The Ability of Gay People to be Good Parents

27 Jun

I just finished reading a blog, that I would like to talk a little more about. Just a little. You can find the blog here.

First and foremost, let me say that I enjoyed reading it. It wasn’t aimed to be condescending or attacking anyone (at least as far as I could see). This makes it very easy to discuss rationally, which I appreciate greatly. The point of it? That when two people of opposing opinions discuss a topic, they should stay clear of attacking one another when both sides treat each other civilly. I agree.

The comments on it, while I did not read all of them, also seemed to be genuinely civil. I’m sure as I typed my response, they became increasingly unwieldy as they usually do, but thats besides the point. As I was reading them, the writer clarified that he supports neither gay marriage, nor gay adoption, but that he was still close friends with someone who is gay. His reasoning was that gay marriage and gay adoption lack in areas that are necessary for a healthy child and marriage.

Lets talk about that. I know that there are usually other reasons, but lets just talk about this one.

First, I don’t believe that any evidence on this matter is legitimate or substantial enough to warrant the removal of rights of marriage and adoption. Lets assume, for arguments sake, that it is. This would mean that any family situation that would prove unfit for a child at some point in the future would be denied the ability to be married or to adopt. The unfortunate part, however, is that there are so many types of family situations outside of the nuclear family that it would be a tall order to analyze all of them. Single parent households would be especially difficult, considering the parent isn’t married. The only thing we would be able to do is take their child away and not allow them to adopt. No single person, then, would be able to adopt.

This also brings up another point I think is important to understand. Just because two people love each other and want to get married does not mean they want to have children. I don’t want to have children at any point in my life, but I do want to get married to someone I love. Should we look so far in advance that we deny someone the right to get married, even if they might never want to have children? And at that, there is also the argument that marriage is a means of procreation. That means not only should you not be allowed to get married because you will be an unfit parent, but also because you don’t want children.

I would like to put forth an example – the same example I used in reply to the blog – to illustrate how wide the effects of this reasoning could stretch. I used drinking. It seems really unrelated(ish), I know. For this example, I want to assume that this fictional person is an unmarried and single alcoholic, whose problem only affects her personal life (they maintain a job without error, pay their bills, etc). So what grounds should we remove her marriage rights? If we assume she doesn’t want children, she automatically can’t get married (at least according to the far reaches of this blog post). But lets assume she does want children. Lets say we decide alcoholics are unfit parents. We then take away her rights to get married. This can, unfortunately, be applied to a vast number of lifestyles.

I would also like to say that we have an entire agency devoted to protecting children. Mental and physical abuse and neglect are handled by these people. Along with the help of our legal system, these people make the judgement call. They decide who is an unfit parent. I think we should leave it in their hands, not in our own to make judgement calls too far in advance to even know if a couple will have children. If a gay couple, for whatever reason, emotionally neglects their child, then by all means take their child away and give it to a home that can love it, but don’t condemn them for what can only be a speculation by not allowing them to even get married.

Now, lets talk about the legitimacy of an argument that homosexual parents do not have the ability to provide a healthy home for their children. I can’t say that I’m certain what this encompasses. I can’t say for certain that this “evidence” is actually even credited. What I can say is every family dynamic is different, and all of them pose different problems. Many children who come from divorced or single parents think that marriage is nonsense and unnecessary. Children who come from extended family living situations are likely to have closer ties with family than those who come from a nuclear family. Children who have gay parents might have more open minds about homosexuality. Everyone has different experiences because of who their parents are and how they are raised, and its just something that we come to terms with and hopefully make us better people in the end.

Do you think this is a legitimate argument? Should we extend the illegalization of marriage from homosexuals to others who might be consider unfit parents?

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