Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Homophobia: The Untold Story pt. 8

Will the homophobia never cease? At least we're getting towards the end. Quick rundown of the 7 previous posts...
  1. Asking Christians to not be bigots in the workplace is discrimination against their right to discriminate (seriously.)
  2. No one is born gay, because Fitzgibbons says so.
  3. You're gay because you throw like a girl.
  4. You're gay because you're a raging narcissist.
  5. Gayness kills.
  6. You're not really gay, just hurt and angry.
  7. Your parents made you gay.
Can there be anything more staggeringly stupid and hurtful left for Susan to say? It turns out, there can.
According to Jeffrey Satinover, M. D., a psychiatrist and member of the Department of Politics at Princeton University, there is no more important reason to prohibit same-sex marriage than the effects it would have on children. And he doesn't say this for sentimental reasons. He says it because it's sound science.
Ugh. Yes, it's all about the children, isn't it? I mean, you've so criticized and maligned the parenting of straight couples - you know, the ones who produced all those broken queer kids - that now, you must tell us why gay parenting would be even worse. (Though from the way she's been writing this "horror story" you'd think there could be nothing worse than producing a homosexual child.)

And who is this Satinover? That name seems familiar. Oh yes, I Googled him for our second post in the series, for making unsubstantiated claims. To refresh your memories, this is the MD who has written books on homosexuality, quantum physics, and the "Bible code." In other words, I'm not sure this man's idea of "sound science" matches up with, well, reality.
"In every area of life, cognitive, emotional, social, developmental ... at every phase of the life cycle ... social evidence shows that there are measurable effects when children lack either a mother or a father. ... The evidence is overwhelming. Mountains of evidence, collected over decades, show that children need both mothers and fathers."
Codswollap. If this is your reason for opposing same-sex marriage, then you should also be 100% opposed to divorce. You should be against single-mothers like me ever having sole custody of our children, because after all, "children need both mothers and fathers." I suppose it is easier to claim there are mountains of evidence than to show it. Perhaps what the evidence shows is that children do better in situations with TWO GOOD parents, regardless of gender. I don't think having my alcoholic father around while I was growing up would have improved the things that were wrong with my family. I know having my alcoholic and abusive ex-husband around would not better for my son than the struggles we do have. At least we have them free of abuse.
(To view some of this evidence, go to the Family Research Web site and read the report entitled "Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples." The report lists 56 such studies, including research done by the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Department of Justice, University of Chicago and peer-reviewed publications that appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry, Journal of Social Services Research, and the American Sociological Review.)
I did go ahead and take a glance at the sources cited on FRC's page, but let me just tell you quickly about my own experience with the Family Research Council: They talked smack about me to the press (wow, I feel so Sarah Palin!) Back in February, FRC director Jeanne Monahan wrote a blog post about me on the FRC blog and said, "Supporting her decision to abort her baby unintentionally does a grave injustice to Angie, her unborn child, her son, and even her boyfriend. Abortion kills one person and wounds at least one additional person." So clearly, facts are not of the highest order at FRC, as my abortion hurt no one. (Seriously - how is it doing a great injustice to my son to give him the life he had *before* I got accidentally pregnant? Who knew keeping things the same was so controversial.)
Exposure to both sexes is vitally important to the developmental needs of children because it helps them to form their sexual identity, but there are many more areas where children are affected by the parenting of a mother and father. Researcher Henry Biller, who has written several books on the subject, explains some of the key areas:
"Even if the father and mother behave in generally similar ways, they provide contrasting images for the infant ... Mothers and fathers have different verbal styles when communicating ... Involved fathers are more likely to stimulate the infant to explore and investigate new objects whereas mothers tend to engage their infants in relatively pre-structured and predictable activities ... The father and mother offer the child two different kinds of persons to learn about as well as providing separate sources of love and support. ..."
Whoa boy. Moms are too protective (because all women and all mothers are exactly the same) and dads are tough guys (because all men and all fathers are exactly the same.) I was a tomboy as a kid, and I try to be a "dad" to my son - I rough house with him and encourage him to try new things, and encourage him to poke things with sticks (just not bears.) Yesterday we worked with tools together, and he got to use the screwdriver with my assistance. yes, I'm protective and emotional and nurturing, but I'm also encouraging and one of the things I encourage is independence. Growing up with a strong, independent mother will not make my son into a pansy or a homosexual. Either he's gay or he's straight or he's bi, and frankly I don't know which of those it is yet, but it doesn't matter. Women can teach their sons to play ball and dads can braid their daughters' hair. Sex organs do not equal personality.

