Monday, September 29

Gay Marriage & Some Real Threats to The Family

A colleague and I led a discussion on lesbian and gay families in class last week. Here are some of the talking points from the text:
  1. “Lesbians and gays are simultaneously depicted as chic and pioneering, and as a major sign of social deterioration and the source of the destruction of the family as we know it.”
  2. “There is no uniform or normative definition for the “gay family” any more than there is for the “American family.”
  3. “Governments, through social and family policies, determine the rights, rules, and benefits for families… in the process encouraging some family forms and discouraging others.”
  4. “This fiery and continuing national debate has nothing to do with the success, mental or social health, or social responsibility of lesbian or gay couples and their children. It has everything to do with cultural struggles over the meaning of “family,” and protecting and preserving heterosexual marriage..."
  5. “It is clear that gay and lesbian expressions of family and kinship are having profound effects on the larger society’s construction of these categories.”
What think Ye of these points? What would it be like to be simultaneously considered "pioneering" and a "sign of deterioration" (#1)? Legalizing gay marriage will have an effect on society. The important point is, what kind of effect? Should we widen the "legal" definition of a "married couple" or is it a threat to the heterosexual definition of The Family? Why?

I think the real threats to the "The Family" are poor parenting, disorganized attachment, lack of adequate health care, the idea that love = romance, and extremely poor emotional regulation and relationship skills, to name just a few. These problems exist in families across the board, despite sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, or ice-cream flavor preference. 

Rather then spending so much time and money in California and elsewhere, imagine if we all put the same money and effort into providing effective mental health care, parent and couples education, and programs like Circle of Security? What if we went door to door and put up signs and made phone calls and read letters over the pulpit encouraging community action to work on these insidious problems that have been plaguing The Family for generations?


  1. As a hetero married dude, I feel ZERO threat from same-sex couples. How in God's name does what they do inside their house affect me inside mine? I just don't see how if my buddy marries another dude it is going to bring down anything in this country or the world. Please, someone give me one compelling reason to be even worried other than some arcane quote from the Bible!?!?!

  2. For some real homophobia, brought to you by Janice Kapp Perry, check out this music video. I'm warning potential viewers, however, it may incite road rage or spontaneous vomiting.

    I used to cringe when people use the word "homophobic" to describe those who are against gay marriage. Now it is starting to make sense.

  3. RE: the Janice Kapp Perry video: Yes, let's force our narrow views and definitions of what marriage ought to be and deny everyone who is different than us Mormons and evangelicals any rights or opportunities for happiness. This video inspires me to renew my membership in Utah Gay Pride and to donate to Equality California

  4. I agree with you, I think families should focus on the quality their relationship with each other instead of trying to break apart families that aren't traditional. I live in Georgia and know that they will never make gay marriage legal here, but I'm saddened by the props in California and Florida to decide who can marry or adopt children. There shouldn't be a vote for that, any 2 consenting adults should be able to get married. There are many more important issues we need to deal with, but Christians are donating thousands of dollars to get their way. Gay marriage will not effect traditional marriage. It will not hurt children, children are more accepting than most adults are. There are lies saying kids will be taught about gay marriage in school, but that has no relevance in school, it won't change their education. I wish everyone could be more understanding.


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