Thursday, May 21, 2009

Exploiting Children to "Save" Marriage

Why must folks who claim to be for family values exploit children to protect their narrow and religious vision of marriage? Why do their appeals to fear always feature children? Do they have no shame?

A new way of thinking? Goodness, who thought new ways of thinking was so dangerous? If "new thinking" is that families come in many sizes and types, what is the danger in that? If "new thinking" is to celebrate differences, what is the harm in that? Promoting love and commitment between any two people is a good thing.

The only confusion is created by people who refuse mind their own business and let gay and lesbians enjoy the same rights as they freely exercise. Confusion is caused when parents think that the worst thing that could happen to a child is to either have no opinion about homosexuality, are okay with homosexuality, or becomes homosexual. They are so afraid that acceptance would turn their little darlings gay, when most gays I have known came from strict, conservative christian families.

There is no confusion when you say that many men and women meet and fall in love with each other. Some men fall in love with men. Some women fall in love with women. There is no confusion when you teach your children that there are all kinds of families. Confusion happens when a narrow view is taught to them, and it conflicts with reality. Most families are not typical, traditional nuclear families.

It is far better for our kids to be brought up respecting all parents regardless if they are gay or straight. Our kids classmates will have same sex parents, single parents, mixed race parents, foster parents, and divorced parents. All of those families have equal value, and that is the lesson kids need to pick up.

I think it is terrible to implant in a child's mind that "new thinking" or acceptance of the reality is somehow dangerous. I hope my son entertains a lot of new thoughts and challenges traditional assumptions. I hope he has better things to do than work to deny a group of citizens their rights, and will work to protect the rights of others.

One of my measurements of being a good mom is to raise my son being comfortable enough with himself to be able to make others feel good being themselves. He will know his mother supports gay and lesbian rights (as I support rights of workers, women, immigrants, children, and those of color) even though she is a straight, married mother because fighting for equal rights for all citizens is the right thing to do.

Reality-based thinking hold that gays and lesbians being able to marry will have zero effect on heterosexual marriages or the institution of marriage. The result will be more couples will choose committed relationships and that is a good family value.

1 comment:

Deni Dithyrambic said...

"Your children will learn a new way of thinking?! What the hell! Let’s preserve the old ways of thinking — I want children to be taught that the world is flat, just as it appears; that the harvests are successful due to propitiation of the Sun God whose temple is on the mountaintop; that health is regulated by the body’s four humors; that women’s brains are too small and delicate to handle complex facts; and that marriage is between one man and one woman of the same race so long as the woman is a virgin and her father accepts the husband’s dowry. The Middle Ages — if they were good enough for diseased, ignorant swine with a 24-year lifespan, they’re good enough for me." - SayItWithWookies @ Wonkette

It is no coincidence that the anti-gay movement based on parental fears dovetails with fear of other information being available to kids like comprehensive sex education and the birth control availability, evolution and science education, and a liberal arts education.
Parents are opting out of education and selecting homeschooling for the most part to avoid their children being exposed to "new thinking" on relationships, science, and basic birth control and STD protection.

Do we really want a generation of children to believe that the earth is only 6000 years old, that birth control is dangerous and ineffective, and that the only valid love is traditional marriage for procreation? That is not the kind of world I would like to leave behind. That is why I have this blog that talks about the religious right as well as cultural interests.