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[P]
Social Studies on Gay Parenting -- An Overview

By quartz in Culture
Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 01:18:39 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

"Homosexuality is an inherent evil, and if a person openly engages in such a practice, that fact alone would render him or her an unfit parent." These are the words that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore wrote in a concurring opinion in a case where a mother was denied custody of her child on the grounds of being a lesbian. The February 15, 2002 Alabama Supreme Court ruling is only the most recent occurence of a homosexual being prevented from keeping their children based on social/religious prejudice. But is it fair to deny someone custody of their child based solely on their sexual orientation? And are there any other, non-prejudiced reasons to do so?


Background

Currently, there are 3 million gay fathers and 5 million lesbian mothers in America1. Most states no longer consider sexual orientation a valid reason to end or limit parent-child relationships, and at least 21 states have granted second-parent adoptions to lesbians and gay men. Only three states (Florida, Arkansas and Mississippi) have passed laws expressly restricting gays and lesbians from adopting children, and another ten are considering, or have considered, such laws3. But the issue of same-sex parenting continues to be widely debated, and policy makers nationwide are turning to sociologists for answers untainted by bias, religious or otherwise.

But people tend to take sides when discussing such a controversial issue, and sociologists are no exception. There are scientists who believe that homosexuality is "inherently evil" (e.g. Paul Cameron, see http://www.familyresearchinst.org) and are using their research to push a hetero-normative worldview according to which a child can only develop normally in a heterosexual family. Strangely, this hetero-centrism seems to have contaminated the other side as well. Most gay-sympathetic research to date is done from a defensive position, trying to prove that same-sex families are every bit as good for children as heterosexual families, thus implicitly recognizing heterosexual parenting as the "gold standard". From a purely theoretical perspective this is unfortunate for a number of reasons, but mostly because genuine differences in outcomes between homosexual and heterosexual parenting tend to be downplayed3.

The case against same-sex parenting

Paul Cameron's brand of alarmist anti-gay research is quite popular in fundamentalist Christian circles, but does not stand up to academic scrutiny. In fact, Cameron has been expelled from the American Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Association denounced him for "willfully misrepresenting research", which, interestingly enough, did not stop lawyers and politicians from citing his works in court decisions and policy hearings3.

Reputable studies that advocate the rule of exclusive heterosexual parenting are relatively few, and they often tend to concentrate on pointing out methodological flaws in pro-gay studies. According to Lerner and Nagai, such flaws include "non-random samples", "missing or inadequate comparison groups", "samples too small to yield meaningful results", "unclear hypotheses and research designs", and other major flaws which, in the authors' opinion, render most pro-gay studies irrelevant2. Lerner and Nagai examined 49 such studies and found every one of them to exhibit at least one fatal research flaw.

Perhaps the most common argument against same-sex parenting is that children of gay parents are more likely to develop homosexual interests and behaviors themselves. Such an outcome is considered undesirable because "homosexual behavior among youth is associated with suicidal behavior, prostitution, running away from home, substance abuse, HIV infection, highly promiscuous behavior with multiple sex partners, and premature sexual activity"4. On a somewhat related note, Wardle concludes that children of gay parents are more likely to be confused about their own gender identity; she cites studies that have found "increased cross-dressing [tendencies] among daughters [of lesbians]", and "a lower self-image regarding masculinity" among sons of lesbians4.

Another argument against same-sex parenting is that homosexual parents subject their children to greater risks. Studies show that gays are more sexually promiscuous, more likely to die of AIDS, to molest their own children, and more likely to separate than heterosexual couples3. Also, children of gay couples have been found less likely than children brought up in heterosexual families to want to have families and children of their own4, although it is unclear why this is regarded as a negative trait. According to anti-gay scholars, all these factors are contributing to a significant negative influence on children brought up in same-sex families.

The case for same-sex parenting

As mentioned earlier, most pro-gay studies reach the somewhat defensive-sounding conclusion that "homosexuality is compatible with effective parenting", tacitly accepting the assumption that differences indicate deficits. Studies focused on parents usually compare groups of parents of different sexual orientation. Such a study shows that "although they differed in approach, philosophy, and type of parenting, [gay] men were similar in their overall parenting abilities and skills [to heterosexual men]", and "lesbian mothers were found to be more confident and to seek leadership roles more often than their heterosexual counterparts"1.

