Saturday, July 13, 2013

About those families that don't fit Maggie Gallagher, James Dobson, and Tony Perkin's teeny little template for the ideal family

They are alive & well, thriving & no longer silent - thank you very much:

Back in 2003 when we first learned our middle son was gay, my first reaction was to steep myself in research. I needed to know what obstacles he would face as a gay person growing up in a predominantly straight society.

I learned there were oodles and oodles of organizations whose official title has the word "Family" in it and whose mission statements proudly claim they advocate for "the family". I also learned their definition of "the family" made NO mention of the many families who do not conform to their very strict definition of an ideal family, ie.: those whose head of household are a gay couple, a lesbian couple, a single mom (lesbian or straight), a single dad (gay or straight), or grandparents who usually under unfortunate circumstances end up raising their grandchildren, or any of many other non-conforming configurations we see in this country.

Nope, the ONLY family these "family advocacy" organizations advocate for are the ONE-MAN-ONE-WOMAN families. Anything else, according to them is unacceptable and bad for children. Because you know ---- it's all about the children.

And so began my odyssey into the la-la-land of Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, American Family Association, NOM, and so many more, too numerous to name.

And boy what an eye-opener it has been. I watched as they took solid studies by reputable researchers and twisted them to prove their claims of doom and gloom and justify their calls to legislate their version of the ideal family into our laws. I cringed as I watched discredited quack researchers who churn out hate literature masquerading as legitimate science and then use it as proof that children only do well in their version of the ideal family. And then I watched as they set out to make damn sure that many of the families that did not meet their standards (read: headed up by gay and lesbian couples) did not get any of the rights and protections that every other family gets. Because you know ---- it's only about the children who come from families who have these organizations' seal of approval. 

So here we are, 10 years later. Prop 8 and DADT are dead. DOMA is in critical condition. Thirteen states have legalized gay marriage and more states are considering joining the ranks. Numerous states have begun talking about ridding themselves of their hideous gay marriage bans. And polls are now tipping the scales in our favor. But best of all, we are now seeing the children of these non-ideal families - and guess what? They are well-adjusted. They are articulate. They are successful. They are happy. And they are faaaabulous!

Maybe now these so-called family advocacy organizations will start truly advocating for the family ---- all families ---- not just the few that meet their narrow definition of the ideal family. But I won't hold my breath.


No comments: