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Old 07-05-2013, 09:50 PM   #76
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Perhaps we need to separate the foster home vs. artificial insemination situations.

If we talking about artificial insemination - then the motivation to be a parent is not about saving a child from the streets, it is about bringing a child into the world that would not have otherwise existed and purposely denying that child a mother or father. It seems such a couple is placing their own desires to be parents above the needs of the child. That is what it looks like from my perspective.

Now, if we are talking about adoption - and there is some shortage of caring, loving heterosexual couples - then I would tend to admit that homosexual parenting may be better than none. However, my time in the Catholic shelter for boys - with zero parenting - was an absolute blast.

There is so much involved with parenting - and gender modeling is a very important aspect of it.
This post neatly forgets that many gay people are in fact biological parents. Some are bi and had children before settling with a same sex partner, some came out later in life and had children in a straight relationship first. These arguments focus on children as an "aquisition" for gays, as if they wanted an accessory to go with their new shoes. But a great many gay people get their kids the old fashioned way, and the kids belong to them as naturally as any straight person.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:14 PM   #77
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For the record - I take the story of Eden as allegory...

Regarding your appeal to science (which is a valid appeal) - is it possible for a research scientist to publish a conclusion that is contrary to the homosexual parenting crowd? Would they not get crucified in the press? Would their careers not be ruined?
It would be so neat if you addressed my questions.

As for if it is "possible" for a scientist to publish a conclusion contrary to the "homosexual parenting crowd"....

A. I feel your phrasing is kind of reductive and offensive. Homosexual parenting crowd? Is that the really powerful gang of gay parents who hang out in the lounge of the university research center?

B. No such study is necessary. My comment meant that a quick survey of reproductive medicine shows that there is an unlimited number of combinations for both gay and straight people to participate in the creation of a family in which they may or may not be genetically related to the children, and there may be much more than one woman and one man involved in the creation of the family. For example, imagine a straight couple, both infertile, who use the egg and sperm of a biologically related donor to conceive a child who will be carried by a surrogate. The possible combinations are limitless. (And a quick survey of history and cultures will show that a child raised in a household containing only one man and one woman who are the biological parents of the child are not a universal norm and may even be a minority, given the possibilities of parent death, polygamy, "alternative mating strategies" and so on.)

C. Remember how new acceptance of gayness in general is, and still how marginal. Cultural acceptance for this is still very new. If someone designed a real academic study and got funding for it, and it showed something reliable and important which cast doubts on the ability of gays to raise kids well, I think probably it could get published just fine. We publish all sorts of research. It may be subject to criticism, but I don't think the gay lobby that you worry about is strong enough to bury a real piece of research. Interestingly, though, research up til now seem indicate that by and large, the kids of gays do just fine.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:57 PM   #78
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Great discussion every one. I especially appreciate how difficult it must be for those for whom this topic is especially personal to be patient with views that I'm sure must hurt as they are shared.

The issue of "optimal" verses "acceptable" is an especially sensitive subject and it's one that gives even a strong supporter of SSM such as myself pause. Like AEON, I want to be careful about taking a strong stance without giving it a lot of thought and prayer.

So tentatively here is where my thinking is headed:

It seems to me that gender is innate. It can't be taught. What can be taught is the gender roles our society and culture expect us to play. It seems when we talk about needing a father or mother to teach us "what it means to be a man or woman" what we really mean is to teach us to the gender roles we are expected to fill. I think gender roles are not set in stone; they change not only over time but across cultures. Even now we are living in a time of extraordinary change regarding the roles men and women play. Further as a Christian, I don't know that Scripture really mandates a particular set of gender roles that should be followed by all for all time. Indeed, it's hard to say what God's ultimate intent will be for marriage as well. Christians on the forum may be familiar with Jesus' statement that in heaven there will be neither marriage or giving in marriage but we shall be like the angels. Who knows what that means. . .but more and more I'm convinced that Jesus was hinting that whatever the current understanding of marriage and family in a given culture, it's so far from the heavenly ideal that we can't even imagine it. But I digress.

Of course there are other issues surrounding the value in having an opposite and a same gendered parent. I'm not settled on those issues yet. . .

This discussion does remind me of some of what my wife and I went through when we got married. This was just 16 years ago but even that recently the concerns surrounding the idea of raising biracial children were a big deal. I may have mentioned the pastor friend of ours who when we told him we were getting married, told us "Well, as long as you don't have children. . ." The big question is "What will your child be?" and there was much concern about the social, emotional, and psychological impact of the child not belonging to any race. And growing up in a multi-racial family I have to admit that there are some very real challenges. That whole business about not really belonging anywhere? It's actually true. But in the long run, the advantages of not really belonging out weighed the disadvantages, at least for me (and I hope for my kids. . .really, I feel it will be much easier for them than it was for me). I can't help wondering if it isn't the same in the end for the children of gay parents.

