Did I Vote On Your Marriage?

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The National Organization for Marriage is at the forefront in the fight against the right for same sex couples to join in civil unions or marriages and adopt children. Their primary argument is that marriage should be "about bringing together men and women so children can have mothers and fathers.1" The underlying message is that marriage is about raising children and same sex couples are unfit to do that. One of the most eloquent rebuttals to that assertion is given by Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student who was raised by two mothers, in a testimony before the Iowa House of Representatives opposing a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman:

Our book supports his claim, stating, "[H]omosexual and heterosexual adults don't differ in their approach to parenting and are equally likely to provide supportive environments for their children" (p. 440).

I think that the assertion that marriage should not be between two people of the same-sex because it hurts children is an extremely poor one. Not only is there a lack of evidence for that claim, but where does that line of thinking lead to? There is evidence that divorce hurts children, so do you ban divorce to help children? People with higher incomes can provide better for their children, so do you sterilize people with low incomes to help children? People with higher education levels have children who then are better educated, so do you sterilize people who don't get bachelor's degrees to help children? Just because you have a personal opinion on what a perfect family is and what is best for children doesn't mean that the government should try and force your opinion onto other people, especially when that opinion isn't backed with anything.

Moreover, not recognizing civil unions or marriages for same sex couples doesn't keep children from having same-sex parents. Marital status or sexual orientation cannot be used to keep a woman from using a sperm donor to have a child. It's against the law to discriminate against would be adopted parents because they are of the same sex. Furthermore, children who are adopted, especially from developing nations like many of them are, are always going to be better off growing up in the United States with two loving parents, even if they are of the same-sex, then in orphanages.

1http://www.nationformarriage.org/site/c.omL2KeN0LzH/b.4475595/k.566A/Marriage_Talking_Points.htm

12 Comments

I've seen this video before, and I found his speech very compelling. It definitely bothers me that states have made laws banning gay marriage, and even more so that our federal government will not address the issue itself. I have confidence, however, that just as women's suffrage, desegregation, and other reforms have in the past, that gay marriage sooner rather than later be recognized as a legal union.

What a great example to dispel the poor argument you point out. Marriage is a commitment device, why shouldn't every one have equal access to it. After just learning about genetics it's kind of cool to think of the unique genetic make-up this young man and his sister share.

I love his testimony for his parents! I haven't seen this video in a long time, but watching it again gives me hope. I entirely agree with voiex001, that the fight against gay marriage will succeed and become a part of history just as the other civil rights fights have been.
I also really like your title.

his point is right. I'm not even really sure what would make everything different if i was raised by a gay couple. I think somebody would take a mommy's role and the other one a papa's role anyway. Plus, it's not like children with single parent would grow up ugly. I think it just depends on how the parents are. Gay is not the issue on parenting well.

For many years, marriage has been defined as the outcome of "heterosexual" romance. I know Minnesota bans same-sex marriage, but I was very surprised after realizing Minneapolis has one of the highest LGBT(lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders) populations per capita (fourth in the United States). I wonder until when the government can hide their ostrich head in the sand. The person in the video is a very eloquent speaker, by the way. So impressed!

As a child of divorced parents, I have been raised by my mom and step-dad, whom I consider my real dad as he has raised me for the majority of my life. Coming from a non-traditional family, I find it so frustrating that certain politicians believe that gays will ruin marriage. Like our book said, the majority of American families are not "traditional" families anyway. It also said: "Children raised by same-sex couples don't differ from those raised by opposite-sex couples in social adjustment outcomes, academic performance, or sexual orientation." The speaker in the video was awesome! Thanks for sharing.

This is a great video showing how ridiculous the argument is that same-sex couples don't make good parents. The idea that there is one ideal family is ridiculous, because in America today, more families than not are "untraditional" and by traditional I mean A mother, a father and kids. However it is now far within the norm in our society to have untraditional families such as same-sex parents, only one parent/divorced parents, step-parents, grandparents or other relatives raising children. The government doesn't step into those untraditional families because children don't suffer from being in an "untraditional" family. What truly matters is that whoever takes care of them loves them and provides for them.

Because of my political standpoint, I do not think same-sex parent's should be able to raise children. One main reason is that because the parents may, intentionally or unintentionally, influence the child to go in their direction, meaning to marry gay as well, even if they do not feel the same way. Many children feel as if they need to do what their parents do so the parents are happy with them. So a male child might bring home only male friends so their (fathers) are happy that their child feels the same way. Also, there could be an issue with homophobia. I have seen this happen; where a child brought up in a same-sex household, they are so unhappy that they do not have what most other children have, a mother and a father, that they become scared of same-sex relationships later in life or are just too disgusted with it.

Very interesting post. My standpoint is even though I do not agree with same sex marriages I have no right to judge. Just as I do not want anyone telling me the right/wrong way to live my life and raise my children, no one should be telling gay families how either. This is a very heavily debated topic and I am interested to see what will happen in the future regarding it.

I agree with you and a student from the university of Iowa. I think marriage is not everything that two people should be a mother and a father. And even a homosexual couple really wants to be parents, then I think it's possible. Adopting an orpahn is also okay in my opinion, and the homosexual couple will raise their kid with full of affection becuase thier eager desire to have a kid will be reflected to their rearing.

I totally agree. Their main argument is that it’s bad for the children. There are so many bad parents out there, though. There are terrible people having children, but since there’s a female and male, it’s better than two people choosing to have a kid? That’s the other thing, they choose. They don’t have accidental adoptions. They are making the decision to have a child, where as there are plenty of teen moms who were probably hoping to wait a bit.

Nice Video.But i don't agree with some of its aspects like i think marriage is everything to be a mother or a father.

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This page contains a single entry by shilk005 published on April 8, 2012 10:55 PM.

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