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'He Has Two Moms'

By Dana Rudolph

I recently visited my son’s kindergarten to celebrate his “Birthday Walk.” During the ceremony, he carried a globe around a candle that represented the sun. After each orbit, once for every year of his life, I shared photos of him at that age. I explained who was in each picture, several of which showed him with both his moms.

“He has two moms?” one of his classmates asked me afterwards.

“Yes,” I replied, and that was that. He was off to make sure he got a cupcake. In the two years my son has attended the school, that type of reaction is par for the course (give or take the cupcakes). I envision the children filing the information away along with, “Charlie has a radio-controlled stunt car,” and “Jane has a guinea pig.” Our son has two moms and two cats and a new Lego Power Miners vehicle.

I am pleased that my son himself tells others he has a mommy and a momma. I think he realizes it is not a common configuration, but he has not yet learned that some people think it shouldn’t exist. He knows we are as committed to each other as any of his friends’ parents, and we love him as much as they love their children. At his age, that sense of security is the most important thing. He knows that’s what family is all about.

He also knows, as do most kids his age, that “marriage” represents the love and commitment of two adults. Children’s stories and shows are saturated with the concept.

My spouse and I did legally wed two years ago when we moved to Massachusetts after 14 years together. (Our marriage, however, had nothing to do with our legal rights as parents, which we secured in court long before we could marry.) Even if we didn’t have the law on our side, however, I think we would still tell our son we were married. We have been for years, in the emotional sense. We wouldn’t want our son to feel that we were less committed because we couldn’t marry, or that our family was inferior because of it.

That, as I see it, is the number one reason for supporting marriage equality. The technical legal aspects -- hospital visitation, inheritance rights, tax benefits, and all the rest -- could be made equal with federally recognized civil unions available in all states.

The emotional aspects are a far different matter. Based on reports from state commissions in both Vermont and New Jersey, many children of civil-unioned parents feel stigma, a sense of inferiority, and other negative mental health effects because their parents cannot marry.

My son will learn soon enough that many believe his parents should not be married. He will learn our marriage became legally worthless when we took him out of state to Disney World, purveyor of the magical marriage ideal, and that we must still file our federal taxes as “single.”

He will also find out that marriage alone is not enough for equality. He will discover that his friend’s non-biological mom still had to adopt him even though she was married to his biological mom, since some states would not otherwise recognize her parenthood. The lesbian parents of other friends could not marry even in Massachusetts, because one of them was in the military and marriage is a matter of public record. Their family would lose its income and health benefits, and their kids would be thrown out of the on-base school if she got dismissed under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

I dread the day when he will learn these inequities are woven into the fabric of our country. I worry what this will do to his sense of self worth and his desire to be a good citizen. I know my spouse and I will have to explain such things to him, though. Better that we offer guidance in advance.

What gives me hope, however, are his classmates eating cupcakes, taking it in stride that he has two mothers. These kids know instinctively what a family is. I have no doubt their generation will make sure the laws catch up. The arc of the moral universe, like the Earth around the sun, always bends the same way.


Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian, a blog and resource directory for LGBT parents, and writes a syndicated newspaper column on LGBT parenting. She is also a contributing editor for an LGBT group blog called The Bilerico Project.

By Stacey Garfinkle |  June 29, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Guest Blogs , Relationships
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Comments


There are a lot of us out here who are raising our children to be tolerant of everybody in the hopes that when they and their generation come of age, they will repeal all the stupid laws that make gay people second class citizens.

Posted by: bubba777 | June 29, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"I worry what this will do to his sense of self worth"

But heaven forbid you worry about him or his self worth growing up without the guidance of a loving father in his family...

And what moral univers says that a marriage has to be between 2 adults. Why not 3 or 4? Seems logical to me that the more the mommies and daddies a child has, the better.
Why can't sister marry brother, brother marry brother, mother marry son, or uncle marry niece?

The world is so unfair!

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | June 29, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

But heaven forbid you worry about him or his self worth growing up without the guidance of a loving father in his family...

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | June 29, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Who would that be in your house?


Posted by: jezebel3 | June 29, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"I think he realizes it is not a common configuration, but he has not yet learned that some people think it shouldn’t exist."


I hope you raise him to respect those who don't agree with your lifestyle choice. I would never be disrespectful to you or your family but I don't think you should expect everyone to throw away their beliefs and embrace your choice either.

Posted by: sunflower571 | June 29, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

If there is one thing I just can't tolerate, it's intolerance.

Posted by: VaLGaL | June 29, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The most disturbing part of Dana's post is the "birthday walk" description:

"During the ceremony, he carried a globe around a candle that represented the sun. After each orbit, once for every year of his life, I shared photos of him at that age."

Admittedly I am not a big birthday person, but do kids really need this stuff in school? I think our kids got a paper hat in kindergarten.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | June 29, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I know some kids with "two moms" and they are just fine. My kids have played with them for years and I don't know if my kids have noticed. It doesn't seem to be a big deal (or even a little deal) for anyone.

Posted by: KS100H | June 29, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the idea that this birthday ceremony is disturbing. I'm all for celebrating birthdays, but geez that seems excessive.

In any case, children raised by loving same-sex parents are statistically no different or worse off than children raised by loving heterosexual parents. I know that can be a hard idea for many to grasp, but that's what the evidence says. And a child should be raised to realize that everyone has differing views of the world, and unfortunately that some people will be quite vocal about those views. On the other hand they should be taught that even when they disagree with a person's views, they can respectfully disagree if the topic comes up, but not to push the point. That's a lesson I think a lot of people need to learn no matter the issue.

Posted by: sailyn2 | June 29, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

sailyn, I think that's a terrible lesson (paraphrasing you: that it's unfortunate that people are vocal about their views, and that if you disagree you should say so, but not push the point). Vocal voicing of views is an important American value - and if you think your view is important enough you should push it as far as you can - if your idea is a winner, your idea is implemented (provided it's constitutional). Not "pushing it" is how we end up with unfair laws and regulations.

Posted by: 06902 | June 29, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree, telling someone "not to push the point" is very simplistic and dangerous. The area between being polite and forceful in a discussion or disagreement has pivoted to the point of political correctness amok in all forms of communication. Quite frankly, I am tired of it.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | June 29, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"I agree with the idea that this birthday ceremony is disturbing. I'm all for celebrating birthdays, but geez that seems excessive."

