Time for Michigan to join 18 other states and sanction same-sex marriages. It’s the right thing to do and here’s why.
The position against gay marriage and same-sex adoption is essentially fueled by belief systems rooted in oppressive cultural traditions, habitual lifelong conditioning, and largely misinterpreted religious one-liners (the word “abomination” comes to mind).
Currently in Michigan federal court, a judge is weighing a lawsuit that strikes at the heart of what it means to be a human being in love. Keep those words in mind: heart and love.
The facts of the case are this: two lesbian nurses, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, seek to have the court overturn Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. Not just because they love each other and want to marry, but also so they can adopt each other’s children.
In Michigan it’s illegal for same-sex couples to adopt children.
An inconvenient truth: there was a time when I thought “gay sex” when regarding gay people. That was it. Their full human richness boiled down to a single (ultimately irrelevant) dimension; what they might or might not be doing in the bedroom. You can’t imagine the shame I had when I became aware of my ignorant way of thinking. After all, I’ve always considered myself a good, open and affirming person.
Time and friendships with gay persons, couples and their families changed my thinking.
Being different in our society can be oppressive. So much so that among those who are different from the majority, it can lead to issues ranging from debilitating clinical depression to self-destructive behaviors as unthinkable as suicide.
In the case of those who are intolerant to people who are different, it can foster everything from throwing up barriers of discriminating prejudice, all the way to physical acts of violence and bullying.
Regarding the case, state attorney Kristin Heyses argued that not enough time has passed for there to be an accurate determination as to whether same-sex marriage works or produces well-adjusted kids. At one point during the trial, Texas pro-traditional marriage sociologist Mark Regnerus stated that, “…intellectually, it’s frustrating to see social science close off a debate by saying this is settled.”
I liken Regnerus’ intellectual sentiment and Heyses’ rhetoric about ‘waiting’ to those made about waiting to give American women the vote, waiting to release Japanese Americans from war internment camps, waiting to free African American slaves, and waiting to create child labor laws.
All that historical waiting was based on intellectual gobbledygook and bogus self-serving pseudo-science and research.
Parents in families with difference who are raising thriving kids already know what the rest of us are only just now beginning to realize: it’s not the family structure that fosters resilience (that ability to cope with problems and setbacks in healthy, productive ways) in kids. Nor is it the letter of the law or misguided belief systems. For that matter, it’s also not lots of money and material things.
Currently, I’m in the process of adopting my wife’s wonderful daughter. My being married, male and straight gives me the right and privilege in Michigan to do this. Our daughter is thriving too, and not because she lives in a home where her parents happen to have coupled in the traditional male/female way.
Instead it’s because of love. Love of a kind that has no gender. Love that is ageless and has no color or sexual orientation or citizenship or ethnicity. It’s also because of heart and qualities like patience and tolerance. Combined, it’s as nurturing and affirming as it is protective and comforting.
Here’s hoping the court gets out of its head, stops all the waiting, and shows some heart.