GOP presidential hopefuls on gay marriage

From the Family Research Council's "Washington Briefing" last weekend:

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney: "The court focused on adult rights -- they said if heterosexual couples can marry, then to have equal rights homosexuals have to also be able to marry. That court's mistake was they should have focused on the rights of children -- because marriage is primarily about the development and nurturing of children."

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee: "I tell people I'm actually just for keeping marriage in the only manner for which it's ever been known in any culture, in any civilization throughout all of history... Dear friends, until Moses comes down with two stone tablets from Brokeback Mountain saying we've changed the rules, let's keep it like it is."

Ho ho ho.

(Hey, wait a second -- didn’t Huckabee just call Moses gay?)

All right, let's deal with this nonsense one point at a time. First, marriage being "primarily about the development and nurturing of children." Well, you know, it is for some people. And for some people it isn't -- couples who want to remain deliberately childless, but still enjoy a lifetime commitment to one partner, or couples who are, for one biological reason or another, unable to have children and also can't adopt, because one of them has a medical condition that precludes them or because they can't afford it. So, right out of the box, Mitt's categorization of marriage is flawed, at best.

Beyond that, there's the little problem of his assumption that same-sex couples can't (or shouldn't) parent. See, here's the thing: kids reared by queers do as well as their peers. (And here, and about a million other places.) Not only is the notion that children of gay parents are less well off than their straight-parented cohort a complete fallacy, but same-sex couples are more likely to adopt older children, children of color, and/or children with special needs than any other group. It's not straight married couples, nor straight singles, no matter how devout or how pro-life or how pro-family who adopt "tough placement" kids in the highest numbers, but gays and lesbians. Thus, unless we're talking about the "development and nurturing" only of perfectly healthy, biological children, it makes sense to encourage gay marriage and parenting on behalf of the most needy of our nation's unwanted children.


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