Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This will be my last post on same-sex marriage and same-sex parenthood for a while. It will be harder to assert that this is not my number one issue if I keep writing about it, but I thought double-dipping posts by sharing papers I had to write for class fit right into my busy schedule!

Here was my most recent assignment description:

You will be given a button that says “Support Gay Rights.” You decide whether you will wear the button or not, it is up to you. Regardless, you will write a one page paper describing your decision of whether or not to wear the button and how that affected you. How did people react to the button? Were there some times that you felt more comfortable wearing the button? What does this say about how gay people may feel? Reflect on what the button means to you. If you do not know what “Gay Rights” are, how can you find out?

Notice how they pointed out that "gay rights," as they have defined it, are factual, definable rights that I could go look up somewhere rather than showing openness for discussion.

And my reflection:

The button, minus the
"Support Gay Rights" caption
I chose not to wear the button. To prevent myself from forgetting to return the button, I never actually took one to begin with.

This issue is divisive on a number of levels, as our conversations and the film we watched have shown. The film focused on the idea that those who oppose changing the definition of marriage to include same sex marriage get their arguments from the Bible.

I’m here to object to that stereotype, as I have reasons beyond the ones proposed in the film that oppose gay marriage and the adoption of children that often follows. As someone who will be married in about a month, I will point out that I don’t consider marriage a “right” or something that I’m entitled to just because I’m in love with someone of the opposite sex.

Marriage is a foundational building block of our society, as well as virtually every society (non-Judeo-Christian and Judeo-Christian, alike) that has formed in our world. Men and women exist on this Earth as counterpart human beings, not just because of their sexual organs and typical attraction to each other, but because of their biological attributes that complement each other. True, one reason that marriage exists and that the government recognizes it with so many tax and other benefits, is because most marriage unions result in bringing children into the world and into our society.

“Homosexual relationships do nothing to serve the state interest of propagating society, so there is no reason to grant them the costly benefits of marriage,” wrote atheist Adam Kolasinksi. My fellow students may argue that lesbian unions can result in children through artificial insemination. Not only do I believe that removes the beauty of what sex was intended to be from the act of creating a child, but the argument fails to address the fact that we have seen ample evidence to support the need for both a male and female parental unit (anecdotally, David Popenoe's Life Without Father presents a clear message on this topic).

I wish someone would answer the question why free birth control and increased access to abortion are so often supported with the argument that they aim to prevent the increase in single parent homes. There is so much research to support the benefit of a two-parent, dual gender role home in the context of the alternative of a single parent home, but the same doesn’t apply when the topic of same sex marriage and same sex adoption arises.

This is the most comprehensive study to date on the subject of same sex parenthood. It clearly shows that adults 18-39 who grew up in same-sex parent homes have an increased likelihood of smoking, getting arrested, pleading guilty, being on public assistance, being unemployed, to have recently thought about suicide (and many other things), and are less likely to have perceived themselves safe or secure as a child than those who were raised in an "intact" traditional mother-father parent family. 

From the above-linked study
There is probably a greater percentage of people who support same-sex marriage separately from same-sex parenthood and who may even oppose same-sex parenthood for the aforementioned reasons. However, I would pose the question about why that is. Why oppose same-sex parenthood for one reason, but support the institution of marriage to extend to include the very relationship you condone as less than healthy for children?

It’s a rich issue that is open to a lot of discussion, albeit unfortunately divisive discussion. The only “reaction” I can report is that which I faced when I shared with my shoulder partners in class about why I would not wear the pin.

I understand that this is the currently popular position and that my fellow classmates hear the word “rights” and throw their hands up in salute so as not to stand in someone else’s way of social justice. However, I argue that the “right” to marry not only does not extend to same sex couples, but also to three people who want to get married to each other.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Multicultural Education

This was the week. I've been praying in anticipation for my multicultural education class this week, knowing that the topic would be "heterosexism." This really isn't my number one concern for our world, but I knew I would be in the minority on this issue and didn't want to neglect my call to it.

In preparation for this week, the professors gave everyone a circle pin that says "Support Gay Rights," asking us to make our own choice about whether or not to wear it for two weeks. There is a reflection assignment due at the end of the semester reviewing our choice. No discussion, just "will they or won't they?"

I prayed that I could open up my heart to be the Holy Spirit's instrument and that I would be able to communicate Love for person, while still speaking the Truth. I knew this would probably alienate me from most of my classmates.

We have to write a reflection paper at the end of every session of "Multicultural Education." This was mine:

This debate is demeaning Love down to this.
As is my habit, I think I made my views somewhat clear last night. The risk with having views such as mine, especially after the entire class watched that film ["For the Bible Tells Me So"], is that voicing them falls on ears that already have opinions about me as an Other. I wish the button experiment was a discussion rather than an assumption that choosing not to wear the button means one is a bigot or a religious nut. I make a very conscious choice never to use “gay” as a derogatory or to refer to people with same sex attraction as an Other. People with same sex attraction face a lot more struggles than I can comprehend and just like other people who face struggles I don’t fully understand, they deserve my respect and compassion. This issue truly isn’t my number one concern, but I think it influences a lot of other parts of our society that concern me (ie, adoption of children by gay couples intentionally removes a parental role from the family). I understand that I am in a shrinking minority, but the message that I kept hearing last night (“Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get one.”) is an unfair one that undermines and silences discussion.

I appreciate that the film included parents who discovered that they needed to have compassion and Love for their children. I also understand that this played well into the “Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get one” stance. However, I agree with the African-American mother when she said that she realized that her thoughts and fears about her daughter’s sexuality centered mainly around her having sex.* Her daughter is still her daughter, no matter to whom she is attracted, and she needed to remember that. This is an important thing to remember for every “Otherism,” including the otherism the movie displayed against their icon for “Christians who stand against ‘gay rights.’” We all struggle with our own burdens and understandings of our world. I don’t subscribe to the idea that the world is void of a Universal Truth, but I recognize that we’re all searching for it, even if that is subconsciously.

*This link will bring you to the part of the movie I mentioned above. Note: I don't 100% agree with her approach, but she made a good point that can help those of us who forget to Love all people.
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