labeling our children

The Boston Globe has uncovered another skeleton in Mitt Romney’s closet: statements and actions from his term as governor of Massachusetts that reveal his hateful attitude toward same-sex couples, and as an extension, the children of those parents.

Read the full story here.

It’s almost laughable in the wake of the Birther movement, where Donald Trump and others sought to deny Barack Obama’s legitimacy as President because of his birth certificate. In this case, Romney sought to delegitimize birth certificates of children born to gay couples by having hospitals alter them by hand, rather than allow the forms to be changed to recognize gay couples’ legal rights to marry in his state. Someone still needed to identify herself as the “father” or himself as the “mother,” or potentially invalidate the birth certificate by handwriting Parent 1 and Parent 2 over the crossed-out terminology that limits child-rearing to couples of different sexes.

The inconsistencies in Republican politics abound: whose name does the rape victim forced to deliver her unknown assailant’s baby put as the father on the birth certificate? Does that child have the right to both a father and a mother, as Romney claimed every child should have? Wouldn’t that child be better off with two parents of the same sex than with a rapist as a father? Studies and anecdotal evidence both show that children need to be raised in a loving, consistent home to be healthy individuals. The sexual orientation of their parents has nothing to do with anything (except for, perhaps, bullying, which is not a problem of same-sex marriage but a problem of societal hatred, which Mitt Romney is — perhaps inadvertantly — promoting with his remarks).

My daughter is in fifth grade, and I am personal friends with the family of a classmate who is the son of a same-sex couple. His parents are devoted role models who cover the gamut of the traditional gender roles: one mother was born and raised in the mountains and could kick any boy scout’s butt in terms of wilderness skills. She also cooks as well as anyone I know, plays an instrument in a band, and cries when she is angry or upset. The other mother is a tech-whiz and animal-lover — also a musician — with a wry sense of humor that tickles my funny bone. This fortunate boy has a relationship with his biological father as well, so he is being raised by three loving parents, and he is just as much “boy” as any other 11-year-old with a Y chromosome in the classroom (as well as some of the girls whose parents are straight). Why should his official record be tainted by handwritten terminology on his birth certificate? Lucky he wasn’t born in Massachusetts under Romney’s reign.

Romney says children have a right to a mother and a father, but he ignores the fact that countless children are being raised in this country in single-parent homes: not only because of divorce, but also because of death of a parent, unmarried women choosing to have children (which the Republicans must applaud, because they seek to outlaw abortion), legal adoption by single individuals, among other reasons. What 1950s television show has Mitt Romney been living in? What twisted notion of the American Dream is he still clinging to?

Wake up, Sleeping Beauty: this is the 21st century. Black people can sit next to you on the bus now. Women have the right to contraception (at least for now). All children born in the United States have the right to an education (ditto parenthetical comment above). We can watch videos of you making idiotic statements on the Internet.

We will not go back in time, no matter how much better you think the world was back then. I prefer social progress, and my gay and lesbian friends have proven to me what fantastic parents they are. I’d be happy to introduce you, Mr. Romney, though I don’t think the badass, wilderness-loving mom would let you in the door.

20121027-075714.jpg
two straight women kiss to protest in solidarity for gay rights at an anti-gay marriage rally in Marseille, France

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One thought on “labeling our children

  1. Growing up in other people’s money, insulated from the real world, made him think he was in a 1950s sit-com. HA!

    Why would anyone vote for him? He is very out of touch?

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