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Saturday, September 30, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part VIII

It may come as a surprise to some, but gay people have children.

They have children of their own. They have their own progeny. Gay people procreate.

The children of gay Americans are American children.

Sometimes their children are born from relationships that did not work.

Sometimes same-sex couples, like opposite-sex couples, engage surrogates and sperm donors to facilitate their procreation.

Gay people have children.

Sometimes they adopt children who are orphaned, unwanted, or not able to be cared for by their birth-parents. They foster children under the aegis of the state, or as a service to members of their own family.

The children of people in same-sex relationships should be able to witness and experience the relationships that their parents are in, and behold them as fully legitimate.

Like me, and like my younger brother, they should be able to say; “my parents are married.”

The act of denying women and men the freedom to marry the person they choose, according to their own desire; has harmful consequences that reach far beyond those relationships, that reach into the lives of the generations that follow them.

Stigmatizing the relationships that their parents are in through classism, and legalized discrimination, can only serve to undermine respect for the institution of marriage, an institution that is at the heart of the American social order and the foundation of our society.

The sad irony is this, fighting against the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, far from defending the institution, actually delegitimizes it, undermines it, generates resentment for it.

Americans are intuitively distrustful of privilege, and unconsciously gravitate toward the “underdog.” If we were to bring this classism back and preserve marriage as a benefit for opposite-sex couples only, fewer and fewer heterosexual boys and girls will want to participate in it themselves.

When I was eighteen years old I rented a room in a house that I shared with a lesbian couple. Twenty-nine years later those two women are still together as a couple. They are the primary caregivers to a pair of their grandchildren.

Imagine explaining to those children why these two women should not be able to have their relationship fully endorsed by the state.

Imagine telling them why their two grandmothers should not be married.

Imagine it.

Tell me about the harm that is done to the institution of marriage, not your narrowly defined traditions, but to the institution of marriage, by allowing these two women to be married, to have their license and be wed; tell me how they would not be harmed if we were to return them to the status of second class citizens,

Tell me that, and I will tell you of harm done to their grandchildren by seeing them so mistreated, then you will have to tell me how this is justified in order to preserve a traditional model of marriage.

Tell me of what that reasoning is and I will show you how you are confused.