The child most likely attends a Montessori school. The Birthday Walk is a celebration for the child that also helps teach the concept of how the earth revolves around the sun and what it means in terms of months and years, etc. No need to view it as "disturbing." Its a teaching mechanism.

Posted by: trygo | June 29, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Surely we need children to be secure in their families. To do that, different family configurations, including lesbian/gay families and single-parent families, must be accorded recognition and respect.

I wonder, though, if this respect comes from having parents labelled "married" instead of "unmarried." Marriage is no guarantee of a stability or integrity. (Consider Governor Stanford or Senator Ensign.)

Posted by: shapiro1 | June 29, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Actually he has one mom and a person living with his mother. He will also learn that he was born differently then other children. Not having a father that wanted him but just donated sperm so that his mom could experience motherhood. More somersaults that had to be done so mom could pretend to be in a normal family. But don't let the facts deter you from the illusion you have created......

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Teaching tolerance is the way to go. What matters is a stable, loving household, and any child that grows up with one is ahead of the game. It's not a slippery slope, either. I can't stand those arguements, that gay marriage will lead to incest or worse. Gay marriage isn't the same as marrying your sister. Two unrelated, consenting adults and all that.

As for the no father arguement, it doesn't hold water. There's plenty of cases where kids now don't have a father. Divorce, death, abandonment, or a woman who's not married and goes the artificial route are all cases where a father may not be present. Same goes for mothers. So don't say a father must be there or the kids won't grow up right.

I'm not discounting the role fathers play, or saying that they're not necessary. All I'm saying is that sometimes the father can't, or won't, be there, and that's no different than being raised by two moms or two dads. At least those families have two parents, you know?

Posted by: Sitka1 | June 29, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps "disturbing" was the wrong word, but I was trying to communicate that I think it was over the top. Having your mother there with pictures and taking questions on a 5 year old's "life" seems like a mini-press conference. I'm glad the kid asking the question was serious about the cupcakes.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | June 29, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Actually he has one mom and a person living with his mother. He will also learn that he was born differently then other children. Not having a father that wanted him but just donated sperm so that his mom could experience motherhood. More somersaults that had to be done so mom could pretend to be in a normal family. But don't let the facts deter you from the illusion you have created......

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse


Ha, ha, ha, ha.

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 29, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

So don't say a father must be there or the kids won't grow up right.

I'm not discounting the role fathers play, or saying that they're not necessary. All I'm saying is that sometimes the father can't, or won't, be there, and that's no different than being raised by two moms or two dads. At least those families have two parents, you know?

Well you are discounting a father. Children do better with a dad and a mom. Each has a special place in the child's life. That is why for eternity men and women have gotten married and raised children. It is the natural order of things. But some in order to fulfill their own agendas try to say it's ok, one parent is fine, i can have children out of wedlock, i can skp out on my kids and play around, it will be ok. I can inseminate myself and have a lesbian relationship it will be fine. All very PC and all very detrimental to children.

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"I agree, telling someone "not to push the point" is very simplistic and dangerous. The area between being polite and forceful in a discussion or disagreement has pivoted to the point of political correctness amok in all forms of communication. Quite frankly, I am tired of it."

Cheeky, I tend to agree with you about speaking your mind if the point is important to you. But bear in mind the implication...

it's okay to speak forcefully in support of gay marriage.

...and...

it's okay to speak forcefully against gay marriage.

"Free speech" means that those who disagree with you can speak their opinions freely and forcefully. Unfortunately, one side or the other is all too often labeled "hate speech" these days, and the opinion is not permitted to be expressed.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

That is why for eternity men and women have gotten married and raised children. It is the natural order of things.

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"Eternity" and "natural order" are code words. Dumb ones.

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 29, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

On another note, people who want to be married for the "tax benefits" have often never heard of the term "marriage penalty." True, it's not nearly as bad as it was back in the '80s and '90s, but for families with two working adults, those filing as "married filing jointly" almost ALWAYS pay more tax than those filing "single" (especially when one takes the kids and is "single, head of household").

Wanting to be married for the "tax benefits" is roughly equivalent to wanting to be traded from the Yankees to the Nationals because of the chances of making the playoffs. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

You know you are hitting on all cylinders in the common sense area when jezebel sticks her nose into your post. Avery good barometer indeed.....

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

You know you are hitting on all cylinders in the common sense area when jezebel sticks her nose into your post. Avery good barometer indeed.....

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes, indeedy. You had a crappy eductaion and I didn't. It shows. It really, really shows. Eternity??? Natural order???

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 29, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh jezebel, your posts here are the equivalent of an eight grader doing armpit farts and it shows every day......

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

AB, I couldn't agree more on your "hate speech" point.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | June 29, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Correction: education. I was laughing too much at the jackass who ditched history in school. The definition of marriage is 1 man, 1 woman, and 1 married Argentine mistress.

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 29, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"You had a crappy eductaion and I didn't"

Why is it always the posts about "eductaion" that get deunmispelled?

Posted by: 06902 | June 29, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Correction: deunmispelt. Sorry about that.

Posted by: 06902 | June 29, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"Correction: education. I was laughing too much at the jackass who ditched history in school. The definition of marriage is 1 man, 1 woman, and 1 married Argentine mistress."

Actually when you post drunk most of the time anything is possible. Right Jezebel?

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

My apologies for contributing to the de-evolution (oops, codeword!) of today's exchange...

I fall in the sizeable camp that has no problem with the theory of everyone having the option to marry, but starts to become uncomfortable when practically addressing that with our own children.

Posted by: 06902 | June 29, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"I fall in the sizeable camp that has no problem with the theory of everyone having the option to marry, but starts to become uncomfortable when practically addressing that with our own children"

That's quite remarkable. If you have no problems then you should have no qualms explaining it and promoting it to your children UNLESS like most people you know somewhere that it is wrong and that uncomfortableness is the manifestation of that feeling.

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think it's quite unremarkable. I have no problems with the theory that the legal contract that financially obligates two parties together can be applied to any two parties, and that because of the way we've constructed things like medical visitation rights, it makes sense to afford certain rights to people who meet some definition of family. I'm uncomfortable not because I "know" "it" is "wrong". I think the contract is fine, but I think the concept which is clearly "abnormal" - i.e. "not a common configuration" (as the author states) is too abstract for my young child to process.

Posted by: 06902 | June 29, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"That, as I see it, is the number one reason for supporting marriage equality. The technical legal aspects -- hospital visitation, inheritance rights, tax benefits, and all the rest -- could be made equal with federally recognized civil unions available in all states."

Why not just give these rights to everyone--not just those in a couple? From a purely legal standpoint, why shouldn't single people have the same rights as marrieds or those in a civil union?

Posted by: cameragirl | June 29, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"Why not just give these rights to everyone--not just those in a couple? From a purely legal standpoint, why shouldn't single people have the same rights as marrieds or those in a civil union?"

I'm sorry, but could you please clarify this for me? Your post seems to make no sense - I'm missing something.

Re: hospital visitation - by default, a spouse gets to see an adult patient and make medical decisions for a patient unable to make his/her own, without having any other paperwork such as a medical directive. What does it mean for a single person to have that, as well? Can I walk into a hospital and say "this patient is somebody who wants me to visit and make medical decisions for him; just trust me on that." Certainly, medical directives can be prepared which grant those rights to people outside of marriage (e.g., my widowed mother has one which specifies who can visit/act on her behalf), but what's missing is the 'default.'

Similarly with inheritance - I can write a will which leaves whatever I want to whomever I want, regardless of marital status; what's missing is the "this person by default gets this property without inheritance taxes". What does that mean in the context of single people?

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I sympathize with "2 mommies" and "2 daddies." I sympathize but I don't encourage. I think this just makes life for a child more difficult in a difficult world. If you want to choose this lifestyle, just do it. Quit whining and looking for approval. There are just too many bigger issues in the world.

Posted by: kaycee322 | June 29, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Wanted to be married for the tax benefits includes....

1. the ability to deduct medical expenses for both adults. (Adult 1 has low medical costs but adult 2 has high medical costs but as a married couple they deduct them from one tax return)

2. Access to each other's Social security benefits if the other dies.

3. Deducting child care costs that Adult 1 may pay for Adult 2's biological/adopted child.

The marriage penalty is real is some cases but there can be BIG benefits (several thousand dollars in some cases) for filing as a married couple.

Posted by: teach1 | June 29, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

What does that mean in the context of single people? Two things:

First, an example: I have a pension from the company I used to work for. When I die (assuming the money is still there and has not been completely paid out), my estate has no say in what happens to this; the money just stops. If I were married, it would go to my widower. It's my money--I earned it; so why doesn't my estate get it? In that sense, married people have a legal advantage that single people don't (not that you'd really care once you're dead).

Second, what then is the basis for the author's argument? If single people--gays and straights--already have the same rights as marrieds, why is this such a keystone to the case for gay marriage?

Posted by: cameragirl | June 29, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

A boy needs a father. He needs a father. No amount of rationalization changes what the boy needs. Just because he does not KNOW his needs, because he has to take what is given to him shows a certain lack of empathy on the part of his moms.

Posted by: IIntgrty | June 29, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

teach1:

"Wanted to be married for the tax benefits includes....

1. the ability to deduct medical expenses for both adults. (Adult 1 has low medical costs but adult 2 has high medical costs but as a married couple they deduct them from one tax return)"

Yes, but then the medical costs are only deductible to the extent that they're above 7.5% of the combined AGI of Adult 1 AND Adult 2, which usually results in a lot fewer expenses being deductible then if you're just exceeding 7.5% of the AGI of Adult 2. The only case where this is an advantage is where Adult 2 has very low income relative to Adult 1, and thus effectively doesn't get to claim all of his/her medical expenses because he/she isn't paying much taxes, anyway.

"2. Access to each other's Social security benefits if the other dies."

True, and any other pension, as well (see cameragirl's note about that), but this is generally not regarded as a tax issue; it's a pension issue.

"3. Deducting child care costs that Adult 1 may pay for Adult 2's biological/adopted child."

Yes, maybe. Again, if Adult 1 and Adult 2 make anywhere near the same amount of money, this could be recorded as Adult 2 paying for his/hew own child care when they file separately, and Adult 1 paying more of the living expenses (which don't impact taxes) to balance the total expenses. The only case you get the tax benefit is when Adult 2 really doesn't make enough money to get the benefit of claiming his/her own child care expenses on his/her own tax returns.

"The marriage penalty is real is some cases but there can be BIG benefits (several thousand dollars in some cases) for filing as a married couple."

I'm not an accountant, I'm an engineer, but in lots and lots of time spent looking into tax issues, the only times I've seen there be a benefit in filing as married are when one spouse doesn't work outside the home, or does work outside the home but makes so little relative to his/her spouse that the one spouse's earnings dominate the finances. If one spouse makes all or almost all the money then there's almost definitely an advantage in filing as married; if they make anywhere near the same amount then the marriage penalty usually kicks in.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"First, an example: I have a pension from the company I used to work for. When I die (assuming the money is still there and has not been completely paid out), my estate has no say in what happens to this; the money just stops. If I were married, it would go to my widower. It's my money--I earned it; so why doesn't my estate get it? In that sense, married people have a legal advantage that single people don't (not that you'd really care once you're dead)."

Interesting - sounds like your pension is a little different from what I'm familiar with. Both my father, when retiring from the Army, and my father-in-law, when retiring from the Feds as a civil servant, had defined-benefit pensions and were given a choice: they could take a pension of X dollars per month, which would terminate upon their death; or they could take a reduced pension of Y dollars per month, and if they died before their spouses, upon their death their spouse would continue to get a "survivor benefit" until the spouse's death. And this was an option for the spouse, not kids or estate, so yes, this was a case where marriage vs some other status made a difference. (On the other hand, if their spouse preceded them in death then they were kind of shafted; they took the reduced pension and got no benefits from it. Ya pays yer money, ya takes yer chances.)

There was no notion at all with either of them about "before all the money was paid out."

