Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rick Santorum Attacks Gay Parents (Again)

Rick Santorum wants you to know that he's not a big fan of adoption.  He's also not a big fan of artificial insemination.  Earlier this week in Spencer, Iowa, he claimed that gay and lesbian families are pretty awful.  Our families "destabilize The family" (i.e., the concept of "family" and we "accommodate a different values structure".  According to information posted on Think Progress:
“It’s about what America’s basic moral values should be that would be reflected in the law,” he said, adding: “laws should try as much as possible to comport with the higher law and also should comport with what reason would dictate. And what reason dictates is that children need mothers and fathers. … Some say well, through technology, same-sex couples can have children. Well they can, through either adoption, or artificial insemination…but they don’t get the mother and a father.”

If you watch the clip, he talks about about the need to respect the religious liberties of our fellow Americans, but then defines religious liberties as those enveloping the Judeo-Christian values.

He then talks about kids needing moms and dads and disses adoption and artificial insemination because these are too technological.  But then he supports adoption and talks about how it's designed to support children whose biological parents cannot meet their children's needs.  So basically, he actually accepts adoption, but not the adoptive families of gay and lesbian families.

Here are my (continuing) problems with Rick Santorum:

1. He wants religious liberties, but refuses to respect the religious liberties of those who hold different values than him.  I believe in marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples because I believe in marriage.  Marriage is the great stabilizer and uniter.  It promotes commitment and fidelity.  It forces people to think about more than themselves.  It provides natural supports for spouses when they are sick or jobless or dying.  It unites to separate people into one family unit.  I believe this is good for the couple and I believe this is good for society.  I believed this long before I could legally marry my husband, which is why we held a commitment ceremony at my church.  My United Church of Christ church.  My UCC church that celebrates and affirms marriage rights AND rites for both gay and het couples, which is part of a larger denomination that celebrates and affirms the the marriage rights and rites of both gay and het couples.  The UCC isn't alone.  There are other churches, including the Metropolitan Community Church and the Unitarian churches, which celebrate and affirm all marriages.  What about our religious liberties, Rick?

2. I am tired of people like Santorum telling me that the existence of and the legal recognition of my family and others like it disrespect others' families.  It doesn't.  As noted above, we did not marry because we think marriage is a joke.  We totally believe in and respect marriage.  Not only our own marriage and the concept of "marriage", but also others' marriages.  Every time someone asserts that my family disrespects "marriage" or "the family", it's a total slap and statement of disrespect towards my family.

3. I realize that I am totally biased here, but I totally disagree with the assertion that children always do best with married mom and dad homes.  It's true that there have been ongoing research showing that kids do extraordinarily well when raised by their married biological parents.  But it's also been shown that kids do extraordinarily well when raised by their gay and lesbian parents.  It comes down to stability, and commitment, and consistent rules and discipline, and love, and proper priorities, and financial stability.  Married heterosexuals do not hold the patent on these attributes. 

4. The existence of gay and lesbian families isn't proof of the awfulness of gay and lesbian families.  The discussion of my family doesn't harm your religious liberties.  The existence of my family does not disrespect your family.  The presence of my children at their schools does not harm the potential of your children.  Legally nulling my marriage does harm my family and our childrenOpenly disrespecting my abilities and my status as a father does harm my family and our childrenOpenly denying my presence at the Table and minimizing my religious beliefs does trash my own religious liberty.

I appreciate some of Santorum's overall sentiment (i.e., families are society's bedrock and we need to support our families), but he really needs to get over his us vs. them political scare-mongering.  Ultimately, his words, actions, and goals threaten the very religious liberties and family values that he so dearly attempts to represent.

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