I do appreciate that the article posted by the OP didn't shy away from the real challenges of gay parenting rather than just pretending that they don't exist.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:25 AM   #79
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This discussion does remind me of some of what my wife and I went through when we got married. This was just 16 years ago but even that recently the concerns surrounding the idea of raising biracial children were a big deal. I may have mentioned the pastor friend of ours who when we told him we were getting married, told us "Well, as long as you don't have children. . ." The big question is "What will your child be?" and there was much concern about the social, emotional, and psychological impact of the child not belonging to any race. And growing up in a multi-racial family I have to admit that there are some very real challenges. That whole business about not really belonging anywhere? It's actually true. But in the long run, the advantages of not really belonging out weighed the disadvantages, at least for me (and I hope for my kids. . .really, I feel it will be much easier for them than it was for me). I can't help wondering if it isn't the same in the end for the children of gay parents.
I am really glad you shared this story, because it makes the particularly salient point that there have been countless types of relationships that have been branded "less than ideal" based on nothing more than the general comfort level of society with them. In the early 20th century in this country, for example, an Italian-Irish or Catholic-Protestant couple would have been frowned upon. The definition of "ideal" many conservatives are working with in the case of parentage veers suspiciously close to "normative."
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:35 AM   #80
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No such study is necessary.
And I thought I was biased
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:40 AM   #81
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I've heard and read about many gay people saying this. If they had to choose between being accepted by society or being discriminated or even hated, they'd go with the former. Fortunately, it is more easier these days to be gay than ever before.
Hmm, I reckon it must be different in different countries/situations then. Guess I'm really lucky to live in a country where it's pretty much accepted. Except for a few minorities who might still commit hate crimes, but that's luckily in relatively low numbers. So I feel pretty safe.


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Thank you, Irvine. I look forward to reading more about this.

As for me - I've become more involved in this thread than I really want to be. I've ended up too focused on an issue that I'm not all that clear on. I'm also concerned that if I keep defending it - I will harden my heart.

Please forgive me if I take a breather from this subject and pray/meditate/ponder it further. I do not see these discussions as win/lose debates - but about sharing each other's viewpoints. However, I fear that this if I'm not careful - I will hurt more than help, and I certainly don't want to do that. Please try not to picture me as the man with a bullhorn outside of the stadium - instead, please view me as one of you at a pub, sitting around a table, drinking a pint, talking about life as Achtung Baby plays in the background.
Perhaps a very wise decision to take a break and reconsider your thoughts. I'm enjoying to hear your points of view, actually. It's refreshing and it makes me rationalise that not everyone thinks the way I do.

Just to clarify, your opinion doesn't hurt me in any sense. I respect that you're willing to explain it and discuss views with me. Even though some views aren't quite positive on me, it's still your opinion. And as long as it's put respectfully, it's fine by me.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:52 AM   #82
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And I thought I was biased
Because my comment wasn't about something that you would need a study to see. Fertility science has made possible families with all sorts of combinations of genetic relatedness. Many different adults may be involved in the conception of a child, and they may stay involved in the child's life. If we can take my aforementioned example of two sterile straight people conceiving with two donors and a surrogate and have no trouble recognizing that as a legitimate family, why is a same sex couple raising a child that one of them may be genetically related to suddenly not a real family?

What are gay parents doing other than parenting?

If their families look and act and function just like families, what makes them something other than families?

What makes this model false?

An appeal to nature is the argument that because something occurs naturally it is necessarily good or ideal, or that something that does not occur in nature is necessarily bad.

"Appeal to nature is a fallacious argument, because the mere "naturalness" of something is unrelated to its positive or negative qualities - natural things can be bad or harmful (such as infant death and the jellyfish on the left), and unnatural things can be good (such as clothes, especially when you are in Siberia). Another problem is the distinction of what is "natural" and what is not, which can be really murky: crude oil occurs naturally, but it's not something you'd like poured on seabirds or your garden. The word "natural" itself has no exact definition and can be used in multiple ways, thus allowing equivocation." Appeal to nature - RationalWiki
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:04 AM   #83
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On a different note, I heard Alysia Abbot talk about her book Fairyland on the radio a little while ago. She was raised by her biological father, a gay man, in San Francisco in the 1970s and she was really interesting. It's not all sweetness and light, and she talks a lot about some of the more complex issues that have been mentioned.


"While these days it's not uncommon to meet children with gay parents, in the 1970s it was. Alysia Abbott was one of those kids. When her parents met, her father — Steve Abbott — told her mother he was bisexual. But when Alysia was a toddler, her mother died in a car accident and Steve came out as gay. He moved with his daughter to San Francisco, just as the gay liberation movement was gaining strength.


While her father had not initially wanted a child, Abbott says he enjoyed spending time with her when she was a baby. Her mother's death brought the two of them even closer.


"After my mother's death, I think my father felt like he didn't have very much," Abbott tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "His relationship with a young man that he had while he was with my mother had dissolved. And he, in a sense, felt that I was all that he had in the world, and he was all that I had in the world."


