence anybody who sees that what you are doing is wrong.
Robert Oscar Lopez