These days, with defined benefit pensions going the way of dinosaurs, that's likely to be less and less of an issue, because if I die without exhausting my 401(k) or IRA or whatever... funds the remainder just goes into my estate.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't anyone ask the children what they think, I mean, maybe you could quit talking for them and telling them what you think they need and let them tell you what they need. there is a good story on that here:
'Gayby boom': Children of gay couples speak out http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/06/28/gayby/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

The kids of lesbians and gays often say the worst part of growing up was having to deal with the bigotry against their families. Hmmmmmmmm, WOW what a concept

Posted by: rjcampbell1 | June 29, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

God bless you, Dana, for posting this knowing you would get some ugly comments. I hold on to the belief that my girls will look back on this time in history the way my generation looks back at separate water fountains. "What were they THINKING?"
As a Christian in an evangelical church, I am surrounded by those who believe homosexuality is wrong. I don't agree but it's okay. What is not okay is dictating the rights of others based on those religious beliefs. I get so tired of the argument that if you can be gay then others should be able to stop you from getting married as part of their free speech. Come on, people!

Posted by: vegas710 | June 29, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think it is great that kids today are learning from a young age that LGBT people exist, and are part of the human family. After all, as Rogers and Hammerstein noted in South Pacific, you've got to be carefully taught to hate and fear, and the lack of such teaching will make this country a much better place.

As for the "children need a father and a mother" crowd, I have only one thing to say - history proves you wrong. Until relatively recently, it was pretty common for children to live without one or both parents - disease, accidents and pregnancy/childbirth were far more likely to shorten life spans and leave behind orphans. And for generations those without one or both parents were cared for by extended family, who would cobble together "alternative" families comprising grandparents, godparents, uncles, siblings and cousins who might raise young children.

Even today we can all point to friends or relatives who were raised by single parents because of death or divorce, or raised by extended or adoptive families because their parents were unwilling or unable to. For the most part, those kids turn out just fine - after all, no one really thinks we should remove Katie Couric's children even though she has been raising them in a fatherless household for years.

And we can all point to intact nuclear families that were filled with abuse, neglect and generally poor child rearing, that ended up producing anti-social or otherwise troubled adults.

Family structure is no predictor of the success of child-rearing, and we should all be thrilled when any adult(s) show the willingness to take on the responsibility and difficulty of raising children with love and support.

Posted by: CPT_Doom | June 29, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

What did noted child psychologists Rogers and Hammerstein say was the right age to introduce the BT part of LGBT?

Posted by: 06902 | June 29, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

There are two lesbian couples raising children on my *block* in Oakland. The little girl across the street is about 2 1/2 or 3. Cute! Sweet! And both of her mommies are doing a wonderful job as parents. The little boy half-way down the street is maybe 18 months - I don't know him as well, and only know one of his mommies slightly. Still, he seems to be a happy, healthy and well-loved little guy.

Why should either of those kids have different access to their parents than my kids have to DH and me? Why shouldn't their parents have the same legal rights and obiligations as DH and I have, without having to jump through bunches of legal hoops?

I look at my neighbors, and I hear people in my state (CA) objecting to marriages for those other families, and all I can think of is, "But how can you claim to be protecting kids, when what you're doing is hurting this group of kids?"

Fine, you want a parent of each gender - do that in your own family. Good luck with that! I know a lot more divorced hetero-parents than still-married ones like DH and me.

I'm pretty sure that the gentleman who regularly visits the little girl across the street is the "sperm donor", but I doubt he's going to be any less involved with her when she's a teen and most needs male role models.

My sister's raising her daughter alone, (the father was a meth-head, and dumping him was wa-a-a-ay better for everyone than staying involved with him, or G*d forbid marrying him) and DH has assumed some of that male role model responsibility. I've seen other kids who find themselves good role models when they need them. Kids are good at that if they've got a loving family that gave them a sense of self-worth and values from the start.

One size of family doesn't fit all. When our children and grandchildren are running the world for us, I look forward to a better understanding of diversity.

Posted by: SueMc | June 29, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's an article from CNN.com regarding children of gays. I thought it was very good at pointing out that these kids grow up to be no more or less screwed than any other kid.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/06/28/gayby/index.html

Posted by: zn123 | June 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Yay Sue. Ditto.

Posted by: laura33 | June 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

My own father left my mom when I was little and married 3 more times. Is he such a sterling example of the bliss of hetero marriage and the absolutely indispensable nature of a father? Simply because he was straight and legally married to all his wives?

It's about the quality of parenting, not whether there are one mom or two or one father or two or none at all. Some seem to think a man and a woman automatically make better parents than two women or two men or one woman or one man . . . all you need to do is open your eyes to see that's not true. My father was in no way a fit parent, and was better out of the picture. Sadly, there are so many stories like this, but prejudiced people still insist hetero is better simply because of their own narrow world view and prejudices.

Even if your religion endorses or codified prejudice, it's still prejudice, sorry. Like some Islamic sects that treat women no better than slaves-- just because your religion says so doesn't make it right.

For people who have trouble addressing this with their kids . . . kids learn new stuff all the time. They are used to hearing about stuff they don't understand because that is virtually every moment of every day for them-- learning something new, learning how the world works. If you simply say "So and so has two mommies" with no further explanation, they will be fine with it-- they will simply learn some families have two mommies. And that is that.

Someday I hope we will look back at this conversation the way I look at those black-and-white pictures of segregated drinking fountains-- odd artifacts of bigotry.

Posted by: minnmom | June 29, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the blog Dana. It was very brave of you. And thank you for people that sited other articles.

I think gay civil marriage is long over due. It surprises me that there is still so much opposition to it. I also think gays and lesbians can and should be able to have children and form their families as they please.

The one thing that I do have problems with is when gays and lesbians want to campaign to have a sacramental marriage in a church that does not recognize gay marriage. It is one thing for the government to allow all its citizens equal rights. But I do feel religious groups have the right to choose what unions they wish to sanctify. Belonging to a religion is a choice. You may not agree with every thing a religion says but you are not forced to be a member. But that is just my opinion. I am sure I will get some slack about it.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 29, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Family structure is no predictor of the success of child-rearing..."

Then why do I keep hearing that the single most predicter of teenage pregnancy has everything to do with the father's presence in the house while daughter is growing up? Obviously I missed reading the study that shows that single teenagers are raising just as well rounded and successful children as traditional 2 parent households.

No doubt, I'm a victim of biggoted propaganda!

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | June 29, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"If you simply say "So and so has two mommies" with no further explanation, they will be fine with it"

I remain unimpressed with the curiosity of the children both you and Dana seem to encounter.

Posted by: 06902 | June 29, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"If you simply say "So and so has two mommies" with no further explanation, they will be fine with it"

I remain unimpressed with the curiosity of the children both you and Dana seem to encounter.

