Saturday, July 04, 2015

Won't Someone Think of the Children?

"If you still say 'It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve' as an argument against gay marriage you need to Adam and leave."


There is a particularly deplorable kind of anti-gay argument that keeps popping up whenever same sex marriage is discussed. I call it the "Won't someone think of the children?" appeal to emotions. Basically, the argument is this: the natural arrangement of parenthood is that there should be a male role model and a female role model to aid in a child's growth. Some might even argue that children should have an inviolate RIGHT to one male and one female parent, and that we are somehow selfish or cruel to deprive them of this by advocating for marriage equality.

Anti Gay
And if you ask children what they need, some might even say "triceratops".

Firstly, there is a very contentious claim that the above arguments are predicated upon i.e. gay parents are inherently inferior to heterosexual parents. In what way are they inferior? We are not sure. Claiming that the best parental arrangement is one with a man and a woman in it (and therefore gay marriage is bad) is essentially circular logic. It's a bit like saying that apples are bad because they aren't oranges; because oranges are better than apples; because oranges are totally the best damn fruits in the universe. Aside from that fatal logical flaw, it is also a complete bald-faced lie. A review published last month which looked at 19,000 studies related to same-sex parenting from 1977 to 2013 finds an "overwhelming" consensus that there are no difference in children raised by same-sex or different-sex parents.

And you know what? There are studies which show that gay parents might even be superior to heterosexual parents, statistically speaking. It makes sense if you think about it (and if you actually own a brain in working condition with which to do so): gay parents consciously and purposefully choose to be parents because all avenues available to them, whether they achieve it through adoption, surrogate mothers or donor sperm, necessitates deliberation. I would also imagine that gays who want kids tend to be higher on the social ladder and are already in committed relationships. Meanwhile, it is entirely possible for teenage, non-committal heterosexuals to accidentally produce new life (and they do so very frequently, I must say), thus opening the can to sadly unwanted children being bestowed upon woefully unprepared parents. In case it is still not made abundantly clear, being straight doesn't automatically confer one with adequate parenting skills and if this is news to you, you might possibly be an idiot.

Secondly, this "Won't someone think of the children?!" argument assumes that the only conceivable reason anyone has for marrying is to create teeny, tiny, stickier, less potty-trained versions of themselves. In fact, a anti-gay-parenting gay man went as far as to argue that marriage's purpose is not because of love but rather, it's for the regulation of reproduction. Ipso facto, gays shouldn't marry. But even if we treat marriages as purely loveless social contracts with the state, there are still literally more than a thousand reasons for anyone to get legally hitched including tax benefits, family leave from work, visitation and health care proxy rights in hospitals, immigration purposes, joint insurance, and inheritance in absence of a will. So, if you are against gay marriage, you are spitefully denying a gay person from having all these rights your selfishly enjoy.

Besides, if the inability to reproduce disqualifies one from marrying, then why do we allow infertile or sterile, or even menopausal individuals to marry then?

Thirdly, same-sex couples are about 3 times as likely as opposite-sex couples to adopt. To say that gays cannot be good parents is to say that they shouldn't raise children, even adopted ones who were abandoned by their biological parents. I mean, more gay parents means that more unloved, unwanted children will find a home, right? What is wrong with that? By this fact alone, I am convinced that the anti-gay-marriage people who exhorts us most strongly to think about the children are the ones who give the least thought to children of all. It seems to me that people who opposes same-sex parenting would rather children be raised in orphanages rather than in a family with two loving, doting parents. They only care about children as far as they can exploit them in rhetorics to fight gay marriage and gay parenting, and I find that to be a particularly vile brand of hypocrisy. What they are actively doing undermines the hope of children for better lives, all while they pretend to be concerned for them.

So, really, who are the real abominations here?

P.S. No, I'm not going to put a rainbow filter on my display picture. I daresay I did a wee bit more than that.

Thought about the children,

k0k s3n w4i