Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Are Families Really that Different?

Zach Wahls is a 19-year-old university student in Iowa. Republicans are beginning a campaign to strip gay couples of the right to marry. One reason, sometimes given, is that gay people can't be good parents, at least not as good as heterosexual parents. Zach was raised by a lesbian couple and he addresses that issue.

I knew a young man who worked for one of the political parties in a British Commonwealth country. He worked in parliament with one of the parties there. A debate arose whether to allow gay couples to have civil unions or not. Conservatives opposed the measure, while both modern and classical liberals supported that right. Most of the members of his party supported the move but a couple of conservatives opposed it.

One of those conservatives was going into a rant about how children raised by gay couples are always socially deficient and unable to become decent adults as a result. He asked her if she really meant all children of gay couples. She assured him that she did. He said: "I was raised by a lesbian couple, do you think I'm deficient." She ended the conversation.

This woman had worked with him on a regular basis. He worked for her own party. She never once saw anything in him that would "tag" him as the result of a gay relationship. Yet, her own prejudices required to  her to believe he must so be. How did she deal with this clear evidence contrary to her own assumptions? She walked away and ignored it.

I suspect the Republicans will do the same thing, ignore the clear evidence before them and continue on with their hateful, bigoted ways.

Of course the Iowa State House passed a resolution for a constitutional amendment that would strip gay couples of all rights to marry, domestic partnerships or civil unions. It is, once again proof that the Republicans don't mean it when they say it is only the "marriage" issue that worries them. They, in fact, won't be happy until gay people are stripped of any legal rights to their own relationships. That is NOT getting government OUT of people's business—that is making government a major intrusion into the personal relationships of people. This is big government on steroids. The vote was 63 -37. Shame on Iowa. Shame on the Republican Party.

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