From the Mouths of Babes

October 8, 2008

(Unrelated: do you know how hard it is to type when a cat is sitting on one of your arms and actively trying to get you to pet her with the other? Hard.)

So lately I’ve had a lot less bathroom trouble, due to being able to use Staff Only restrooms at both of the places where I work. (It seems if you have some kind of Implied Authority, you also must be more able to read, and thus are less often accused of being in the wrong place.)

At the same time, I’ve been more often in the company of children, which means I’m more likely to hear direct questions about my gender.

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And speaking of gay marriage…

July 6, 2006

How about that New York ruling, eh? It’s so unfortunate that Massachusetts decided only to recognize out-of-state-couples if their home state recognizes same-sex unions, and I fear more states will see similar rulings. What really bakes my potato, though, is the way the marriage debate is getting caught up with the homos having kids debate.

According to a brief blip on NPR (though I suspect they’ll be talking about the ruling all day), part of the decision cited evidence that children may benefit from having parents of both sexes. Whether or not that’s true, I think using it against arguments for gay marriage is both unfair and totally missing the point.

As far as I can tell, most proponents of same-sex unions by any name are seeking a number of legal and economic rights currently awarded to legally recognized spouses, as well as a certain socio-political currency that marriage has traditionally given to heterosexuals. None of this, however, necessarily has anything to do with children, adopted or otherwise, yet gay marriage opponents constantly use children as ammunition in the debate.

Ignoring, for the moment, my personal views on marriage (mixed) and whether LGBT activists should be focusing on other issues (they should), the idea that marriage should necessarily lead to children, while certainly supported by certain faith traditions, ignores a large segment of our population–hetero and homosexual alike–who will never have children. Many would like to have children but struggle with infertility or other health issues, many choose to adopt, and many simply do not want children. Should these individuals be denied marriage? Of course not, and they haven’t been–unless they happen to be homosexuals outside the state of Massachusetts.

While certainly marriage makes adoption easier in many cases, currently single men and women are still legally able to adopt–just look at Rosie O’Donnell, Jodie Foster, and various other celebrity examples. No one seems to be yelling that their children need opposite sex parents. Or if they are, at least they’re not writing New York court decisions.

So clearly we’ve seen that marriage doesn’t necessarily lead to children, and that having children isn’t restricted to married couples, same or opposite sex. So why should part of an important court decision reference the possibility that children will do better in an environment with a father and a mother, traditionally defined?