Studies focused on children conclude that there are no differences between children raised in homosexual families and those raised in heterosexual families with respect to self-esteem, emotional and behavioral difficulties, hyperactivity, gender identity and sexual orientation. Mental health and social adjstment levels were not found to be significantly different between the two groups. Children of gay parents were also found not likely to be molested by their parents in a study that shows 9\% of all pedophiles in America to be heterosexual males.

Admittedly, due to difficulties generated by the social impact of homophobic prejudices, some of these studies rely on "small-scale, snowball and convenience samples drawn primarily from personal and community networks or agencies", and have been mostly conducted on "white lesbian mothers who are comparatively educated, mature, and reside in relatively progressive urban centers"3. However, more objective meta-studies, such as Stacey and Biblarz's meta-analysis of 21 pro-gay studies which have been conducted between 1981 and 1998, validate most of their conclusions.

The one area where the conclusions of pro-gay studies have been found to be grossly inconsistent with the data they rely on is gender identity and sexual orientation of children raised in gay families. Stacey and Biblarz note that "lesbian mothers reported their children, especially daughters, more frequently dress, play, and behave in ways that do not conform to sex-typed cultural norms", and "daughters with lesbian mothers reported higher aspirations to nontraditional-gender occupations [...] such as doctor, lawyer, engineer and astronaut".

Conclusion

Sadly, this relatively new area of sociology is suffering a great deal of political influence. Most academic studies on gay parenting skew their results to concur with some political agenda. Scholars who are biased against homosexuals tautologically classify the possibility of some children becoming homosexuals as an evidence of harm, while pro-gay sociologists consistently ignore even the most obvious differences in psycho-social outcomes of children of gay couples compared to those of heterosexual couples.

However, an increasing number of prominent scholars are calling for less defensive research on same-sex family issues3. Hopefully, with more accurate demographic data available from the 2000 census, and more studies that reach beyond hetero-normativity, policy makers and the public at large will be served with an increasingly unbiased view on family diversity. Until then, homosexuality remains "inherently evil".

References:

  1. Brooks, Devon and Goldberg, Sheryl. Gay and Lesbian Adoptive and Foster Care Placements: Can They Meet the Needs of Waiting Children? Social Work 46 (April 2001)
  2. Lerner, Robert and Nagai, Althea K. No Basis: What the Studies Don't Tell Us About Same-Sex Parenting Marriage Law Project, 2001
  3. Stacey, Judith and Biblarz, Timothy J. (How) Does Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter? American Sociological Review 66 (April 2001)
  4. Wardle, Lynn D. The Potential Impact of Homosexual Parenting on Children University of Illinois Law Review (1997)

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Poll
Gay parents:
o Worse than heterosexual parents 12%
o Better 8%
o Just as good 34%
o Enough with this hetero-normativity already! 25%
o Don't know/care 15%
o Other 3%

Votes: 147
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o http://www .familyresearchinst.org
o Also by quartz


Display: Sort:
Social Studies on Gay Parenting -- An Overview | 168 comments (148 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
"Gold Standard" (3.81 / 16) (#8)
by Woundweavr on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 10:43:47 PM EST

I think hetero parenting has to be taken as the "gold standard" because it is only reasonable standard period. When ~95-97% of people in the US are hetero (and I would say more likely to have children), there is nothing else to judge against. I don't see this as putting down the homosexual parents, just as comparing a non-standard arrangment to the standard arrangement.

patriarchy (3.00 / 5) (#16)
by infinitera on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:21:19 PM EST

The standard arguments that hetero parenting is normative play on percieved gender roles.. that is, that children need a caring nurturing mother, and a strong father figure. Fuck that. FUCK IT. If you can't be nurturing, don't have kids. If society says you can't be nurturing (as a man), and if it defines strength as the use of force, as opposed to will or spirit, then the relative numbers of hetero families really don't matter, to me. (Likewise, active & 'strong' women are also needed)

-Dan

[ Parent ]
Ummmm (4.33 / 3) (#17)
by Woundweavr on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:25:35 PM EST

When approximately 95% of X are y and 5% are z, one must compare one to the other. Since y is both the known quantity as it is both the vast majority and that which most studies have been conducted on, it is perfectly reasonable to base some studies on z comparing it to y to put it in perspective.

