Inspirations

Todd Huffman, writing a Guest Viewpoint in today’s Register-Guard online, has a terrific piece delineating exactly why the “it hurts the children” arguments presented against same-sex marriage are so erroneous and malevolent:

Notwithstanding the complex cultural, moral and religious issues related to same-gender couples and their children, the case for denying same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage – and all its attendant benefits, rights and privileges – cannot and must no longer be defended by claiming the best interest of the child. The child’s best interest is served foremost by attachment to committed, nurturing and competent parents, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation.

Decades of study have demonstrated no risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with one or more gay parents. What has been consistently demonstrated is what common sense tells us: that greater stability and nurturance within a family system, irrespective of the parents’ gender, predicts greater security and fewer behavioral problems among children.

While those of us who are gay have often made these same arguments, Huffman’s presentation is eloquent and straightforward, and today’s must read.  As he notes, moral and religous arguments aside, “it’s best for the children” is really not scientifically proven.  No matter what “scientists” James Dobson decides to hobble forth with next.  No, it would seem, from the actual scientific studies, that stability in the home is the most important thing.  Of course, those grand old preachers who keep getting divorced and marrying their mistresses don’t want you to know about that.  Then they’d have to stop getting divorced.  I’ve been with the same man for 14 years, they get a new wife every five or so, and they’re questioning my morality?   Whatever happened to “Judge not, lest ye be judged?” 

Relatedly, while the Anglican Union continues to fracture over the question of whether or not to bless same-sex unions, perform ceremonies, and even ordain ministers and bishops, the rest of the world watches.  And the potential schism of the worldwide Anglican Communion, including the American Episcopal Church (which consecrated openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson last year), looks awfully reflective of the societal struggle taking place within the United States.   

In a final statement to bring the six-day meeting to a close, leaders explained that the pledges made by the ECUSA for a moratorium on gay unions and consecrations have been so ambiguous that they have failed to fully mend “broken relationships” in the 77 million-member Anglican Communion.

The ECUSA was told to immediately clarify its position, and should submit its stance by 30th September or face a “damaged” relationship with other Anglican Churches. . .

In 2006, the rift between traditionalists and liberals widened when the ECUSA installed new Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who immediately gave her firm backing to homosexuality in the Church.

Just as heretofore “moderate” politicians struggle to find acceptance with the Religious Right in America, so do “moderate” Anglicans struggle to find acceptance within their Communion.  For both, the rift seems to be widening, and a permanent schism seems imminent.  I predict a major fracture and restructuring for both the Republican Party, which just now is seeing the folly of letting itself be beholden to any one particular group, and the Anglican church, which has some Primates acting like, well, primates.  

As any Lutheran knows, sometimes you have to stand for what is right and nail that message to the church’s front door.  (If you don’t know the story of Martin Luther, look it up.)  And while gay Anglicans hang in the balance (a literal hanging in so many parts of Africa, where we gays are just sooooo adored) many franchises are standing firm:

“The Anglican Communion can never come to an integrated teaching on human sexuality until it has listened with open mind and heart to our experience and Christian testimony,” the statement continued.

“We subscribe to a high Christian sexual and relational ethic.  We object outright to the idea that it is possible to divide our innate sexual identity as lesbian and gay people from what the church insists on calling ‘genital activity’.

“Like heterosexuals we believe the love between two mature adults should be expressed in a faithful, life-long partnership in which sexual expression is integral.”

Or, as my Gramma used to say, “Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.” 

Because, as you can see from the response above, progress is indeed being made.  I guess someone’s answering my prayers. 

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5 thoughts on “Inspirations

  1. The problem is, Jamie, the juxtaposition of these statements in your first citation.

    Families in America today come in all shapes and sizes. Be they unwed mothers raising their children alone, divorced or separated parents raising their children in split fashion, remarried parents raising their children and stepchildren, or grandparents parenting again, American families of the 21st century are much more diverse than the standard one-mom, one-dad, 2.1-children model of yesteryear.

    Followed by this:

    But societies do change, and ours will one day give no second thought to homosexual parents, and to granting the security of two legally recognized parents that their children deserve.

    But if children deserve legally-recognized parents, then several of the family units described above are not in the best interests of children.