As for the "father and mother" providing two separate sources of love and support, how few people do you think are involved in a same-sex marriage? (Hint: More than one, less than three.) Gay couples involve two people, who happen to share genitalia. Those commonality in sex does not prohibit gay couples from providing their children with two separate sources of love and affection. Duh. Basic math people - I really shouldn't have to spell this out so clearly, but I know John McCain was thrown by this during the 08 elections.

According to science, there are hundreds of nuances about men and women that even newborn infants can readily distinguish and that make a difference in the way the child develops.
"According to science?" Well, that narrows things down a bit. Science also says there are nuances between heterosexual and homosexual men and women, but Susan doesn't think those are worth mentioning. No, no, just the differences between men and women. (Conform to your gender roles!)
But aside from these developmental and psychological effects, there are also significant peripheral issues that come with same-sex parents that place additional risks upon children. For instance, the ramifications of the health risks outlined in Part 3 of this series and concerns about the stability of the relationship.
"Additional risks" - wait, what were the risks in the first place? All you've said is that men aren't women, and kids do better in two parent homes (sometimes, a qualifier Susan failed to include.) If we're going to say sick people can't have children, well then I guess a lot of heterosexual parents are about to have their children removed. I mean, if illness or terminal illness is reason enough to preemptively keep children from being with their parents who love them, then I guess we should have hospice just automatically report all their patients' minor children. And if stability of relatioship is a problem, then we absolutely need to remove all children from single-parent homes, or homes with divorced or separated parents. Their relationship simply isn't stable enough for the children!

If you're going to use these as arguments against gay marriage, please be assured, I will show you how they are also arguments against straight marriage.
The breakdown of marriage in America has already had devastating effects on society, especially on children, without delivering yet another blow to this most fundamental structure of society by eliminating it entirely. If heterosexual marriage is protected, children will at least have the benefits of its stabilizing influence in their surrounding familial relationships.
Heterosexual marriage is not under "attack." Gay and lesbian people who want to get married aren't doing so as some kind of stealth plan to eliminate marriage entirely. And obviously, heterosexual marriage hasn't been doing squat to be a "stabilizing influence" in the lives of children, when most of us grow up in so-called "broken homes." (I consider my home to be fixed now that I got rid of the abuser.) If anything, heterosexual marriage has shown us that vows aren't what keep a family together. (Love is.)
This is why Satinover stresses that society's compelling interest is to ensure not only the mere propagation of the species but humankind's well-being too, which is the whole purpose of heterosexual marriage. Heterosexual marriage is a societal structure and without it, society crumbles.
Wait, what the heck does "propagation of the species" have to do with marriage? I've gotten pregnant outside of marriage, and you know Virgin Mary and I aren't the only women who ever have. Marriage is not necessary for breeding, you twat. And of course, there are sexless marriages, or sex-filled marriages of couples using birth control, or who suffer from (or greatly appreciate) infertility.

Now are Susan and Satinover ever going to provide justification for these claims? I mean really - society crumbles without heterosexual marriage? Then it seems like banning gay marriage is a big waste of time. You should be far more concerned with banning heterosexual divorce. Out homosexuals will never enter heterosexual marriage, so don't waste your time on them. Focus on heterosexuals - they're the ones ripping apart the fabric of society by getting divorced, right?
And yet this is precisely what the courts are about to do. "And they're going to do it without any impact studies," Satinover said.
Well, it's not like you've put forth any impact studies either!
The same courts that demand multi-million dollar environmental studies before allowing someone to so much as dig a hole in the ground "are going to massively reshape the social landscape" without a single study being conducted. And it will do so in spite of mountains of empirical evidence showing the negative effects on society that occur when the family structure breaks down.
I know this was written before the massive BP oil spill choking our oceans (my Gulf of Mexico - home of the beaches where I spent my childhood building sandcastles and burying my siblings, and where I taught my son how to swim.) The government hasn't done enough to ensure environmental safety when someone "digs a hole in the ground" and that's why we see heartbreaking images like this.
What was your point again, Susan? Something about the Big Bad Oversighty Government not doing enough to ruin the lives of gay Americans, and being Big Old Meanies to big oil? Oh that's right, you were trying to equate the coming together or two people in love and commitment with the tearing apart of society. Yeah..... I don't get it. Gay people getting married aren't going to stop straight people from getting married. Lesbian married couples don't make heterosexual couples get divorces. I seriously don't understand how hetero-bigots think gay marriage will effect them.
The second point against homosexual marriage is that it doesn't just create a second societal structure, it actually "smuggles into existence ... two radically different social structures," Satinover explained.
You mean one resistant to patriarchy? I've long supposed the reason conservative theists are so obsessed with homosexuality is that it flies in the face of gender roles. Who wears the pants? Who's on bottom? I know many gay and lesbian friends who have been asked, point blank, by relative strangers, "How do you have sex?" If both parties are the same sex, then sex-based roles aren't so easy to enforce.

