Thanks to you all for your comments on my post on Prop 8. Amy rose to the occasion and linked to an article that does not use the Bible as a means to justify Prop 8. (Thank you, Amy! I appreciate it very much.) I've read the article several times, and I feel compelled to respond.
First of all, I grew up with the traditional notion of family being made up of a mother, a father, and kids. That's what I knew growing up, and that's what worked. But issues related to Prop 8 weren't in the forefront of my consciousness back then. During my undergrad days, I began my exploration of what family is and what it means to me. I took a class called Perspectives on Gender, and this was my very first introduction to different types of families. One of the professors who taught the class was bisexual, and her sexuality resulted in her having a very different family than what I had previously been exposed to. We spent one day discussing the notion of family, and honestly, it was the best class period of the whole quarter. I thought her family structure was very cool.
Little did I know then that I would marry into another different sort of family in a few short years. As I discussed before, my husband's mother is a lesbian, and, together with her partner Cherie, they are raising Cherie's three grandchildren. The specifics of why my two mother-in-laws have custody of these kids are not really relevant to this, but I will say that the kids were not receiving adequate care from their parents.
But according to the article in question, "[every] child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him. Every single one. Moreover, losing that right will not be a consequence of something that at least most of us view as tragic, such as a marriage that didn't last, or an unexpected pregnancy where the father-to-be has no intention of sticking around. On the contrary, in the case of same-sex marriage and the children of those unions, it will be explained to everyone, including the children, that something wonderful has happened!"
Knowing what these kids went through at the hands of their own biological parents, and knowing how my two mother-in-laws rescued them from a very destructive and dysfunctional family life, the points made in this article piss me off. They piss me off more than anything else I've read on the issue. There is just so much that is wrong with what's being said here. And frankly, I take it personally.
And here's why: Prop 8 threatens my own family. Yes, I am a straight woman who is married to a straight man, and we plan to add to our own little "normal" family. But these kids, although they are not blood relations, are my family. And I love them. And I love my mother-in-laws for giving them a wonderful home, even though they are both in their 50s and should be planning for retirement. And actually, I would say that when these kids were adopted by my mother-in-laws, something wonderful did indeed happen. If, by being adopted by a gay couple, the kids are being denied their birthright (of abuse and neglect), then I say, "Screw birthright. Let's focus on love."
Besides all this touchy-feely stuff, what is this nonsense about marriage being designed for procreation? What century are we living in? What of those married couples who don't want to have children? Does this mean they shouldn't get married? What of those couples who suffer from infertility to the point where they may need donor eggs or sperm in order to have a child? Should they just forget their dreams of having children because they have a medical condition? After all, if they resort to using donor eggs and/or sperm, they might be denying their child his/her birthright! It's absolute rubbish.
As the author himself stated at the beginning of the article, "[marriage] as a human institution is constantly evolving, and many of its features vary across groups and cultures." And this is exactly right. Our notions of marriage and family have changed. My family is not threatening anyone else's family by being a little outside of the norm. But if Prop 8 passes, it will hurt my family. How is this fair or right? How can anyone justify this?
Bottom line: children primarily need love. We all do. It is simply not right to deny others the right to love and to have a family structure that reflects that love. I don't mean to belabor the point, but this is really an issue of human compassion and decency. I will lose so much faith in the human race if Prop 8 passes. It's just not right.