Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The right side of history isn't always so clear

In debates about parenting there are countless times we hear of people being called "antigay" for stating that children deserve a mom and dad; we also hear that disregarding such a right is "the right side of history," with history favoring such growing acceptance of gays and lesbians that motherhood and fatherhood will be made optional to please the gay and lesbian lobby.

I'm not so sure. See what we hear about today's situation, regarding abortion:

Almost two thirds of Americans believe abortion is morally wrong, with 53% now believing that life begins at conception. Over 80% of Americans support parental notification laws for underage females seeking abortions.

The shift in public feeling about abortion took shape gradually from the mid 1990s until today. Part of the shift, I believe, comes from women who have had abortions themselves, and later waited too long to have children. Their emotional distress is enough to make many who know them reconsider what seemed, in the early 1990s, a straightforward position on women's rights.

Right now, for same-sex parenting, it seems very bleak to someone like me. There seems to be an overwhelming tidal wave of support for gay parenting arrangements, from divorce with custody going to the gay ex-spouse, to gay adoption, to gestational surrogacy. I cannot lie--I feel extremely alone and isolated sometimes advocating on this issue, because so few children of same-sex couples are willing to offer critical opinions about gay parenting. The gay lobby moves swiftly and totally, destroying any dissenters in their path. Then there is the reality of how many people are eager to make money of gay dreams of parenthood: family lawyers, adoption brokers, and the reproductive technology industry.

But the flame is flickering, it has not gone out. I ask readers to take heart in the movement in opinion on abortion. As time goes on, there will be many gay couples raising children who will themselves regret the divorces, fraught adoption decisions, and third-party reproduction contracts that have made parenting possible for them. More children will come of age and speak more freely. Yes, some will remain devoted to defending their guardians' choices, while others will slowly understand what I have been saying. Communities will start to feel the loss of the erased mothers and fathers. Millions will be searching for who their mothers and fathers were, or agitating against gay guardians to have more access to their birth parents. Like the transracial adoptees brought from Asia in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, the generation of same-sex-household kids will have time for more complex discussion.

I believe that whatever happens down the road, it will look somewhat like America's reversal on abortion. Same-sex marriage will probably be legalized and will stay legalized, but the importance of mothers and fathers will find vindication elsewhere in the legal system, aside from marriage.

If in the future, same-sex marriage is legalized and same-sex parenting is held in check by ethical safeguards, I won't complain. Right now I have to be realistic, though--I see same-sex parenting spiraling out of control and the same-sex-marriage movement has been inextricably tied up with it. Therefore I have to remain critical of the gay marriage movement, which has drawn on false statements about gay parenting to find legitimacy in the courts. But we can lose same-sex marriage and still win, over time, the debate on same-sex parenting, protecting children's rights to a mom and dad. That won't be a bad scenario. The thing is, it won't happen on its own. We can't rest, no matter how hard this all feels sometimes.