We’re coming up on my four year blogoversary at the end of October. Last year I decided to declare this week, guest post week at Running Stitch and I loved it so I’m doing it again. After all it’s my party!
When Brit asked me to do a guest post, I was thrilled. Who doesn’t want the opportunity to guest blog for such a fantastic woman? I asked her if there was anything she wanted me to write about specifically, and Brit, in her infinite generosity, said that I could write about what’s on my mind.
I have very little on my mind these days except for the looming vote in California about Proposition 8. Prop. 8 seeks to revoke the right to marry of any adult Californian, instead restricting it to one man and one woman. And I could argue forever about the rights and wrongs of what “traditional” family means, the separation of church and state, and whether this would all go away if we just took out the word “marriage.” I’ve made those arguments, and I believe in those arguments, and I find that proponents of Prop. 8 (those who are voting to revoke the gay marriage rights) are still rallying behind the battle-cry of “But think of the children!”
The thing is, I AM thinking of the children.
I am thinking of those who are gay who grow up in households where they hear that they are an abomination and unworthy of equal protection under the law. I am thinking of the high suicide rates among gay teenagers that occur because of this. I think about these kids who grow up believing that, because of who they are, nobody (not even their parents) loves them.
I think about the children from “non-traditional” households, whatever that might mean. I think of the children of single parents who are told that their family is not “ideal,” or that they will grow up to be delinquents or worse because they do not have the proper feminine or masculine guide.
I think about the children who need to be adopted and loved, those who are considered “undesirable” because a parent had a drug problem or there is a mental or physical handicap. I think about how there are loving gay couples who would jump at the chance to give these kids a life and a chance, but are denied because they are same-sex.
I also think about the kids who are already the children of same-sex couples, and I think about how their futures are not secure because the law does not guarantee it. I think about how, if a parent dies, that child could be taken away from the remaining parent, from the life he/she knows, simply because others could not be loving enough to see that gay marriage takes nothing from heterosexual marriage. I think about the fear that must arise from that lack of security, and the pain that results.
I think about the children all the time.
I realize that parents worry that their kids might be taught things at school and in society that are contrary to the values cherished at home, and I understand wanting to protect one’s kids from viewpoints contrary to what a parent thinks is right. (And to be clear, Prop. 8 has nothing in it about education. The point is even moot because in California, a parent can remove his/her child from any lesson for any reason.) But I also think that the best that a parent can do is exhibit a loving example toward his/her children and all people.
Acceptance of all people begins with the teachings of parents. My wife, Merideth, recently wrote the following in an email to my mother:
Leave it to moms [and dads] to be able to clearly get that all their children deserve the same protections under the law…that none is second to or less than any other. Now if only all the parents will just apply that logic to all the nation’s children, we’ll be in business.
Other links of interest:
One (straight) mother’s letter to the Mormon church about its support for Prop. 8.