“Bouncing Off the Walls”
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4:47 pm / Thursday, July 27, 2006
With this week’s smackdown of same-sex civil marriage by the Washington State Supreme Court, the right-wingers are crawling out of the corners, spitting “nyah-nyah-nyah” in letters to the editor and guest editorials. What never ceases to amaze is the double-speak and twisted logic that shows up in their comments, logic which followed to its conclusion demands same-sex civil marriage as the only answer..
Take this editorial excerpt from State Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt (of Walla Walla):
Our Legislature passed a law several years ago that clearly defines marriage this way, and it would have been a travesty if the court had ignored the will of the people and those elected to serve them in Olympia. I believe the family unit is the proper place to create, raise and care for our children.
(Read the entire editorial here.)
Let’s follow the logic of that last sentence through. If Hewitt is correct, then we need to ensure that our children are created, raised, and cared for in a “family unit”. (Skipping the same-sex part of things, that would be one with two married parents.) Give that there are numerous children out there who are not currently in such a situation – single parents from divorce, single parents from death, single parents from separation or desertion, unmarried parents, single parents living with another adult (of either gender) who performs some parental activities, and so on – there would seem to be two ways to ensure those “family units” that Hewitt wants to see: get the current parents married, or else take the kids away from the single/unmarried parents and place them with married ones.
We’ll skip past the second, because (a) forcibly removing children from non-abusive households isn’t something anyone has been advocating for and (b) there aren’t enough loving, married couples out there to accept the children we already have needing placement, so there would be no way to place the additional uprooted ones.
Which leaves us back with the first option: get the existing parents married. There are a couple options here. One is to dissuade them from getting unmarried: this includes things like disallowing divorce and giving incentives to stay married. But some will end up unmarried, such as when one parent dies. The other option is to encourage the unmarried to get married, whether that is to their existing live-in partners or to find new partners to marry and establish the “family unit”: this might include social services, tax breaks, or even free membership to dating services. (Whatever it takes, right?)
But this leaves one group out. How do you create a “family unit” with the unmarried parents who are gay or lesbian? You could get them married as one man/one woman to someone of the opposite sex, but what sort of incentives can you give them to marry like that? Forced ex-gay therapy? Drugs or shock treatment? A waiver on their taxes for life? There will always be the recqalitrant few, though. (Maybe these are the ones we simply have to take the children away from, for their own good?) But how about letting them marry the person they love who will perform parental-type duties with them and raise and care for the children (if not explicitly create them)?
So falling out of Hewitt’s logic are only three possible answers: (a) take away the children of gay and lesbian parents, (b) get gay and lesbian parents to become straight via methods like reparative therapy or electroshock, or (c) let gay and lesbian parents marry the people who will create the best “family unit” and provide the best raising and care for their children.
Which is it going to be, Mike?