Ok. So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know by this time that the Supreme Court passed the gay marriage bill and for the past few days liberals all over the globe have been throwing a huge internet party, while conservatives have been grumbling under their breath and praying for the world to just end already.
With that being said, the crux of concern for children’s rights advocates is that “Gay marriage = child rights apocalypse”. Short story long, with the passing of the legislation, gay couples have the ability to forge the non-biological parent’s signature on their children’s birth certificates, if they are to seek reproductive technologies. They will also have a greater access to adopt children all over the country, and push to encoruage the notion that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and unimportant. But I’m only being generous in the wild assertions of claims that have also been brought forth by this historical passing (including the banning of all marriages, licensed parenting, government control, GATACA, ect.) You can see the full list of crazyness here –> 15 Reasons ‘Marriage Equality’ Is Neither About Marriage or Equality
But I didn’t write this blog post to bash each of the individual ideas in that post, I wrote to debunk some common concerns that have been reiterated to death by so many concerned children’s rights advocates who have not been able to celebrate this legislative passing as much as liberals have.
Here are some reasons to not panic, and join the party:
>Reason not to Panic #1: Not that many gays have human babies to begin with…they much prefer their fur-babies instead.
Roughly only 22% of gay couples are raising children. That means 78% of them are childfree, many of them intend to keep it that way and enjoy being childfree. According to a 2013 Census, those who identify exclusively as lesbian or gay, make up a mere 1.6% of the US population. I repeat, those who identify as gay or lesbian make up 1.7% of the U.S population. That means that 0.352% (less than 1%, nationwide) of all children in the United States are in a same-sex headed household. Statistically speaking there are more homes headed by singled straight mothers (40% of all US children) and singled straight fathers (8% of all US children), than there are homes headed by same-sex couples. Meaning, the main culprit to denying children a mother and father are heterosexuals, not the gays.
>Reason Not To Panic #2: Domestic Partnerships offer the same parental advantages that Marriages have.
If you were a conservative who pushed domestic partnerships as an alternative to gay marriage, you honestly really shouldn’t be counting this as a loss. Domestic partnerships as well as Civil Unions offer identical property rights, tax cuts, hospital visitation rights, and parental ‘rights’ that domestic partnerships do. I’m not even joking.
Here’s your take-home: If gay marriage will exploit children because same-sex couples will have the ability to forge their names on their children’s birth certificates, how are domestic partnerships any less exploitative, if they allow gay couples to do the same exact thing?
Hmm? Is it the name ‘Marriage’? Does a typed word across a document sheet have magical powers I’m not aware of? Tell me in the comments! You get the idea! Even if you considered this an issue, you wouldn’t win even if the country fell head over heels for the Civil Union or Domestic Partnership wagon.
>Reason Not To Panic #3: Inaccurate birth certificates are not a new issue, and not exclusively a ‘gay marriage problem’ in fact it started with straight marriages.
The rate of infertile straight people vastly outnumbers how many people identify as lesbian or gay. 6% of the population is infertile, while 1.6% of the population is gay. Before IVF, infertile straight couples have been seeking closed adoptions to fulfill their need to raise children. Many a’times, this process included forging inaccurate parentage on the child’s birth certificate, and withholding the children’s actual biological parents while never disclosing it. This is a continuous issue, as many adoptees as fighting for heritage equality and biological justice. To this day, closed adoptions allow this practice to go on, and third-party-reproduction(?) in the straight community also allows this to go on. In essence, straights have been permitted the same ‘rights’ to put inaccurate information on their adopted/ donor children’s birth certificates through their marriage license, over half a century before gay marriage ever happened. So is this a gay marriage issue, or a flaw in the marriage system in general?
>Reason not to Panic #4: Fathers and mothers are still valued, and it’s not too late to secure this in the straight and LGTB community.
Not all gay people have children through anonymous gamete reproductive technologies, according to the US Census, many do not have beyond a high school education and are living in poverty at a rate higher than heterosexuals are. In essence, many couldn’t afford these technologies either way. The reality is that most children of LGTB parents are product of divorces and past heterosexual relationships, in fact, teen pregnancies (by boyfriends) are higher among young women who identify as lesbians. So most kids still visit daddy on the weekend, but just spend the weekdays with mama and mommy. Anyway, apart from that, the other reality is that even when gay marriages are valued, in custody battles Judges still favor mother-child/father-child relationships, and still consider the ‘sperm donor’ the biological father (which he is of course). We saw this in both the New Jersey custody battle case with a lesbian couple and their child’s biological father, and with the lesbian couple and their Crag’s List sperm donor who is now required to pay child support for his two daughters. Dads are still very important in our societies, and mothers are still deeply valued as well (especially with the natural childrearing movement going on).
…”You talk a good game,” she will say in response to my flippant remarks, “but I think you’re secretly great with kids.” Ever the competitor, Tori even had a sneaky little plan to prove herself right; two years ago, she and her wife, Kelly, asked me to serve as their sperm donor. I was dumbfounded. Of all the men they knew, why me, a guy who refers to children with the “it” pronoun until they’ve reached the legal drinking age?….. Still, Tori and Kelly are hoping to give their children a meaningful relationship with their biological father….
Quote Source: The Child-Averse Sperm Donor
Picture Source: Dutch debate rights of three or more gay parents
Apart from that also, along with the same-sex marriage push, there has also been a push to allow more parents to be on the birth certificates on their children, specifically for the purpose of allowing 3-4 parent gay families (families that are mom and dad-inclusive) to be legally recognized. Already, California, Canada, Brazil, and some states in the US have endorsed in this birth certificate arrangement to allow 2mom+2dad or 2dad+1mom or 2mom+1dad families to be legally sanctioned. These platonic partner parenting arrangements have even made appearances in mainstream media.
Of course, one could argue that this setup isn’t close to being like the nuclear family, one cannot argue at all that this setup denies a child a mother or a father.
So really, are the children at loss here, or are things just changing a little?
That’s my take on marriage equality and children’s rights! Stick with me next week when I discuss the idiocy behind climate change denial! 😀