|From virtually all angles, the modern-day
equivalent of uprooted blacks |
reduced to chattel and severed from their own flesh and blood is not anyone
in a same-sex couple, but rather, any child forced to be raised by such
Over at The Witherspoon Institute, Robert Oscar Lopez has made some long overdue points about the neglected role of children in the debate over same-sex 'marriage.' He begins his excellent article by looking at the role of symbols in California's raging debate:
"Since California has domestic partnerships with all the same legal benefits as marriage for same-sex couples," he writes, "the material difference to be gained by overturning Proposition 8 is nowhere near as lucrative as the symbolism of doing so... Symbols are definitely meaningful, which is why I do not discount the LGBT lobby's desire for the word 'marriage.' Though they could settle for a 'civil union' or 'domestic partnership,' prestige and validation attend the word 'marriage.' Even if unquantifiable, the fact that marriage is culturally understood as something prestigious and validating makes it worth fighting for."
Lopez goes on to point out that in this fight to appropriate to themselves the resavior of symbolic meaning attached the notion of marriage, children end up being denied the very 'equality' sought by their same-sex 'parents.'
Conferring marriage on same-sex couples means some children will never be able to invoke the words “father” and “mother” in order to describe the household that their parents are now allowed to describe as a “marriage.” In order to grant validation and prestige to mom and mom or dad and dad, the kids lose access to the value of celebrating a maternal and paternal line of ancestry. Come Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, they will not be equal to their peers, due directly to the fact that their same-sex guardians fought so hard to be equal to their peers’ parents. ...Children of gay couples do not have a choice about being denied a maternal and paternal line of descent. ....for an adult to decide what matters to a child on behalf of the child—knowing the child will bear the consequences of such a choice long after the adult is dead and this whole debate is long forgotten—seems like an abuse of power. Compare the weightiness of the child’s stakes to the levity of what gay activists are fighting for. ...
Faced with the prospect that nothing a same-sex couple does will ever approximate the uncomplicated triangular bond among child, mother, and father, the activists deflect attention away from the child's rights toward the rights of gay adults again and again.
As long as the focus is on gays, a wealth of metaphors, especially the notion that gay is the new black, can shield the gay activist from inevitable scrutiny about the effects of his demands on children.
By contrast, when speaking of the child’s interests, metaphorical reasoning is highly dangerous. To what can we compare a child who has been partly engineered—either through surrogacy or insemination, always for some kind of fee—and then placed under the power of same-sex parents who deemed their quest for validation more considerable than the possibility that the child might be less than happy missing a father or mother?
To what can we compare a child trafficked from a third world orphanage to America by a couple that knew that the child's birth culture frowns upon gay relationships? To what can we compare a child who’s been told either that “mother” is double and “father” is nil, or that “father” is double and “mother” is nil? To what do we compare a child who must know, forever, that his mother was treated like a leased oven or that his father was a stranger in a sperm clinic who masturbated into a glass jar for $750?
Is the child like someone in a cafeteria given two spoons and no fork, then told to eat lunch? Is the child’s situation a metonym for progress, social change, luck?
Or is the child comparable to things less flattering to the same-sex couple: a trophy, a tool, a piece of property, a doll, a cosmetic enhancement, an Erlenmeyer flask for someone's sophomoric chemistry experiment, an opiate to help them forget that they had to contrive such a home instead of conceiving it the way heterosexuals do? Is the child powerless chattel to be bought and sold?
Such metaphorical reasoning is threatening to the proponent of same-sex marriage, since it strikes at precisely what is so incorrigibly wrong with the case for marriage “equality”: for same-sex couples to be equal to straight ones, their children must be objectified.
With this framework in place, Lopez shows that parellels with race take on a new and sinister direction:
Given that the entire basis for overturning Proposition 8 depends on invoking a constitutional amendment designed to protect freed black slaves, racial parallels can only help the cause of people who oppose redefining marriage. From virtually all angles, the modern-day equivalent of uprooted blacks reduced to chattel and severed from their own flesh and blood is not anyone in a same-sex couple, but rather, any child forced to be raised by such a couple!
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