No kidding, i doubt that too given the barrage of questions from kids. Next is WHY does he have two mommies? Well son, he doesn't. His mom loves women instead of men and had herself artificially inseminated to produce "john" and his mom likes to kiss other women and pretend that they are married like mom and dad. Explain that one and see how many questions come after that.

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"If you simply say "So and so has two mommies" with no further explanation, they will be fine with it"

I remain unimpressed with the curiosity of the children both you and Dana seem to encounter."

Gotta second 06902 on that one. Having heard "why?" from my four children about 90 kazillion times while they've been growing up, I've learned to expect that any time something is "different" from what they've seen I'm going to get a series of "why?" to which I need to respond. And that applies whether the difference is positive, negative, or neutral. And they won't accept "because" or "because I said so" as answers, either.

In our experiences, kids are naturally curious, and you should have appropriate answers ready for them. Or have your kids never asked where babies come from? :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll third the curiosity factor, once when my daughter was asking why, why, why something or other and I asked her - why are you asking so many questions? She asked, why do you need to know? It never ends. Better have a good answer upfront and be prepared to talk about it. Why? Because I said so, that's why!


Posted by: cheekymonkey | June 29, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Then why do I keep hearing that the single most predicter of teenage pregnancy has everything to do with the father's presence in the house while daughter is growing up? Obviously I missed reading the study that shows that single teenagers are raising just as well rounded and successful children as traditional 2 parent households.

And you consider that predictive? So you are saying that EVERY child raised in a "fatherless" household will turn out badly? Or is it true that there are single mothers who raise children who turn out just fine?

You see, that is my point. You can't know anything about a family and how it functions JUST by knowing it's structure. Two-parent families can, and sometimes are, hotbeds of abuse and horror - in fact, you can read today about the retired factory worker who killed his wife and one son, then lured the other son home to shoot him before setting his house on fire and killing himself - good "traditional" family, wouldn't you say?

We know that rich kids do better than poor kids, but we do not issue blanket limitations on the income level required to reproduce. We know that children who's parents are older do better than children born to parents who are less than 18, but we do not confiscate the children of teenagers (so Bristol Palin can breathe a sigh of relief).

Unless you can argue that EVERY family headed by a member of the LGBT community does worse than EVERY family headed by a het, you cannot justify differential treatment of "alternative" families.

Posted by: CPT_Doom | June 29, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised by the folks who have never had a kid just let something go. My kid does both; sometimes, she's in "why" mode, and sometimes she's not. Ironically, one of the times she was not in "why" mode was what we're talking about today -- one of her friends has two moms, and she's never been very curious about it at all. I think she might have asked once, and we just said families are different, some kids have a mom and a dad, some kids have two moms, some kids have two dads, some kids have one mom or dad, and she quickly went off into more personal family history stuff that was waaaaay more interesting to her. It just hasn't been any kind of a deal.

Maybe it's the age. At 4, it was why-this, why-that, why-ad-nauseum. Now she's more interested in demonstrating to us that she knows everything already. :-)

Posted by: laura33 | June 29, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of factors that can predict a child's future health (both mental and physical) yet it seems that gay marriage gets an inordinate amount of attention - I really don't understand why. Why aren't people more up in arms about the parents who let their kids eat junk food all the time, play video games instead of physical activities, buy them everything they ask for, or otherwise teach them not to be healthy, responsible adults? These are the kids that I'm going to be paying for when their obesity causes my health insurance to go up, or their greediness causes the housing markets and financial system to collapse. Teach your kids to be responsible adults -- I don't care whether you are a homosexual, heterosexual, or haven't had sex since you brought Jr. into this world... because frankly your sexual preferences aren't any of my business anyway, but having to pay for your irresponsible brat IS.

Posted by: JJ321 | June 29, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"And you consider that predictive? So you are saying that EVERY child raised in a "fatherless" household will turn out badly? Or is it true that there are single mothers who raise children who turn out just fine?"

You're completely misusing the term "predictive" here. If one can make accurate statements about a sample or population based on a known factor, then that factor IS "predictive" for the sample or population.

And as Whacky notes, most studies indicate that the single biggest factor in determining whether a girl will become pregnant as a teen, in both the US and NZ. (See for example http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ676626&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=eric_accno&accno=EJ676626)

So yes, the involvement of a father IS predictive for teen pregnancy.

(It's not required, as you seem to assert, that in order for a cause to be "predictive", every single member of the sample or population must show the behavior. Should have paid more attention in math class. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

It's not required, as you seem to assert, that in order for a cause to be "predictive", every single member of the sample or population must show the behavior. Should have paid more attention in math class.

I have a Master's in Economics, so I am well aware of predictive modeling; that was not my point. My point is that knowing a girl does not have a father in the home tells you NOTHING about whether that girl will get pregnant (after all, the man Ms. Palin claims is Bristol's father was in the home and she still got knocked up). There are a number of other factors involved in whether such an event happens. Which is why no one is advocating removing Katie Couric's children from her home.

We base our assessments of individuals on their specific actions, not the social groups they happen to fall into.

Posted by: CPT_Doom | June 29, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Dunno, my 7 YO has had a friend since he's 4 or so, and she has two moms. He really has never asked about it. He knows she's from China, and thinks that's really cool. Other than that, she has lots of cool toys, so he likes to go over there and play with her (they have two incomes, we have one, etc).
I have no problem with a civil marriage, because, as has been indicated above, who cares? Pick someone as your spouse and there you go.
As mentioned by Foam, and for you pwaa...well, some religions wouldn't recognize a same sex marriage. And that's okay. Pwaa: you seem to have issues with the idea based on religion - and well, if you think your religion is correct, then great for you, don't attend a same sex marriage. But why disallow it?
Think of it this way: Gay people live together, and have children. Does it affect you one way or another NOW? Would it affect you one way or another if they were allowed to marry?

Posted by: atlmom1234 | June 29, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"My point is that knowing a girl does not have a father in the home tells you NOTHING about whether that girl will get pregnant"

It indeed tells you the likelihood that that girl will get pregnant.

The number of teen girls who get pregnant in homes with two married heterosexual parents is non-zero, as all have acknowledged, so I don't know what you are trying to accomplish by citing specific individuals.

The number of teen girls who get pregnant in homes without a father is also non-zero. In fact, the proportion of teen girls in homes without a father is much higher than the proportion of teen girls who get pregnant living in homes with a father actively involved.

Knowing the general statistics will not tell you that a girl named Mary Doe living with her parents will get pregnant as a teen; it WILL tell you that she is more or less likely to than some other girl. Just as knowing that a man named John Smith is a smoker does not tell you that he will get lung cancer, only that he is more likely to than a man named James Doe who has never smoked. That's the meaning of statistics, and it's very useful.

(And I have a Master's in Statistics to go with the one in Comp Sci, so I've got an affinity for the topic. I'm always on the lookout for people who misuse it; "you can always lie with statistics, but never to a statistician.")

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"knowing a girl does not have a father in the home tells you NOTHING about whether that girl will get pregnant"

This is really a silly statement. Knowing someone is a skydiver tells you nothing about whether that person will die in a skydiving accident...it does however increase the odds substantially.

Posted by: 06902 | June 29, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The one thing that I do have problems with is when gays and lesbians want to campaign to have a sacramental marriage in a church that does not recognize gay marriage. It is one thing for the government to allow all its citizens equal rights. But I do feel religious groups have the right to choose what unions they wish to sanctify. Belonging to a religion is a choice. You may not agree with every thing a religion says but you are not forced to be a member. But that is just my opinion. I am sure I will get some slack about it.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 29, 2009 3:12 PM

Has this *EVER* happened? Anywhere? For real?

Why would anyone want to start their marriage with a bunch of hostility from a religion that hates them and expects them to burn in h*ll?

This just makes no sense on so many levels.

If the couple wants a big, fancy, religious wedding with all the trimmings, they can find religions and clergy who won't give them grief and will joyously perform the ceremony. My religious community has been performing same-sex marriages (hint: we usually call weddings "handfastings") for at least 20 years. These marriages don't have legal standing, of course, but the religious community honored and celebrated the commitments the couple made to each other anyway.

I don't have any statistics to back it up, but my impression is that the same-sex marriages work and last, or fail, at about the same rates as hetero-marriages.

This argument that some religions might be forced to perform marriage ceremonies for people that don't meet their criteria for a marriage - straw man. Hasn't happened. Doesn't happen. Isn't going to happen.

Posted by: SueMc | June 29, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"And that's okay. Pwaa: you seem to have issues with the idea based on religion - and well, if you think your religion is correct, then great for you, don't attend a same sex marriage. But why disallow it? "

That is only partly true. I am for (surprisingly to some maybe) all for civil unions. Leave your money to whoever, claim whoever as your beneficiary etc I don't care. The problem is that this is just a step to having homosexuality enshrined in protected class status and the demands that it be accepted and taught in schools and forced upon people to accept it. This is the real goal and that is why it is so vigorously opposed. It's one thing to assign bnefits, it's another for my kid to HAVE to do homework on the the homosexual lifestyle as prescribed by law.

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Then why do I keep hearing that the single most predicter of teenage pregnancy has everything to do with the father's presence in the house while daughter is growing up?"

Please explain Bristol Palin.

Posted by: zn123 | June 29, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that this is just a step to having homosexuality enshrined in protected class status and the demands that it be accepted and taught in schools and forced upon people to accept it. This is the real goal and that is why it is so vigorously opposed. It's one thing to assign bnefits, it's another for my kid to HAVE to do homework on the the homosexual lifestyle as prescribed by law.

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 5:14 PM

Ah, yes the mythical "homosexual agenda". ROTFLMAO!

I don't know your state, or its educational laws, but I was under the impression that in all 50 states parents have a right to notification before these sorts of sensitive topics are taught, and have the right to opt out their children.

If that's not how it works (wherever you are) maybe it's time for you to start lobbying your state legislature to better protect your parental rights?

Posted by: SueMc | June 29, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"Ah, yes the mythical "homosexual agenda". ROTFLMAO!

I don't know your state, or its educational laws, but I was under the impression that in all 50 states parents have a right to notification before these sorts of sensitive topics are taught, and have the right to opt out their children.

If that's not how it works (wherever you are) maybe it's time for you to start lobbying your state legislature to better protect your parental rights?"


You are so obtuse to think that there is no gay political agenda? Maybe you have fallen off your witch broom one too many times.....

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Please explain Bristol Palin."

Please explain what that has to do with anything.

Look, folks, here's my problem with this rathole down which we've gone: some of you folks (specifically, CPT_doom and now zn123) are misusing/destroying pure science for your own political goals. And that, my friends, puts you in league with W and his ilk. There, I've said it - you're the same as W, because you're misusing/denigrating science for your own political purposes.

Let's look at how this started - CPT_doom posted (1:51 pm) "Family structure is no predictor of the success of child-rearing." Whacky, in one of his least outrageous postings in recent memory, pointed out that most studies show the opposite; in particular that the involvement of a father is the biggest single predictor in whether or not a girl will become pregnant as a teen. That's a scientific fact - if you want to refute it, show that the science is wrong.

Instead, CPT_doom and now zn123 are responding by saying "oh yeah, well here's this one girl whose parents are married heterosexuals! So there - you're wrong." Of course, that does nothing to refute the science, but they then claim that they have refuted the science via this one anecdote, and therefore their political argument holds.

I'm sorry; it doesn't. Science is science. If you want to refute it, do so using one of the accepted methods. But fighting against science by using one irrelevant anecdote in order to advance your own political agenda is, in my opinion, unacceptable whether it's W doing it or whether it's CPT_doom doing it.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 29, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

BUT, is the predictor: a father in the home? Or is it: two parents in the home?
Seriously - I don't think the data has been looked at to that extent. AND, sometimes it's better to NOT have a father in the home.
So, now, what about two fathers? Does that cut the rate of pregnancy in half? I think not.
And, no, there's no slippery slope. you can stop with civil unions. And whether or not you are aware, homosexuals, in most states, ARE a protected class. You can't fire someone (except in the military) for being gay...again, many states.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | June 29, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

lOL lol lol lol

hopefully pwaa doesn't have any gay kids!!!!


Posted by: interestingidea1234 | June 29, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Fine, let's talk about science.

Let's talk about looking at raw data and not simply quoting headlines. Let's look at the populations which were studied and avoid extrapolating results to different populations without basis.