Foaming at the mouth about the patriarchy has nothing to do with it. There's no reason gay men can't be non-nuturing and fathers. You're relying on stereotypes to make a point that has little to nothing to do with what I was saying.

[ Parent ]

yes (3.50 / 4) (#18)
by infinitera on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:31:57 PM EST

I'm not against comparisons, I just question the assertion that most hetero families are functional or healthy, which you seemed to make, originally. If society and family use 'pussy' and 'gay' as insults, for example, then that is a negative occurance, and not one which should be considered as benefitting children. And I'm not 'foaming at the mouth', I just have always encountered this sexism/protofascism in my life, family or otherwise, and I'm attuned to it :p

[ Parent ]
Assumption (3.60 / 5) (#20)
by Woundweavr on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:38:30 PM EST

I didn't intend to suggest such an assumption was required. Lets make a way too geeky an analogy. When doing studies on Linux on the desktop, one more or less must compare it to Windows as it is the standard. That doesn't mean Windows is good, just that the most information is known about it.

I'm not saying hetero families are functional or whatever you want to qualify as "good". However, the average hetero family is "average" because the information from such families, both scientifically and culturally provided a prohibitively large amount of the definition of "average family." I'm just trying to say that comparing it to that "average family" is the most logical way to do studies on this other subset of familes.

[ Parent ]

You're mistaken (4.50 / 2) (#31)
by dipipanone on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:11:00 AM EST

In your assumptions about how much we know about this 'so called' average family.

As a result, people confuse propaganda and ideology with scientific knowledge. The fact is, we know very little about what goes on in most 'families', other than what the dominant person in that household chooses to make available to us.

Who would have guessed at the high levels of wife beating and child sexual abuse twenty or thirty years ago?

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]
Then you tell me (4.50 / 2) (#51)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 10:45:22 AM EST

What all those studies on sociology, psycology and social work have been studying?

We may not know everything about the "average family." However, we do know a signifigant amount, and we know a lot more about hetero families than homo families.

[ Parent ]

Familes in aggregate, primarily... (4.50 / 2) (#65)
by dipipanone on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 12:36:46 PM EST

While the studies you talk about can tell you about the likelihood of something happening in a group, they can't tell us anything at all about whether an individual family is likely to be healthy or disfunctional. They certainly can't tell you whether daddy is diddling little junior, or how well young Dirk is likely to grow up in the absence of a female role model.

One thing we do know about couples in a homosexual relationship who want to start a family though, is that at least they don't have any accidents. They aren't neglecting great big broods of unwanted kids because they were too stupid or lazy to wear a condom, and those that are fortunate enough to be able to adopt are all going to have been checked out pretty thoroughly.

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]
windows isnt a standard (2.75 / 4) (#55)
by logiterr on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:15:29 AM EST

windows is not a standard. it is the default. there is a difference. the default is the first choice people are given, and in many cases the only choice. those people that do know about linux on the desktop have heard that it is difficult to use etc. what they too forget is that windows isnt easy either in fact i have seen more (all different) for dummies books for windows than linux.

that in itself isnt bad though, it is what happens traditionally with standards. they become laws. the law that IF you dont use windows you are trying to be a dissident. a rebel. an outlaw. you are being evil. this isnt that far from what mS says about linux and other open source efforts (hahaha efforts ahahhaha). anyways.

to call windows a standard one would also need to accept linux as a perfect alternative. there could be no bias. if you dont accept that, then you are immediately placing windows on a high chair and looking down at linux as a brain-damaged rebellion destined to fail because windows can reproduce (and linux is cancer).

great analogy though. sort of shows how messed up society at large is from software to parenting.

i would suggest an third alternative. think different, and think about the end-user exclusively on a user-basis. this is what macos does (ok maybe not but i needed a third os to throw into this mix). the children are most important here. whether the parents are hetero or not i couldnt careless. because if we are going to argue about parenting we have to then also include wards of the state or whatever they are called. those orphan kids that grow up with foster parents or in orphanages or whatever. what about parenting there? here the kids are faced with strangers posing as their parents.

