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Old 09-22-2008, 01:43 PM   #1
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LA Times Opinion: Liberal Democrat and Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage

Thought provoking or not?

Protecting marriage to protect children
Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving. But in all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood.
By David Blankenhorn
September 19, 2008

I'm a liberal Democrat. And I do not favor same-sex marriage. Do those positions sound contradictory? To me, they fit together.

Many seem to believe that marriage is simply a private love relationship between two people. They accept this view, in part, because Americans have increasingly emphasized and come to value the intimate, emotional side of marriage, and in part because almost all opinion leaders today, from journalists to judges, strongly embrace this position. That's certainly the idea that underpinned the California Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage.

But I spent a year studying the history and anthropology of marriage, and I've come to a different conclusion...

Protecting marriage to protect children - Los Angeles Times
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:57 PM   #2
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Well this person is making the same weak argument that conservatives have been making for years, it's just framed in a "I'm a liberal" package.

You'll always find minority voices within labels, hell I even know a few conservatives that believe in science.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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It's essentially the same argument, only less caustically delivered, as the Justin Raimondo piece financeguy posted awhile back. The main problem with it is the hypocrisy of the distinction employed as to whom to grant marriage licenses to--in the absence of a government commitment to and method for ensuring that heterosexual couples won't likewise be able to 'make a mockery of marriage' by getting/staying married without having children, it winds up making the potential fertility of the couple the deciding factor; that is, body type rather than whether they actually intend to have children or not. As a parent himself, surely Blankenhorn must know that children don't give a shit about 'potential' much of anything, especially when it comes to their parents--they care about love and consistency and reliability and trustworthiness...as in actual, not potential.

Blankenhorn also dances around the question of adoption, which he clearly considers an acceptable 'justification' for marriage in the case of infertile heterosexual couples (despite his claims about the all-important 'birthright' of children to be raised by both biological parents), but he doesn't find that acceptable for gay and lesbian couples and doesn't seem to want to get into why. (And what about the 'birthrights' of children whose biological parents divorced or never got married in the first place? If that's really so all-important, then shouldn't they be able to sue their biological parents to force them to get (re)married?). Again, there's this ridiculous pretense that children care more about whether you could potentially have been their biological parent than how good of a parent you actually are.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:33 PM   #4
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The huge flaw in this guy's argument is this:

Quote:
It is primarily a license to have children.......
... Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood -- biological, social and legal -- into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other.
In this day and age, a straight couple can adopt a child. A gay couple can adopt a child. A straight, single adult can adopt a child. A gay, single adult can adopt a child.

Moreover, in this day and age, a straight couple can undergo in vitro fertilization. A gay couple can undergo IVF. A straight, single adult can undergo IVF. A gay, single adult can undergo IVF.

You don't have to be a straight couple to create or have a child.




It used to be thought that a white person and a black person shouldn't get married, too.


I'm sure some argument of "think of the children" was peddled then, as well.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:37 PM   #5
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does Blankenhorn realizes he just shat all over adoption?
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:47 PM   #6
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I just skimmed the article.

Does he even advocate for civil unions with all the same rights and entitlements and leave "marriage" to the "religious bigots" ?

I didn't see it.

And one more thing. When anyone starts any article with
"I am a liberal Democrat against Gay marriage."

you should know they are full of crap


I am sure we will see some of these:

"I am a true Democrat for Change and I support McCain"



"I am a Reagan Conservative and I support Obama."




Why not just say I am a rational - fair minded person, and setting bias aside,
I support this position and here are sound reasons why. Please consider them.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utoo View Post
It used to be thought that a white person and a black person shouldn't get married, too.

I'm sure some argument of "think of the children" was peddled then, as well.
It certainly was, and sometimes still is; maycocksean talked in a recent thread on this topic about how he and his wife received just that 'argument' from their pastor, and how similar he finds those objections to gay marriage objections (here, here and here).
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:31 AM   #8
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Which is not to say that there aren't unique challenges that mixed race children face that those that come from a more homogenous background don't have to deal with. Likewise, there will be unique challenges faced by children of homosexuals.

But there are also unique benefits--for both groups I'd imagine.

On balance, the challenges are not severe enough to deny people the right to marry or to have children. But I think it's naive to suggest that there are "no challenges" or difficulties for children raised in homes that are considered untraditional by society.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:02 AM   #9
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Of course, though I don't think anyone was suggesting that there aren't.
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:14 AM   #10
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This is an over simplification, but the best things parents can give to their child is love and acceptance. A child needs to know that he or she was wanted, planned and chosen. This can be done by any loving couple, gay or straight.