In San Francisco, as Abbott describes in her new memoir, Fairyland, her father immersed himself in the city's gay arts scene, becoming a leading literary figure. His daughter also became a part of that community, but as she grew older, Abbott found herself struggling to parse where she fit in. The scene at the literary events her father attended, for example, began to turn her off. She says: "I was like, 'OK, I've seen that transgressive, weird thing, and it's just a little too weird for me. I'm not interested in that.' "

Fairyland is based largely on her father's journals, which she found after her father's death from AIDS-related complications in 1992, when she was 22. It was reading the journals, she says, that helped her see more clearly the situation they were in together from her father's perspective.


"Unfortunately, he died just as I was becoming an adult," she says. "To be revisiting the journals now ... I have so much more sympathy for his struggles and respect the fact that he was a single father living among roommates, trying to find love as an openly gay man, and also trying to make a name for himself as a writer."


Here's the NPR profile on the book with excerpts from the interview 'Fairyland': A Girl Grows Up In San Francisco's Gay Community : NPR


and here's the link to the audio NPR Media Player
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:17 AM   #84
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Hmm, I reckon it must be different in different countries/situations then. Guess I'm really lucky to live in a country where it's pretty much accepted. Except for a few minorities who might still commit hate crimes, but that's luckily in relatively low numbers. So I feel pretty safe.

Come to think of it, I haven't really heard or read any gay person saying such comments in a long while. I guess with the acceptance of homosexuality and SSM gaining more strength in America, there will be fewer gays saying that. And they weren't really saying that they wish they were straight. They just wished homophobes would realize being gay was not a lifestyle choice as some believed (and still believe) it is.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:11 AM   #85
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Just to clarify, your opinion doesn't hurt me in any sense. I respect that you're willing to explain it and discuss views with me. Even though some views aren't quite positive on me, it's still your opinion. And as long as it's put respectfully, it's fine by me.
This post made me smile - and it makes me happy that I decided to start posting/responding again.

I am guessing we probably agree on more issues than we disagree on and you seem very kind and patient in your responses. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such a way.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #86
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Would you concede that is "wrong" to willfully remove/deny any of these elements?
A great, tough question. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we must come to the conclusion: yes, it is wrong.

And, in keeping with such honesty, it is a great indictment of a great number of heterosexual parents in the US today.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #87
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Because my comment wasn't about something that you would need a study to see. Fertility science has made possible families with all sorts of combinations of genetic relatedness. Many different adults may be involved in the conception of a child, and they may stay involved in the child's life. If we can take my aforementioned example of two sterile straight people conceiving with two donors and a surrogate and have no trouble recognizing that as a legitimate family, why is a same sex couple raising a child that one of them may be genetically related to suddenly not a real family?

What are gay parents doing other than parenting?
I think you are missing the point of AEON's question.

The only study cited in the original article (are there others?) contained the vague summary that children of same-sex couples "compared favorably" with children of opposite sex couples.

Let's say, for example, a study comes to a different conclusion - that children of same sex couples did not compare favorably with children of opposite sex couples. Would the study be accepted with the same authority as the original? Would the study be examined to validate the testing methodology? Or would the study be deemed "homophobic" and discarded entirely.

The underlying concept to this discussion is: does each sex (male/female) bring separate, qualities to a relationship focused on raising a child. While men may take on the "mothering" role (which has been done long before same sex adoption - single dads regularly take on this role) - does this fully equal (thus replace) the mothering role provide by a woman?

The fact that this may be irrelevant to some does not invalidate it as a concept to discuss, especially when we are trying to draw a picture of the ideal.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:34 AM   #88
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I think you are missing the point of AEON's question.

The only study cited in the original article (are there others?) contained the vague summary that children of same-sex couples "compared favorably" with children of opposite sex couples.

Let's say, for example, a study comes to a different conclusion - that children of same sex couples did not compare favorably with children of opposite sex couples. Would the study be accepted with the same authority as the original? Would the study be examined to validate the testing methodology? Or would the study be deemed "homophobic" and discarded entirely.

The underlying concept to this discussion is: does each sex (male/female) bring separate, qualities to a relationship focused on raising a child. While men may take on the "mothering" role (which has been done long before same sex adoption - single dads regularly take on this role) - does this fully equal (thus replace) the mothering role provide by a woman?

The fact that this may be irrelevant to some does not invalidate it as a concept to discuss, especially when we are trying to draw a picture of the ideal.
Are you saying we should ignore the study on the off chance a future study has a different conclusion?
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #89
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A great, tough question. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we must come to the conclusion: yes, it is wrong.


Thank goodness you have the answer to this question.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:16 PM   #90
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Are you saying we should ignore the study on the off chance a future study has a different conclusion?


Or until anti-gay forces can fund a rigged study to show their "science" as we saw with the Regenerus "study" done just in time for SCOTUS arguments last March.

Instead of playing the race card, seems we now play the gay card whereby anti-gay organizations can complain that it's only political correctness that prevents social science from validating their own viewpoints. Just as we have scientists funded by energy companies to "dispute" global warming science, so to are we going to have "tough questions" that pretend to bravely question the stranglehold that gay liberal forces apparently have upon the APA.

It's like Middle East politics. If you don't like the results, discredit the process.
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