A pair of articles on Think Progress caught my eye today that...while they are very different stories in themselves...The first being an anti-equality TV spot featuring Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, who thinks that gays already have enough protections and the second is a legal challenge to the recently signed law in California making it illegal to practice ex-gay therapy on minors...by parents. Both stories seam light years a part,and yet both speak volumes about what marriage equality opponents truly want to protect...and I don't think the answer is children. First up is Mr. Birk who's YouTube video is no longer able to be embedded but who's words now have a life of their own...
Birk: "I'm Raven's Center Matt Birk....Marriage is not easy, but it has lasted throughout the ages as an honored institution because it provides a unique foundation for societies and children. Marriage is more than what adults want for themselves, it's also about the next generation. Marriage is...and should remain, between a man and a woman. Gay and Lesbian couples already receive benefits in Maryland. Like hospital visitation, state health benefits and tax breaks. We don't need to redefine marriage...vote against Question 6."
In deed, if more couples regarded their marriages as "more than what they want for themselves"...or "about the next generation", we would probably see much less divorce than we do now and the lives of a lot of children would be immeasurably better. I don't disagree with Mr. Birk on this point and I know that no other LGBT person does either. When a child comes into your life, however that happens, you think about things in your life as you never have before and how they will impact your kids. It doesn't matter if it's the food you put on the table, what you watch on TV, were you live, or how you take care of yourself. Those issues no longer just concern you...they affect a person who is now looking to you to take care of them and keep them save both physically and emotionally. You don't have to be married to be a good parent...but besides recognizing the relationships of two people to each other, marriage provides safeties and protections for couples and children that domestic partnerships just don't. Gay families and our children are just as in need of those protections and considerations and leaving them out is not considering the health and well being of children at all...it is leaving the some kids out in the cold because you don't like their parents.
But while we are on the subject of parents...that brings us to our second article. The one that show's the true face of the anti-equality movement. Recently, California passed a law making it illegal to practice reparative therapy on minors....this has all kinds of anti-gay orgs up in arms and filing their own legal challenges to the law. However, it is the latest lawsuit brought by the Liberty Council that has caught my attention...precisely because it involves the same people who would cry about protecting children...and then it turns out that one of their kids is gay. What happens then? The answer for some is ex-gay therapy...and when that is made illegal you sue the state on the grounds that you can't have a "relationship" with your children unless they can brainwash the gay out of them through reparative therapy(via Think Progress):
SB 1172 directly interferes with John Doe 1’s and John DOE 2’s rights to self-determination, and the right of their parents to determine the upbringing and education of their minor children, including the well-being of their spiritual needs. [...]
Because of Dr. Nicolosi’s SOCE counseling, the DOE 2 family has become closer and exhibited a greater degree of family unity. [...] Dr. Nicolosi’s SOCE counseling with Doe 2 has had an important impact on John Doe 2 and his parents and has substantially helped their relationship. [...] Dr. Nicolosi believes that if he is prohibited from continuing his SOCE counseling with Doe 2, then Doe 2 will suffer an immediate regression in his understanding of his same-sex attractions and will suffer difficulty in continuing the development and healing of Doe 2’s relationship with his parents.