Hooray for Illinois and Hawaii, the latest states to allow gays and lesbians to get legally married. As People for the American Way points out, that brings the grand total of U.S. states with marriage equality up to a whopping 30 percent. Which is still an F on any sane grading scale. Still, it’s a start. And 30 percent is certainly better than zero, but we still have a long way to go.
Of course, if you’re Laurie Higgins from the Illinois Family Institute, you think we’ve gone too far already. IFI opposes marriage equality and they are none too pleased with the news that same-sex couples will soon start marrying in the Land of Lincoln (so far, June is the earliest projected gay-wedding day).
In a Nov. 6 blog post, Higgins berated the cowardly and/or ignorant Illinois lawmakers who voted in favor of marriage equality “in defiance of truth, history, logic, compassion and in some cases, their own religious traditions.”
And the children! Who will think of the children? Why, Higgins will, of course.
“[Lawmakers] have given their stamp of approval on the practice of denying children’s inherent right to have both a mother and father,” she writes.
First of all, children actually don’t have an “inherent right” to a mom and dad. Sure, ideally all children would be loved and well-cared for by two parents starting from the moment of their birth and continuing unconditionally throughout their lives. But research has shown that those two parents do not have to be a mom and a dad. Two moms or two dads will do just fine, thank you very much.
Higgins disagrees, of course. In her post she blasts a “manipulative … letter from a 10-year-old girl” that was read during the floor debates over the marriage law in Illinois. According to Higgins, “[P]rior to being adopted by two homosexual men, [the girl] had been in foster care.” Higgins then writes that “adoption by a similarly compassionate mother and father would have been a better option.”
Actually, an even better option for this girl would have been never having to end up in foster care in the first place. Granted, I don’t know this particular girl’s story, but children end up in foster care for a variety of reasons, and none of these reasons are happy. There are thousands of kids in foster care and the number who will be left lingering there, never to be adopted or reunited with the families they were separated from, is staggering.
When Higgins says that this girl should have gone to straight parents instead, she is really saying that having no parents is better than having gay parents. Because if she thinks that there is a line of mom-dad pairs outside the door of child-welfare agencies and that gays are snatching available children away from them, she’s having some kind of fever dream.
If children have an “inherent right” to anything, it’s to a secure attachment to a loving adult who is willing and able to take care of them. Unfortunately, you don’t have to look very hard to find that this right is often denied. So forgive me if I find Higgins’ claim that she’s fighting for kids by fighting against gay and lesbian families to be completely ludicrous and deeply offensive.
D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet (believe it!). When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock ’n’ roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister.