Wednesday, April 26, 2006

CAP makes an argument FOR same-sex marriage!

Okay, not really. Or at least that isn't their intent. But in arguing for adoption preference for married couples, The Center for Arizona Policy makes some pretty compelling arguments why it is so wrong to deny same-sex couples the same rights, responsibilities, and benefits straight couples enjoy.

Children living with both parents are more likely to test higher in every measure of health, whether physically or mentally.

Then why do we deny gay couples joint adoption? If children are better off with two parents, let them have two parents.

Children in an unbroken family unit do better in every measure of educational success than those with only one parent.

Then whey do we have laws that make it harder for some families to stay together? Why do we make it difficult for parents to have hospital visitation, rights of survivorship, joint custody of their children, and all the other rights same-sex couples are denied?

Children raised by two married parents are much less likely to drop out of school or be unemployed.

Boys living with both parents are much less likely to get in trouble with the police or be convicted of a crime.

Girls with married parents were less than half as likely to become pregnant as a teenager.

Then lets stop putting personal squickiness over children's best interest and let ALL couples that choose to get married!

I know CAP likes to imply here that "both parents" refers exclusively to male/female partners, but there is nothing in any study that indicates this is more beneficial to children than two same-sex parents. Particularly ignorant is this little gem:

Mothers and fathers approach their parenting roles differently to the benefit of children. Fathers can help foster a respect for authority, and help set appropriate behavioral limits for their children. Mothers can provide the emotional support, nurturing and the guidance needed to relate well with others. Both perspectives are good, but without the other, balance is lacking.

I find the implication that mothers cannot foster a respect for authority and set appropriate limits or that fathers cannot provide emotional support and nurturing offensive. I happen to be a woman married to a man and we happen to be parents to three children. We each have strengths and weaknesses that balance each other out in our parenting. Some of them are in line with gender stereotypes, but a lot of them are not. My husband is more nurturing than I am. He just is. When the kids are sick in the middle of the night, they call for dad first, not me. I'm the one who sets the behavioral limits because my husband is more inconsistent than I am. That's what works for us. To try and force some gender stereotype on our unique situation would upset the balance CAP claims is so necessary.

I know a lot of gay couples, and most of them have the same kinds of balance between strengths and weaknesses as any straight couple. Often one's a thinker, the other's a feeler. One's more protective, the other's more laisez-faire. CAP's one-size-fits-all view of family is not only limiting, it's dangerous. It tries to make people into cookie cutters instead of PEOPLE.

I will agree with them that children are better off with married parents. But that's why I will fight for equal rights for everyone, not just for People Like Me.


At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought one of the early lines of the e-mail said it best: "Children do best when raised by a married mother and father. That seems like a common-sense assertion in need of no defense." The "no need of defense" concept is at the very core of CAP's lazy, overgeneralized vision for family. Whatever you do, they tell us, do not consider the variation possible in the human animal. Strike the word "Darwin" from your mind. Do not think of differing modes of love, different modalities of living a just life -- just follow, assume that authority has your best interest, and that the disappearance of differentiation will result in happiness for all -- like a right wing Christian utopia. Act like there are no yearnings in your soul beyond the confines of _The Purpose Driven Life_. G-d gives us answers, not questions! This is the essential blindness and vacuity with which the CAP mindset presents us with. Myopia cannot win out, luckily. --adam

At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. thanks


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