Should Gays Raise Children?

July 7, 2011

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As we enter the time of year when we’ll hear presidential debate after debate and advertisement after advertisement I began to reflect on some of the values that I expect from my candidate. As I reflected, one particular value hit me very hard. Four years ago this same idea was “sort of” on my radar but I didn’t feel very strongly about it. As with most of us, our experiences in life provide us perspective. As we grow older we develop sometimes those perspectives change based on the very experiences that we have.

I often say that as we grow older in life we tend to think more conservatively. That doesn’t mean that all of us will become conservatives, but without a doubt I would think that most people will move a little more conservative with age. The last few years I moved a little more conservative on one particular issue; this issue won’t sit well with many people either. That issue is related to gay marriage; specifically, it’s gay couples having or adopting children.

I still could care less if the Squirrel and Zarberg want to get hitched and do the nasty all day. I could care less if that means they declare themselves a couple for tax purposes, for the benefit of insurance. I’m still fairly neutral in that view as long as I don’t have to watch them making out. I still think it’s a sin and I still don’t approve of it but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the desire of a gay couple to declare their devotion to one particular person.

Here is where I draw a firm line in the sand. Gay/Lesbian/Homosexual couples should not parent children whether they have been adopted or birthed through insemination. A few years ago I didn’t view this as much of an issue. Let me explain why I have changed my opinion.

I work with a gay female that is in a committed, long term (married now) relationship with another female. They have two beautiful children. Both children were carried and birthed by my friend’s spouse. The father is the same for both children and Mom was artificially inseminated. The kids are 100% brother and sister in every way having the same Mom and Dad. They are blessed to have two very caring and loving Mom’s. The Mom that I work with is one of the most loving individuals that I know. She cherishes her children to a point that is rivaled by few. I know she would do anything for her kids and loves each of them more than life itself. Her spouse also loves their children more than many parents love their children, but I don’t know her very well. They provide for the kids very well and are raising them wonderfully.

Ok Squeaky, this sounds like it’s going well. What’s the problem?

The problem really origin blows up outside the home. Kids are horrible to each other, you know that. If kids can find something odd about another child, they exploit it. Most of the time its petty stuff like, “Kosmo has a green shirt on today so he’s bad”, “Kosmo has cooties” or “Don’t play with Kosmo today because he farted in class…again”. You know, stuff that passes in a moment or two.

These two kids however are in hell a great deal of the time. “Martin has two moms…eeeeew” “Squeaky is going to be gay because he has two Moms.” “Don’t invite Crunchy to the sleepover because she has two moms so you know she’s going to try and kiss you”. This has been going on for a couple years and it isn’t slowing down.

The kids can’t ride the bus any longer. The kids can’t hang around after school any longer. The kids have to get taken to school and picked up by one of their moms so they don’t get picked on. The whole family is deeply troubled by this and they’re all in psychotherapy trying to deal with it. You tell me, what 7 year old child should need a shrink? Do you think for a minute that this was a thought in the mind of the parents when they decided to have these two kids? Of course not, obviously the kids’ moms never intended for any of that to happen. What parent would?

This doesn’t mean that they aren’t good parents. This family lives in a small town of 50,000 people and everybody knows everybody’s business. There is no escaping for these kids. Certainly as they grow older it will get better, but we’re talking years from now, and at what price? The oldest is 12 and she is still going through hell. She went on a date with a boy a few months ago and the boy’s parents flipped when they found out that she had two moms. Then one of the moms found out that the boy was black and she flipped too. There is no winning.

I’m not trying to say that gay people are bad. If anything this story should show just the opposite. They’re just like everyone else, they can be great, kind, loving, caring people OR they can be a total jack ass. Being gay doesn’t make someone good OR bad. Being gay doesn’t mean that a person is a good or bad parent either. What I’m saying is that being a gay parent does set up your children for a lot of grief, turmoil and many years of hell.

