“What are you watching?” Master10 asked me tonight.
“Just an ad about gay marriage,” I told him.
“Good,” he said. “People should be able to marry whoever they love.”
“It’s not saying that,” I told him. “This is saying they shouldn’t be allowed to.”
Then we watched the whole thing together. And an interview by David van Gend defending it (both vids below).
Straight off the bat I’m going to say this is the first time I’ve heard an anti-gay-marriage argument which hasn’t gone down the track of gay marriage offending our maker or how the idea of two men/women doing it is just icky.
So kudos for that.
But also straight off the bat, I still think their argument sucks balls.
Because it’s spin. It’s saying something that sounds right but which doesn’t actually mean anything, especially in a world where parents can die young, where divorce is so unfortunately common, where a mother or a father can disappear from their childrens’ lives on a whim, and where, let’s be honest, there’s already a lot of fine, well adjusted, loved children raised in gay households.
I even know a couple. They’re good people. What’s more, you can’t tell the parents are gay.
Zach Wahls, an American gay marriage activist raised by two women (I’ve included a vid of him below too), gives a different answer to the idea that every child deserves a mother and a father, and to be quite honest it makes a lot more sense – both emotionally and in terms of common sense.
“Every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine,” he says. “Because the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the bad times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love which binds us. That’s what makes a family.”
Families are so much more complicated than a mother and a father, and they have been forever. I don’t even have to look further than my own family to give an example. My father had a cousin who was raised as a sister. My older two kids were raised as stepchildren of my second wife (she’ll throttle me when she sees I’ve referred to them as anything but her children).
Families can be single parent, adopted, fostered, step, living with grandparents or siblings and so many more scenarios. I know someone who’s taken in a young man these last couple of years and raised him to adulthood without any family connection or government assistance just because the kid needed someone to care enough and she felt it was the right thing to do. I know a young girl who was housed and raised by the teachers of a school when the parents (a mother and a father) decided it was all too much and kicked her out.
So saying it must be a mother and a father for it to work out okay is all manner of daft.
But I do understand how some people find same sex couples a bit icky. I just don’t think their emotional responses matter a hoot compared to the happiness and well-being of people who simply want the same rights as straight people.
What’s more, for me, the idea that these people at Australian Marriage Forum are trying to use children as a human shield for their bigotry and out of date views is a little icky.
After half an hour watching the vids, my son was on his high horse. I’d hardly said a word. Also, I was so proud.
“You should write something to tell them they’re wrong,” Master10 told me. “Why should they be able to stop two people from getting married. And just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they don’t want to have a family.”
“I’ve already done it,” I assured him, and we read my comment at the bottom of the Youtube video together.
“I don’t think I’m gay, Dad,” he told me. This is the first time he’s actually said anything like this. Not sure if laughing was the correct response but I went with my gut. “But if I was,” he continued, “I’d still want a family.”
“I know,” I told him. “This whole thing is about people who have something trying to stop others from having it because they’re different. It’s about discrimination.”
And then he said something which not only gives me hope for the future of our society but also strengthens my resolve to continue to message my federal member (Warren Truss – who doesn’t share my view on discrimination and thinks most people in our area agree with him), comment on posts & Youtube videos, bring it up at parties and rant on my blog.
“I love you, Dad,” Master10 said when we finished talking and I sent him off to bed. “You’re doing the right thing. You’re the best.”
He’s just turned ten and he gets it.
And finally, one of the many responses I’ve received from my federal member, Warren Truss, when I’ve written him on my views and asked him to please change the law so gay people can have equal rights and marry. He doesn’t agree with me. I’m not giving up on him.
If you’re in the Wide Bay area consider contacting Warren Truss to let him know your thoughts.
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It really does make a difference. Thanks.
“Raising a family on little more than laughs”