Monday, May 4, 2015

Offensive Supreme Court Same Sex Marriage Arguments

There are many opinions about the arguments in and around the Supreme Court review of same sex marriage. Two stuck out to me as particularly absurd and offensive, likely because they struck closer to home.

In one case, Michigan's special assistant attorney general, John Bursch, argued that a central reason for the state being interested in banning same sex marriage was to protect the bond of children to their biological parents. Does he mean that my bond to my son (who we adopted) is not as significant or as strong as if he were of my own biology?! The relationships some stepparents have with their stepchildren isn't relevant? There are so many situations where a child is not bonded with a biological parent, but is intensely and beautifully bonded to another someone else as their parent that this is incredibly offensive.

Sure, one would be hard pressed to argue that a child not being parented by both biological parents isn't ideal, but it's reality. But this kind of language perpetuates stigma and horrid stereotypes. Many of these "not ideal" relationships can be incredibly beautiful and meaningful (and more so than the "ideal" situations). No one had better ever tell me that my relationship with Brendan is "less than" in any way. And I know all of the adoptive families I know would feel the same way.

In a similar vein, I saw an image of a protestor with a sign that said, "Every child deserves a mother and a father." Again, one could argue that maintenance of the biological relationships might be ideal, but it's not reality, and signs like this dismiss the impressive parenting of many people. There are many reasons someone becomes a single parent, for instance. The children should not feel "less than" in any way because of stupid statements like this.

I'm shocked at the short sightedness of these kinds of arguments to the Supreme Court of all places! Do these people not realize their claims also undermine "traditional" marriage? These assertions are some of the most absurd statements. Maybe it just indicates some people are really just grasping for straws and aren't truly focused on the wellbeing and health of children and families everywhere...


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