Thursday, October 30, 2008

Don't Confuse "Normal" With "Healthy"

In a recent Alternet article, Why Straight People Need to Get into the Fight for Marriage Equality , by Joshua Holland, the author wrote of why it's important for straight people to support same-sex marriage.

While reading the comments, I came upon one that irritated me. This comment follows below, with my reponse after it.

The original comment:

Is It Normal?

I wonder if children being adopted by gay couples will grow up in a normal way like other children ( Who's Mom and Who's Dad?).
I know a male child will learn a lot from his father, who's going to shape the character of the daughter (the other guy playing mom!).

My response:

Don't Confuse "Normal" With "Healthy"

Healthy families love and nurture their children by keeping them safe, seeing to their welfare, and educating them into being happy, responsible adults.

Good character is the same for both sexes -- honesty, compassion, responsibility, and so on. It's not necessary to teach a child how to be a good man or a good woman -- we teach them how to be good people. If you're a good person, then you are automatically a good man or a good woman as well. Thus, the number and type of parents involved is a moot point. It's not the form of the parents' relationship that matters, but it's how they treat their children that's important.

There are already adults who have grown up in households headed by same sex parents and they run the gamut of character, just as those raised in families headed by different sex parents do. I can't see how legalizing same sex marriage will change the nurturing of the children in such families from what they've been receiving all along.

It's also interesting to note that these same tired arguments were presented as reasons to oppose interracial marriage -- that it was unfair to bring biracial children into the world because they wouldn't know where they "belonged", that they'd be crushed under the inevitable prejudice, blah, blah, blah. This opinion was repugnant then and the same attitude applied to same sex relationships is repugnant now.

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