Reading this has only provided more evidence that homosexuality is seen as the threat, and patriarchy is promised as the answer.
There are same-sex marriages between two women and between two men. "They have utterly different demographics, life spans, health and behavioral characteristics, and sexual behaviors. ... They are as different from one another as men are from women. If you were to create gay marriage, you end up with three totally different marital entities." We would have heterosexual marriage, female gay marriage and male gay marriage. This new set of marital structures will, in turn, produce three new classes of children.
"Classes" of children? What the hell is wrong with you, Satinover? And you know what, straight people aren't so great. I mean, Susan spent all of "Prevention and Treatment: Part 4 of 6" telling us how shitty heterosexual parents are, for producing all those gay kids by being absent and abusive and too loving and overbearing and weak and all those other contradictory things they're supposed to have done to "cause" their child's homosexuality.

I don't care if a child has straight parents, gay parents, bi parents, one parent, divorced parents, married parents, cohabitating parents, separated parents, or lives with a grandparent. Why on earth would you suggest judging children by their parents IS true and SHOULD be? Classes of children. Wow, that's just such an incredible amount of douche-baggery for one sentence.

And of course, there are already children with gay parents and lesbian parents. Marriage does not equal breeding and children are not necessarily the product of a marriage. Again, duh. I shouldn't have to point out something so patently obvious. Why, Satinover, why do you choose to be so obstinate and hateful? If we are concerned about the stability and health in the homes of children with gay parents, as Susan is pretending to be, then we should support gay marriage, because it will provide certainly legal assurances toward stability, and because healthcare benefits can no longer be denied to same-sex partners if they are spouses, meaning gay parents have the opportunity to love longer, healthier lives. If our concern is for the children, we should be doing everything possible to help their families, not condemn them and act as though these children really are in some way second-class citizens. Barf.
"This third point ties the first two together," Satinover said. "We know that motherlessness has a different impact on children than fatherlessness does. Therefore, we have every reason to expect that children raised in female unions will turn out to have a different set of problems than those raised in motherless unions. These children will be different from children raised in heterosexual unions. So we will create three different classes of children."
This entire faulty argument rests on the premise that "children raised in heterosexual unions" have a homogeneous experience. That's absurd. Some children are raised in wealth, while others in poverty. Some grow up with love and support, others with physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Some children will have good health, while others will not (and this concerns you, you should support single-payer universal healthcare.) Some kids are only children ad others come from huge broods of Quiverfull arrows. There is no universal child-of-heterosexual-parents experience or "class" and Satinover knows it. This is bullshit, plain and simple, and it is dishonest as hell. Because Jeffrey Satinover knows that there are gay parents in the world. These children already exist - they are not hypothetical. We ca decry their existence like Jeffrey (a total jerk) or we can say, "Welcome! Your family is welcome, too. You belong." Which is truly kinder for the children? Who here shows compassion?
What's worse, the government "is deliberately setting out to create two new and different classes of damaging situations. ... In spite of a mountain of evidence staring it in the face that this is surely going to have devastating effects on children."
Oh yes, the government is setting about trying to create "damaging situations" so they can have "devestating effects on children' because.... huh? This is delusional and there's not a shred of evidence (despite all these claims of "a mountain.")
Some years back, Satinover served as an expert witness against same-sex adoption in the Florida case, Amer v. Johnson. "The state of Florida wanted me to argue that the reason the ban should be upheld was because homosexuals made bad parents and I refused to do that. I said in my testimony, if two homosexuals wanted to adopt a child, I would have no objection to it if one of them was a man and one of them was a woman."
"You can be gay. You just have to act straight. See? I'm not such a bad guy!" (Urge to scratch out eyes with cat-like sharp nails rising, rising....)
What mattered more was that the man and woman, homosexual or not, were willing to act contrary to their own desires in making the sacrifice to provide a stable home for the child.
Why does this matter for homosexuals, when heterosexuals are never asked to do this? No, heterosexuals are encouraged to love their co-parent, because it provides "stability to the relationship" (a concern Satinover had before for the children of gay couples.) Gay people in heterosexual marriages are miserable, and most of them eventually end the marriage, probably with both parties hurt (and of course, any resulting children.) Which is it that matters Satinover, stability or sacrifice? Why do straight couples get to shoot for stability (which we fail at, epically) while gay people are called to sacrifice their happiness on an alter of heterosexual worship?
"What counts is the willingness to put one's own desires in second place. It has nothing to do with homosexuality, per se, it's the fact that if two men or two women insist on adopting a child, they thereby prove by their insistence that they know nothing about the needs of the child and are so selfish and ignorant of what children need, that by their very insistence they prove themselves unfit to be parents."
My lip is curled in a sneer. This is putrid. If they "insist on adopting a child" - yeah, how dare they try to provide a loving home for an already born child that could really use it, when they should be heterosexuals, pumping out their own babies and never adopting, and standing outside abortion clinics telling *other* people to put their kids in foster care, but doing nothing to help the situation. Yeah, that's how you prove you're "fit" to be a parent - by having sex with someone with different organs. Don't you people know that? After all, the ability to have penile-vaginal intercourse without fantasizing about someone else is the true test of good parenting. No, adoption shouldn't have anything to do with a family's ability to provide a good loving home. It should have everything to do with their penises and vaginas. I mean really, that's what this is all about at the end of the day, isn't it? The Christian obsession with penises and vaginas (and I bet if any of them read this, they'd giggle at those words.) See, when straight people adopt it's because they want to provide a loving home for a child, and because their family feels incomplete. When gay people insist on adopting, they're just doing it to destroy the fabric of society with their selfish insistence on loving and marrying someone they're actually attracted to like all those unselfish straight people do. Right. What a tool.
The Florida courts decided in his favor.
Which is a tragedy.
Even though science clearly supports her position, the Catholic Church was vilified last summer when it issued a similar opinion in the document, "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons." In it, the Church clearly stated its concern for the effects of gay marriage on society in general, and children in particular.
If you say hateful shit, you're going to get called on it. Stop with the martyr trip. The Catholic Church is its own freaking country and has an obscene amount of wealth for an organization which pays so much lip service to poverty.
"The absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development." The Church cites the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as asserting that the best interests of the child should be put first in these situations.
Ah, and I'm sure the "best interest" of a child is to live in a group home? I cannot count on both hands the number of girls and women, boys and men I've known who were sexually abused in foster care. Your methods deprive children of both experiences of motherhood and fatherhood.

