I hate Michelle Bachmann. Okay, I know “hate” is a strong word, and I don’t even know the woman, but every time I see a snippet of her on television or read about something she’s said, I want to slap the shit out of her.
When did all these extremist nut-jobs start entering politics, anyway? Has this always been the case and I just didn’t notice until the last decade or so, or is this a new phenomenon, possibly reflecting impending Armageddon?
Do you know that she not only believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, but that children of same-sex couples are “at-risk”? Maybe you agree with these sentiments. If you’re a Tea Partier yourself, or just a Republican, or perchance even just a Good Christian, you probably do.
Here’s the problem: first of all, without going into a big, long, ranty diatribe about the fact that “marriage” is a man-made institution and therefore there is no inherent definition; it is what society decides it is, and it has historically, and should continue to, evolve to reflect a changing society (remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that black people were by law not allowed to marry white people; and there was a time before that when black people weren’t even allowed to legally marry other black people! Yes, indeed, right here in the Good Old U S of A). This whole “marriage is between a man and a woman” bullshit is nothing more than thinly veiled prejudice cloaked in fake morality. It’s imposing one’s religious views on society – nothing more, nothing less. And it pisses me off.
Moving on to Ms. Bachmann’s other claim, though, that children of same-sex couples are at risk – how are they at risk? What, exactly, are they at risk of? She makes this claim, this vague but ominous sounding claim, and yet offers no specifics, and no facts, studies, or research to back it up. Oh yeah! I keep forgetting – she’s part of that special sector of society that gets to make ludicrous claims that have no evidence to back them up (um, have you heard about the invisible, all powerful guy in the sky who rules the universe?)!
I decided to do my own mini-research project. Are children of same-sex couples actually “at-risk”? Here’s a sampling of what I came up with:
Same-Sex Couples and Same-Sex Couples Raising Children in the United States (It is interesting that this particular study notes that, “Many people in same-sex couples look like Americans generally. Individuals in same- sex couples raising children, however, do not fare as well as their different-sex counterparts: they are less affluent, more racially and ethnically diverse, and hence particularly in need of the legal, social, and economic benefits of marriage.” Note that this is a statement about the individuals in the same-sex couple itself, not a statement about that couple’s children. Basically, though, people in same-sex couples don’t fare as well in society as their different-sex counterparts because they are not afforded the same rights and benefits as their different-sex counterparts. In other words, they suffer, not because they’re gay, but because they are subject to discrimination.)
In fact, I didn’t find a single article that supports the notion that children of same-sex couples are “at-risk.” And for the record, my search queries were neutral: “How do children of same sex couples fare?” and “Children of gay parents.”
I have gay friends, and some of them are raising children. I can tell you that they are just like us heteros: they buy groceries, they worry about money, they water their lawns, they wonder where to send their kids to school, they volunteer in their kids’ classrooms and attend PTA and Girl Scout meetings, they argue with their significant others, they complain about their extended families, they take their kids to the doctor, they take their kids to swimming lessons, they want to see their kids go to college and get married and have families of their own some day. They are not “deviant” or “immoral.” They’re people who generally have the same dreams and goals and values as anyone else – they just happen to be attracted to members of the same sex. They are not raising their kids in any deviant or immoral way.
Let’s talk about the kids who actually are “at-risk” – as evidenced by history and various studies (and by at-risk, I mean at risk for things like depression, low self-esteem, teen suicide, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, eating disorders, dropping out of high school, and the like):
- Kids of alcoholics
- Kids of drug abusers
- Kids of parents who inflict emotional abuse
- Kids of parents who inflict physical abuse
- Kids of parents who have unstable relationships
- Kids of families who live in poverty
- Kids who are subject to discrimination and prejudice
- Kids who are bullied
- Kids of uneducated parents
- Kids of unemployed parents