Thursday, July 22, 2004


The big to-do over gay marriage threatening the moral fabric of this country is beyond comprehension to me.  It seems to me that heterosexuals don't do that good a job with marriage if you look at how many end in divorce.  What I have observed over the years is people who reach a certain age and feel that they should "settle down" get married and have kids.  So they marry whoever they're dating at the time without much thought to what life will be like with that person 10, 20 or 30 years from now.

Most of my friends, I'd say 75% of those who got married in their 20s are divorced and on second or third marriages.  One of my oldest friends seems to have traded in her first marriage for one just like it.  She has the same issues with her second husband that she did with the first.  Since she married number two four months after meeting him she's been discovering this unfortunate fact over the last two years.  There are some differences, e.g. her first husband made a lot of money and her second husband makes none. And he has a five year old son that he's very close to although when he gets angry at him he pulls over to the side of the road and threatens to throw him out on the street. Now that's an example of good parenting if I ever heard. He threatens her the same way so I guess it's an all ages policy.

But the point is that marriage in this country, the institution that the opponents of gay marriage so righteously feel needs to be protected, is in my opinion, a fantasy.  Marriage in America is romanticized as this adventure in true love and Hallmark card christmas tableaus.  This sacred covenant is a con job because once the party is over and you take off your wedding clothes the relationship between the husband and wife is like any other important relationship.  It's a lot of work.  And when you add children to the equation and a mortgage - because that is the American dream, - it can start to feel more than overwhelming.  It can start to feel burdensome.

I read this articletoday and I wondered why it would make any difference to a child of divorce if he had two daddies or mommies, or a mommy and a daddy? Shouldn't the most important thing be that a child has adults in his life that love him and make his happiness and safety a priority? Some of the shit that couples made up of a mommy and a daddy do to their kids when they're going through the dissolution of their sacred union borders on psychological abuse.

Opponents of gay marriage believe that children need a mother and a father, but they don't really make a good argument as to why they feel that people with penises automatically make great parents. From what I've seen a lot of the penis people don't have the slightest idea about good parenting. One guy I know screamed "Fuck you" in his three year old daughter's face because she didn't want to kiss him goodbye. When his wife told him that he owed his daughter an apology his response was, "she should apologize to me!" Um, hello! She's three - you're the adult!

By contrast one of my co-workers and his partner had a child with a surrogate and they both took parenting classes and arranged for one of them to stay home full time. They have a solid relationship, but even if one day they separated the well-being of their child is of paramount importance to both of them because they had to make an effort to create their family. It's sad that gay parents do not receive the same protection under the law that straight parents do. I can't tell you how many dads I know who could see there kids just choose not to after a divorce. Why? Because it's too hard to be the one and only parent even for a weekend. Because it's painful to have to say goodbye when your kids go back to their mom. Because they've met someone else and they have new families. Because they haven't paid their child support. The excuses go on and on.

But I'm just sayin' being a man doesn't make you a good parent by virtue of your gender. That argument doesn't hold water. My step-sister is a lesbian and she and her partner are among the best parents I know. Her two almost grown kids are great, healthy, happy kids and it is a direct result of the love and support that they've received growing up. If I had kids and anything happened to me I would be happy if J. and A. would take them (although now that their nest is almost empty they're ready to travel) because I would know that my children were loved and cared for.

And no one would ever scream "fuck you" into the face of a child in their home, or pull over and threaten to throw them out of the car.

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