As we go to the polls, as we listen to and watch debates this year, I’m not asking you to change your mind. I’m not pushing for No Gay Marriage or anything like that. I’m not trying to deprive anyone of their rights. I’m just saying, we all need to grow up and not think about immediate gratification. Think about the long term impact of the decisions that we make. Think about how your decisions impact others; not just with gays being parents but with everything: Unions, taxes, abortions, green/clean energy, buying American produced goods, annexation of that little farm down the road, approving the bond fund, raising the sales tax, eliminating the senior exemption, changing the drinking age, immigration requirements, and minimum wage. I could go on and on.

I’m not saying that the conservative thought is the correct one every time (even though it is), but we really need to be responsible and think deeply about what you’re voting for/against. Everything we vote on has impacts beyond the main subject you are looking at. Think about it thoroughly, consider the impact and make your decision wisely. Don’t just live life in the moment.

I’ll stop down off my soap box now.


Safe At Home

July 30, 2010

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The ball sailed high into the air before smashing into the window of a house situated deep in right field of the makeshift diamond.

Jeffrey Snyder grabbed his glove and prepared to make a hasty exit to avoid the wrath of the homeowner.

“Wait a minute,” came a shout from over his shoulder. Jeff stopped in his tracks and turned to face his classmate, Ryan Green.

“It’s OK,” explained Green. “The old lady that lives there is really cool. She just gives us the balls back without yelling at us.”

Snyder hesitated. Could this be true? Any time an adult had caught one of his friends breaking a window, the whole group had been yelled at and forced to pay to fix the window. He decided that Green wouldn’t lie to him. He turned back around and joined the group and they walked toward the house.

Ryan Green took a step forward and rang the bell. A moment later, a woman answered the door.

“I’m sorry, Miss Marshall. We broke your window again.”

Kathleen Marshall looked at the group of young boys. “Which of you boys hit the ball?” she asked.

Jeffrey Snyder hesitated for a moment, and then spoke. “It was me, ma’am. I’m very sorry.”

“You a righty or a lefty?”

“Uh, I’m righthanded, ma’am.”

“That’s a good piece of hitting, then,” she remarked. “You took the ball the opposite way. You can’t expect to succeed by pulling everything.”

“Yes, ma’am,” replied a dumbfounded Snyder.

“Go back to your game, boys. Don’t you worry none about this window – I can get it fixed easily enough.”

The relieved group muttered thanks to Kathleen and they raced back toward the diamond to continue their game.

Kathleen Marshall made a note to call her handyman to get the glass in the window replaced. She could expect to replace the glass at least a couple of times each year, as well as suffering several dents to her siding.

Marshall put the cost of the repair out of her mind for a moment as she watched the boys continue the game. It was a beautiful day in June, and these were the true boys of summer – the kids who played the game for the sheer enjoyment.

Kathleen thought back on her own son, Edward. Edward’s favorite toy as an infant had been a plush baseball, and he spent countless hours swinging away at a ball on a tee in his younger days. When he was finally old enough to play with real bats and balls, he spent summer days such as this playing baseball from sun up to sun down. Many times, Kathleen had to walk down to the diamond to drag him home for supper.

Kathleen also remembered the last year. Edward fighting the leukemia that ravaged his body. Every day, he listened to baseball games on the portable radio next to his bed. His love of the game gave him the strength to continue his fight.

The she remembered that long ago fall day. The baseball season had wrapped up, and there was no baseball to listen to on the radio. Edward managed to stumble across The Natural playing on one of the movie channels. He drifted off the sleep as Robert Redford smacked the mighty blast that froze the clock at a moment in time.

Frozen in time, too, was the smile on Edward’s face. It was the final time that he would drift off to sleep.

Kathleen looked back toward the boys playing baseball and took a moment to dab a tear from her eye. Some of her friends said that she allowed the kids to take advantage of her and that she should make them pay to fix her window when they broke it. Kathleen knew that she could never do that. She would never do anything that would chase away these boys – the boys who kept alive the memories of her Edward with their joyful baseball games.