And "sexual complementarity" really means patriarchy. Patriarchy will solve everything! It'll keep your kids straight and stop society from crumbling. Right, because oppressing half the population and denying even the existence of natural homosexuals is how to make the world a better place. Fuck you.

We've heard what the bigots have to say about gay parents destorying America by adopting the unwanted children of failed heterosexual parents. Now let's hear what someone intelligent and compassionate (and gay and an adoptive father) has to say on the subject.

The child of gay parents "is a wanted child, an anticipated child, a prepared for child." And you dare to paint this as being against the best interests of the child? The Catholic Church deserves to be vilified for a position like this. It is vile.
Meanwhile, the case for gay marriage continues to go forward and opens many new doors that most of us would prefer to keep closed. "Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalize polygamy and polyamory (group marriage)," writes Stanley Kurtz, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute. "Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three or more individuals ... in every conceivable combination of male and female."
Polygamy? Wow, you mean, like Biblical marriage??

Legalized group marriage is already well underway. There has been a rash of lawsuits filed by polygamists, and same-sex couples are already suing for the right to include in their marriage a third party who was used as either sperm donor or surrogate mother to produce a child.
Actually, I can see the purpose of this, given the threats to homosexual families. (Unlike heteroseuxal families, where all you have to do is insert Tab A into Slot B and you have the right to do practically whatever you want unquestioned.)
Even though many of the people who are fueling this push for legalized gay marriage are acting out of genuine compassion, their sentiments are sadly misdirected. "All they can think about are the rights of the adults," Satinover said, "and the kids can go hang themselves."
Screw you, Satinover. It is precisely because I actually do care about those kids that I support gay adoption. It's because I care about kids and adults that I support same-sex marriage. Kids have a right to a loving home, and bans on gay adoption prevent that. I'll close with a video I made awhile back, expressing my support of same-sex marriage and gay and lesbian adoption. I'll be back soon to wrap up the end of this drivel, with "In the Image of God: Church Teaching on Human Sexuality" brought to you by the world's largest and best funded pedophile organization! (NAMBLA's gotta be jealous.) Till tomorrow - peace, and stay out of strangers' sex lives.