Ellis, for example, analyzed data from two long-term studies that followed the progress of 242 U.S. girls and 520 New Zealand girls in from before kindergarten to approximately age 18. The researchers defined absence of the biological or adoptive birth father at or before the child reached age 5 as early onset of father absence, while late onset of father absence was defined as occurring when the child was between 6 and 13. Girls whose fathers left the family earlier in their lives had the highest rates of both early sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy, followed by those whose fathers left at a later age, followed by girls whose fathers were present. Teens without fathers were twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent.

Can we apply data from studies about heterosexual marriages that fail or succeed to predict outcomes from children of gay families? You can, but don't expect that application to be valid.

Could it be that a longer duration of father absence results in a daughter's having greater exposure to her mothers' dating and future relationship behaviors, and this exposure may encourage earlier onset of sexual behavior in daughters? Maybe, but applying the results in this study to households run by two females committed exclusively to each other doesn't fit with the idea that bad outcomes are driven by a custodial female parent's dating behavior. Another possibility is that girls who experience father absence may undergo early personality changes that orient them toward early and unstable bonds with men. This explanation may apply to girls growing up in single parent households or two-same-female sex households, but wouldn't apply to girls growing up in two-same-male-sex households.

Data. Be careful how you apply it if your goal is to respect science. Male influence and presence is undoubtedly valuable. Is a male parent in the household ideal? Maybe, but statistics on teenage pregnancy and sexual activity that do include only heterosexual-couple households and dating behavior don't shed any light on that question except for heterosexual-couple households.

Posted by: anonfornow | June 29, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

but statistics on teenage pregnancy and sexual activity that do include only heterosexual-couple households and dating behavior don't shed any light on that question except for heterosexual-couple households.

Posted by: anonfornow | June 29, 2009 8:51 PM

Very well said.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | June 29, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

pwaa said "I was under the impression that in all 50 states parents have a right to notification before these sorts of sensitive topics are taught, and have the right to opt out their children."

The former is called curriculum and, yes, you have the right to know what the curriculum is in your district for any grade you like. The latter is called home-schooling.

Further, pwaa adds "You are so obtuse to think that there is no gay political agenda?"

Of course there is. The lgbt community is fighting to be given the same rights as the rest of the country. Marriage equality. Protection from being fired for sexual orientation or gender identity. Not getting beaten up or verbally abused for being (or even being perceived as) gay.

It's basically the same agenda that women had a hundred years ago, blacks for a couple of centuries, and atheists are starting work on.

It's not the best solution, but there is an easy one: time. Kids are, more and more, growing up not caring. Like the cupcake kid and like my son:

http://www.sinasohn.net/notebooks/200906011900.html

Posted by: UncleRoger | June 30, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Sue: I am not sure what your religion is but I am not saying they are actually successful at forcing a religion to preform a same sex union but they seem to campaign for it or criticize them. Think of the number of protestant churches where there is a section of the national church that wants same sex union and the over riding section that doesn't. There are plenty of gay catholics that think the vatican should change its stance on gay unions.

Why anyone who doesn't believe in the churches teachings wants a sacramental marriage is beyond me. But people do want a religious ceremony all the time whether they are religious or not. Sometimes it is for family reasons, others childhood memories, others because they believe the other teachings of the church, and others because they seem to just like the ceremony itself.

I wouldn't want to be a member of a religion that was hostile to my sexuality but it happens all the time. Some are vocal and some are just closeted. It is strange.

I am glad that did not happen in your religion but it is huge debates in a number of Christian denominations. It has even split some national churches.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 30, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

foamgnome: As a member of a country that's legalized same-sex marriage, I can assure you that no churches have been forced to perform any ceremonies...

... the same way the RC Church has never been forced to marry civilly divorced people if they did not meet the requirements for a Catholic marriage.

It really is not such a big deal.

Posted by: Shandra1 | June 30, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

OK, I am not saying they are forced to do anything. I am saying members of the church try to persuade the church to change its teachings rather than find a church that matches their belief system. There are huge splinter groups based on differences of thought. Also non members criticize churches based on their belief system. A church as a right to think anyway they want to. I am not saying that they try to get the legal system to back them up. I guess that wasn't clear.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

You are so obtuse to think that there is no gay political agenda? Maybe you have fallen off your witch broom one too many times.....

Posted by: pwaa | June 29, 2009 5:41 PM

And I laughed at you, too. Oh, dear!

I live in Oakland (I'm sure you already know that, since I don't try to hide it).

I work in San Francisco (unless you're the type whose stomach turns at the sight of "perversion", check out the pictures of the Pride Parade last week end - the SF Chronicle's web-site is www.sfgate.com).

My older son was named after DH's oldest and dearest friend. The same friend who was the first to meet me after DH and I got together. (Thankfully he approved of me, or I doubt we'd have stayed together, gotten married or had children) Older son enjoyed a wonderful relationship with his namesake until he was 10, when our beloved family friend passed away due to complications of HIV/AIDS.

I still *fondly* remember the one and only time anyone ever called me a "breeder". It was older son's namesake when we were visiting him in another state, and he was meeting his almost-4-y-o namesake for the first time. It was one of the sweetest compliments he'd ever paid me - and just so we're clear, the term "breeder" is normally used as a perjorative for hetero-couples who have children, and bash (or visibly disapprove) of same-sex couples because of their inability to concieve in the old-fashioned way.

So, I've been around the queer community for decades. I know that individuals with a same-sex oreintation are still *individuals*, each with their own unique and individual interests, goals and aspirations in their lives.

Speaking of a "homosexual agenda" makes no more sense than speaking of a "hetero agenda". Neither group is monolithic, marching in lockstep towards a single goal. If you want to believe something that nonsensical, you better get used to being laughed at by people who know better and think you're very silly (at best! At worst, you might need to seek counseling for what could be paranoia.)

Posted by: SueMc | June 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Sue: I am not sure what your religion is but I am not saying they are actually successful at forcing a religion to preform a same sex union but they seem to campaign for it or criticize them.


I am glad that did not happen in your religion but it is huge debates in a number of Christian denominations. It has even split some national churches.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 30, 2009 7:11 AM


Probably wasting my time this morning...

So, I'll ask again, has anyone ever *really* tried to force a religion that opposes same-sex marriage to perform such a marriage? Ever?

I certainly agree that many religions are being torn apart by their own *internal* disagreements over same-sex marriage.

And my religion is Wicca. (Explains pwaa's crack about falling off my broom, doesn't it - grin)

Posted by: SueMc | June 30, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

As a member of a denomination which is struggling with the issue of same-sex marriage and ordination of openly homosexual persons (United Methodist), I can guarantee you that at present no one is trying to force the UMC to perform same-sex marriages. We (those of us who are members of the Reconciling Movement of the UMC) want the church to change its rules so that homosexual persons who are called to the ministry can be ordained; so that homosexual persons who were ordained while closeted or denying their sexuality can retain their religious orders after they acknowledge their homosexuality; so that clergy who wish to perform same-sex ceremonies can do so without being in danger of losing their ordination. We are not at all interested in forcing a minister who disapproves of same-sex marriage to perform a marriage ceremony - what would be the point?

Personally, I think marriage should be run everywhere as it is in France. The only legally recognized marriage is that civil ceremony performed by a public official authorized to do so by the government. Couples wishing a religious "blessing" of their marriage arrange for a religious ceremony, but the religious ceremony confers no legal status or benefits - only the civil marriage does that.

At bottom, legally, marriage is a contract conferring rights and obligations on the individuals involved. That is why a legal marriage in the U.S. requires a license to marry issued by civil authority, registration of the marriage with the civil authority after the (religious or civil) ceremony is performed, and why it takes civil authority to end the marriage contract.

As for children, they do best in a loving household, preferably one with two parents who can reinforce each other and offer break time from the tasks of parenting. Having been both a married and single parent, I assure you that the presence of a second loving, involved, caring parent is really helpful; the presence of a second parent who is not loving, involved and caring makes the tasks of parenting even harder, as one must add to the usual run of tasks the job of protecting ones' children from the unloving parent - gender irrelevant.

Posted by: vklip | June 30, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the contribution. I'm sure I'll be having a discussion with my sons about other types of partnerships as a close family member is gay. So, my sons have four uncles and two aunts.

I ran into the other side of marriage acceptance. My wife and I were married in Costa Rica, but not in the Catholic church. So, we had to be formally married in a lawyer's office several days before the actual ceremony. I didn't feel diminished in the slightest that the legal document and ceremony were held separately.

[And remember folks, Don't Feed the Troll(s)]

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 1, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Dana,

Thanks for the article about your son. It speaks of the universality of parenting and family, our concern for our children as they grow up and encounter the world outside our loving arms. Who will welcome them? Who will reject them and for what reasons?

I see your message has garnered wide-ranging comments that include teen pregnancy, fathers or the lack thereof, religion, taxes, protected classes and a host of other off topic red herrings and assorted noise.

No one seems to be concerned that your son may become an unwed father, because of your marriage, parenting style, or orientation. And I hate to bring it up, as now they may in fact focus on that instead of what you have actually written here.

Loving parents enjoy celebrating special events with their children as you have done, they do their best to protect their families physically and legally just like you. They hope for the best. They are concerned for what they cannot provide.

Gay and lesbian parents are no different in that regard, they simply have to go much further to give their families the same shot at a good, safe and healthy life. The roadblocks that you and your partner face are unfair and unjust.

I wonder what our country would be like if every person had to fight for the right to marry the one they love, had to adopt their own children, or serve in the military without revealing their sexuality.

Blessings to you, your spouse and your son. May you see each other through and be strong.

Posted by: AmandaLorenzo | July 1, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

CPT_Doom and JJ321, your comments were right on the money!

And SueMC, Merry Meet! I see the idea of us riding around on brooms is still alive and whisking, although I must admit with today's gas prices it's a shame we can't do that in real life! Just think of the time we'd save not being stuck in traffic jams!

Although with the Swiffer being so popular these days, one wonders if the flat base to those things wouldn't actually cause flight problems due to it acting like a rudder?

Anyway, I digress...I agree that there are far worse problems than same-sex couples having children, and some of them have been around for far longer. If children are raised with love, understanding, discipline, and respect, then it shouldn't matter how many parents they have or which gender(s) they are. All that matters is the children are being raised to be responsible adults.

Posted by: dragondancer1814 | July 1, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

It's unfortunate that some must focus on forcing their personal religious beliefs on others rather than focusing on the important issues: that children be loved and cared for and get a proper education. Studies show that the only real problem children raised by same-sex couples have is the pain of dealing with bigotry from people who are homophobic. If what we are really concerned about is the children, clearly we should allow same-sex couples to marry and treat them no differently than straight couples. It's no good hating people because they happened to be born attracted to the same sex. Studies show again and again that people do not conciously "choose" to be gay or lesbian or bisexual or straight; they just are. I personally feel badly for the couple described in the story and their son and others in their position. The only reason for them to be unhappy as a family unit is because of the bigotry and discrimination of others. If people would focus on the wellfare of all others and not just those like themselves, then these problems would not even exist.

Someone else mentioned it, but I would like to reiterate the point because it occured to me as well. Several people mentioned being "disturbed" by the birthday celebration the school chooses to use. Why? Clearly this is an excellent way to say "Happy birthday" to each child while teaching astronomy concepts at the same time. But we wouldn't want science to intrude into American schools or anything, right?

Posted by: valeriek | July 2, 2009 3:31 AM | Report abuse

Excellent post from anonfornow. The studies that are being used to "prove" that growing up without a father predisposes a girl to early sexual behavior were ALL done on heterosexual families. So one could argue that the decisive factor isn't "lack of father" but "mother's mixed feelings about men."

As for those who insist that, from time immemorial, ALL healthy families consisted of children and a heterosexual couple, consult the very informative book, "The Way We Never Were," by Stephanie Coontz.

Posted by: PLozar | July 2, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"he has two moms?" "then ran and got a cupcake".

Uhm, yea and kids like to eat dirt sometimes also. Look you can't project your lifestyles on children and think that because of their ignorance, that it some how is a blessed moment for you.

Kids don't know better, that is why they learn what they don't like by putting stuff in their mouths.

Knowing that she/he has two moms or that his/her friend has two moms, may be irrelevant now, but only until he/she gets older and more aware.

Two moms sounds innocent, until the real word "lesbians" are learned or "homosexuals" for the two dads.

I personally think that is child abuse, and the kids grow up programmed to think that it is okay, and never have a fulfilling relationship with anyone of the opposite sex.

Posted by: wlockhar | July 6, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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