Saturday, October 20

Opposing Same Sex Marriage, for the Kids!

Pam Spaulding just posted about a piece from Christian News Wire with five "reasons" that same-sex marriage is bad for kids. Just to keep things honest, I wrote up a rebuttal to the wingnut idiocy that is Trayce Hansen
One at a time:

...mother-love and father-love--though equally important--are qualitatively different and produce distinct parent-child attachments. Specifically, it's the combination of the unconditional-leaning love of a mother and the conditional-leaning love of a father that's essential to a child's development. Either of these forms of love without the other can be problematic. What a child needs is the complementary balance the two types of parental love and attachment provide.

"mother love" and "father love" are fabricated concepts. They're this woman's assumptions about how mothers and fathers form attachments, yet she presents no evidence to support these assumptions. Even if she's right about a child needing that combination of the two types of love, there's no evidence that women are incapable of conditional-leaning love or that men are incapable of unconditional-leaning love.

...children progress through predictable developmental stages. Some stages require more from a mother, while others require more from a father. For example, during infancy, babies of both sexes tend to do better in the care of their mother. Mothers are more attuned to the subtle needs of their infants and thus are more appropriately responsive. Fathers are generally needed later when they play a restraining role in the lives of their children. They restrain sons from acting out antisocially and daughters from acting out sexually. When there's no father to perform this function, a boy is more likely to become delinquent and incarcerated and a girl is more likely to become promiscuous and pregnant.

This is, again founded on that same assumption about parental behavior, making assumptions about gender roles which do not necessarily play out in reality.

Third, boys and girls need an opposite-sexed parent to help them moderate their own gender-linked inclinations. As example, boys generally embrace reason over emotion, rules over relationships, risk-taking over caution, and standards over compassion, while girls generally embrace the reverse. An opposite-sexed parent helps a child keep his or her own natural proclivities in check by teaching--verbally and nonverbally--the worth of the opposing tendencies.

Once again, she's working with assumptions here and, more importantly, presenting no evidence that there's anything worth with girls adapting behavior she associates with boys or vice versa. That's because children are individuals and that even if (and I'm not saying it's true) most girls tend to be interested in emotion over reason and caution over risk-taking, that doesn't mean that girls who don't exhibit those behaviors have problems. What she's trying to do here is to pathologize human behavior and she's doing a piss-poor job of it.

Fourth, same-sex marriage will increase sexual confusion and sexual experimentation by implying all choices are equally acceptable and desirable. So, even children from traditional homes--influenced by the all-sexual-options-are-equal message--will grow up thinking it doesn?t matter whom one relates to sexually or marries. Holding such a belief will lead some--if not many--impressionable young people to consider sexual and marital arrangements they never would have contemplated previously. And children from homosexual families, who are already more likely to experiment sexually, would do so to a greater extent, because not only was non-traditional sexuality role-modeled by their parents, it was also approved by their society.

This is a common tactic of the right: make assumptions about the cause of sexual orientation and then extract an argument based on it. Of course, this is entirely absurd. No one's demonstrated any evidence that children raised by same-sex couples are more sexually experimental than those raised by non-same sex couples. Furthermore, if a child is gay, it's probably a lot healthier to for that child to have adult role models who can demonstrate that being gay is not the end of the world.

This, of course, is really the point of pieces like this: having gays walk around proud is dangerous because it will suggest to other gay people that there's nothing wrong with them. The horror!


Human sexuality is pliant. Consider ancient Greece or Rome--among other early civilizations--where male homosexuality and bisexuality were nearly ubiquitous. This was not so because most of those men were born with a "gay gene," rather it was because homosexuality was condoned by those societies. That which a society sanctions, it gets more of.

So... what she's saying is that it is natural for people to be gay? That unless we have an iron fist determined to block gay at every turn, that a whole bunch of people who wouldn't otherwise be gay would suddenly start acting all gay? I know a lot of women who would really like to be attracted to women and not men because they think it would make their life easier (I'm not even going to try to explain this) but none of them seem to be able to actually find themselves attracted to women.

And fifth, if society permits same-sex marriage, it also will have to allow other types of marriage.
Right. Because it always goes in that direction. If you allow men to sleep together, then you have to allow goats to sleep with cats. If you allow same-sex couples, you have to allow Rick Santorum to have sex with a dog. If you allow allow women to have sex with one another, you have to allow the lion and the lamb to lie down together and... hmm... never mind that last bit. I think God's given the OK on that one.

Sorry, I can only read so much of this stuff before I get punchy.


Anonymous said...

wow! I agree with you on so many levels! Here I am searching and searching to find any NON-RELIGIOUS, as in secular, as in seperation from church and state, reasons for same-sex marriage to be illegal and I have not found one. It's mostly opinion based or religious based, well religion based which corrupts the opinions I suppose. I have a paper I wrote about it for my English class, more of a story really, it's on my blog on myspace

if you want to check it out. I don't really know why this is so interesting to me but I can't stop trying to look for arguments for gay marriage! Well, take care!

TeleFrank said...

if you enjoyed the twisted pretzel leaps of logic in that article, you may also find this one a non-stop laugh riot:

(forgive me if you've already discussed it)