A good friend of mine was adopted. She wanted to find out information on her birth parents, so she could have medical information and some sort of closure. The family who raised her, is just that. Her family. She loves her "adoptive parents." Always, knowing she was "chosen" to be their little girl.

I feel that a gay couple can do the same thing. Love is love.

Look at how many children who were abused and unwanted. Our prison system is filled with them. Too many "straight" people are having kids, they can not take proper care of. And I don't mean money wise. Since, my area is working/middle class, finance isn't much of a problem. But, I see parents who are not ready for the responsibility and are in serious need of parenting classes. They scream and curse at their children. They don't supervise them. Often the Little ones are left outside to their own devises. Playing in the roads and etc.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
On balance, the challenges are not severe enough to deny people the right to marry or to have children. But I think it's naive to suggest that there are "no challenges" or difficulties for children raised in homes that are considered untraditional by society.

and to take this one step further, whatever challenges might be presented aren't necessarily greater or worse than the challenges presented by any set of parents, and the quality of the mixed-race or gay parents might more than make up for whatever "challenges" are there, and most of these challenges are due to social ignorance and prejudice than anything in the actual quality of the parenting or the family unit itself.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
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and to take this one step further, whatever challenges might be presented aren't necessarily greater or worse than the challenges presented by any set of parents, and the quality of the mixed-race or gay parents might more than make up for whatever "challenges" are there, and most of these challenges are due to social ignorance and prejudice than anything in the actual quality of the parenting or the family unit itself.
I agree.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:17 AM   #13
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Of course, though I don't think anyone was suggesting that there aren't.
Oh, I'm sure no one intentionally was suggesting such a thing. But I think there is a kind of unintentional implication that any suggestion of additonal challenges that children raised by mixed race (or gay) parents is tantamount to racism/sexism.

My point is, and this is speaking from living it, that yes, there are additional challenges (especially if we were to live in the mainland U.S.) but are those challenges so severe that they warrant my wife and I's marriage only being okay "as long as we don't have children"? I dont' think so. I think that most times people are raising the concerns about the children as a cloak for their prejudices.

Issues of racial identity (which I personally think aren't that important, but still) do have some legitimacy and I don't think a discussion of such should be automatically shut down. Likewise, when we bemoan the issue of, say absent fathers, in our society, discussion of whether there might be issues faced by say, lesbian parents, shouldn't be shut down either.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:23 AM   #14
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I agree--but, when those issues are raised in a context of what should be legal (or more precisely, what's worthy of equal legal status) then the chances of getting a reasoned discussion out of it plummets. Similarly, saying "Well as long as you don't have kids" (though I don't really know the rest of the context) conveys judgmentality more than it does sincere if misguided concern, at least to my ear. I'm not saying it should therefore be countered merely with anger, but at the same time I think it's unreasonable for anyone raising the issue in that way to really expect otherwise.

A bit of a tangent, and not really addressed to you specifically, but I've always been a bit uncomfortable with applying the 'absent fathers' motif in a blanket way to any and every form of female-headed family. I can certainly see where some issues would be shared (importance of ensuring children's access to potential male mentors and role models throughout their upbringing, for instance), but it also seems to me that the issues of, say, a 14-year-old-boy whose father walks out, or a 10-year-old-girl whose father moves out after an extremely bitter divorce, are likely to be quite different than those of a boy or girl who never had a father at home, or who can't remember him if s/he did. I feel like I can see some of this in my own family in that my younger brother and sister, who barely remember my father and certainly don't remember what our family life was like before he died, never seemed to have anything like the bitterness and resentments I did about how drastically our family life changed afterwards, because I was a teenager. Which isn't to say that they didn't also have their own issues about 'growing up fatherless' in ways that I wouldn't. I just think we need to be cautious about making analogies between what might fundamentally be very different kinds of families, merely on the basis of whether a man (or woman for that matter) co-heads it or not; it risks conflating abandonment issues with gender issues.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
Issues of racial identity (which I personally think aren't that important, but still) do have some legitimacy and I don't think a discussion of such should be automatically shut down. Likewise, when we bemoan the issue of, say absent fathers, in our society, discussion of whether there might be issues faced by say, lesbian parents, shouldn't be shut down either.


there's a (white) woman i work with who was all set to adopt an african-american baby with her (white) partner. they had to move from VA into DC to be able to do so, which is all sorts of fucked up. but they had to take several courses on racial sensitivity and identity, everything from explaining why your child looks so different from you to african-american hairstyles to working celebrations of african culture into your family celebrations in the way that one might celebrate being of irish or swedish or german descent.

sadly, the adoption has fallen through. don't feel comfortable saying why on here, but if you're curious to know, PM me.

it was fascinating to talk to her about an interracial gay adoption, something that's fairly common amongst gay people, and lesbians in particular.
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