    Therefore, since children deserve legally-recognized parents, it should be illegal for anyone other than two married individuals to raise children.

    However, if being married is not required to be good parents and to raise children, then there is no imperative to grant marriage to gays on the basis of child-raising.

    Gays cannot argue that family structure has nothing to do with childrens’ success while whining simultaneously that their children are being irrevocably damaged because gays cannot marry; the two are contradictory. The American public has recognized this duplicity on the part of gays, which is why they have done a fine job of separating out the question of gay marriage from gay parenthood (adoption), overwhelmingly opposing the former while tolerating the latter.

    And this I loved:

    “We subscribe to a high Christian sexual and relational ethic.”

    At which point the primates likely held up the “Beyond Marriage” manifesto, or the latest copy of The Advocate, or the links to about forty different gay blogs in which Christianity is not only ridiculed, but stated as being incompatible with being gay.

    We need new rhetoric, fellas.

  2. Gays cannot argue that family structure has nothing to do with childrens’ success while whining simultaneously that their children are being irrevocably damaged because gays cannot marry; the two are contradictory.

    Not really. You’re mixing arguments here. I think the argument being made is that the type of family structure, same-sex or opposite sex, is not deleterious to childrens’ development, but the benefits denied children of gay couples simply due to their parents’ sexes is deleterious. As in:

    greater stability and nurturance within a family system, irrespective of the parents’ gender, predicts greater security and fewer behavioral problems among children.

    It’s the presence of a family unit, not the sexes of the parents, that has the greatest effect. I don’t think there’s much serious debate that two parents are better than one. (Some, yes, but not credible, IMHO.)

  3. But Jamie, if it is deleterious to children for their parents to be unmarried, then why do we not mandate marriage for straight couples who have children?

    In addition, “stability and nurturance” is neither created or maintained by legal arrangements, as numerous children of divorced parents will tell you.

    In short, arguing that children are horribly damaged because society has decided to make marriage exclusive to a man and a woman holds very little water when society has no constraints on children being raised in unmarried households.

  4. if it is deleterious to children for their parents to be unmarried, then why do we not mandate marriage for straight couples who have children?

    That’s not the argument at hand. Remember, in the land of the free we don’t mandate very much that might seem common sense to most people. The argument made by gays is not about requiring marriage, but broadening access to it, thereby benefitting more children.

    In addition, “stability and nurturance” is neither created or maintained by legal arrangements, as numerous children of divorced parents will tell you.

    No, but overall “stability and nurturance” are given more opportunity to be flourish with a two-parent home. Not all parents use that opportunity to the benefit of the children, but that fault lies with the parents.

    To make a weak analogy, “safety” isn’t created or maintained by seat-belts, but for those who choose to use them the belts are a definite advantage.

    In short, arguing that children are horribly damaged because society has decided to make marriage exclusive to a man and a woman holds very little water when society has no constraints on children being raised in unmarried households.

    That seems a nonsequitur to me. When talking about children raised in unmarried households, the fault, or choice, whichever it may be, lies with the parents. They can get married but choose not to. Chidren raised in homes with same-sex parents miss out in various ways throughout their childhood because their parents can’t get married even though they want to. Apples and oranges.

  5. The problem, Jamie, is the difference between doing better by having something and being harmed by its absence.

    I would absolutely kill for gay groups pushing for marriage to openly state that children do better with married parents. But it will never happen, because that would piss off the feminist and leftist base to which gays are chained that has made a career of claiming that marriage is an inferior and outdated institution.

    Thus, gays try the, ‘Well, our inability to get married is hurting our children” — which self-destructs when one considers again the feminist and leftist base to which gays are chained, which has also made a career of claiming that children are NOT harmed by not having married parents.

    The best analogy, in my opinion, is income. Children tend to do better the higher their parents’ income; however, we do not mandate or require that parents have a specific income level before having children, nor is the government required to make sure all parents have the same income level in the name of “equality”. The reason why is obvious; while it may be easier in the wealthy homes, it’s neither required or a guarantee of success.

    In short, if children are harmed by their parents not being able to marry, then you have an argument. However, if that’s the case, it seems crazy to allow millions of children to be harmed by being raised by unmarried individuals or parents.

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