but since none of that was actually being discussed i am resigned to believe that this is just a new tactic to discredit gays and lesbians and equate them to half-humans. sad sad sad. do realize though, just to be as sick and sad as the argument. gays and lesbians were the children of hetero-parents (how else did they come into this world? i have yet to hear of sperm-sperm fertilzation though i would suspect nowadays for a few mil it would be possible). see all you hetero peoples. gays and lesbians are YOUR abherations. maybe it is YOU that has a problem and it is YOU that must be fixed. but then again this is just flame for the bait.

its ALL about the kids. fuck the parents. so long as they get to become worker drones that can keep the factories of society working should we worry if they will become gay or not? besides. since there are such things as orphans, and it seems that hetero parents dont want to take them all in, why not let a seemingly evil bit of society try and redeem itself? maybe they will turn those kids into evil gays with lesbian-making laser guns, but at least those kids will have a dysfunctional family worthy of an american household.

[ Parent ]

Zealot (1.50 / 6) (#57)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:19:42 AM EST

Oh get a life zealot.

Windows is THE standard. It is that which an overwhelming majority of PCs on the desktop use. Accept that fact. As such, more peole know more about Windows than they know about Linux. This makes Windows the standard.

Now stop ranting and discover what we like to call the 'Shift' key and a concept commonly known as Capitalization.

[ Parent ]

zealot? (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by logiterr on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:14:55 PM EST

i take it then that cars are also the standard mode of transportation in america because the overwhelming masses use them? again, cars are the default choice, not a standard. to have a standard you need an acceptable alternative, or it isnt a standard at all. LIFE is not a standard. it is quite a choice. a default one at that.

sorry about the shift key, but this isnt my computer, the keyboard is swiss french and broken. i am cutting and pasting spaces since the space bar isnt working either. so im sorry. as for all the punctuation. were i writing an article or a rant, i might have attended to cut and paste full caps and all the punctuation as well as checking my grammar and spelling errors, but this was just a posted reply opinion alternate point of view.

zealot? im not exactly sure why you are calling me a zealot and why exactly you think i need to get a life.. but i guess maybe i upset you, im sorry if i did. how about macos? many people know about macos. many people use macos. is that a standard too? how about dos. and what version of windows is a standard? windowsxp as far as i know is in the process of making win95/98 unuseable. soon i wouldnt be surprised if software stops supporting win98 and under. what about the masses that still use win98 or under? are they to be left out of your wonderful standard that changes everytime the manufacturer wants? see, since we are talking about an analogy here, it is interesting to see just what this so called "windows" standard really is.

[ Parent ]

Dude, relax (4.66 / 3) (#104)
by revscat on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:31:14 PM EST

There are two kinds of standards in the world: de facto, and de jure. The first kind of standard is like what Windows is: Windows is the de facto standard OS because it's just what everybody uses. De jure standards are like the various ISO standards, Unicode, HTML, and so forth. There is a standards body that defines these elements and before you can say that you are compliant with them they make sure you are.

So yes, Windows is a standard. Doesn't mean it's good, doesn't mean it's bad. Just is. The *only* reason it can be called a standard is because that's what most people use.




- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
i guess ur right. (3.00 / 1) (#132)
by logiterr on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 01:16:28 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You seem to have forgoten, that life is analog.[NT (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by tekue on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 10:03:40 AM EST


--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]
And I question.. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by gblues on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:43:46 PM EST

.. the assertion that most gay "families" are also functional and healthy.

The functionality of a family really has very little to do with the functionality of the individuals in the family. It has everything to do with the attitude family members take towards their relationships with each other. Functionality doesn't just happen, it requires a concerted effort on the parents' part.

The advantage to heterosexual families is that men and women have very different perspectives that has more to do with basic gender differences than with sexual orientation or temperment. Thus, when conflict occurs, the functional parents can take advantage of each gender's perspectives and come to a better decision.

Homosexual families not only have to work to be functional, they must learn to take the perspective of the opposite sex. The result is that some aspects can be completely overlooked or misunderstood by the homosexual parents.

I submit that homosexual families are less likely to be functional--not as a result of the parents' sexual preferences, but as a result of the lack of perspective.

Nathan
... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
[ Parent ]
basic gender differences (4.00 / 2) (#99)
by killmepleez on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:47:43 PM EST

The advantage to heterosexual families is that men and women have very different perspectives that has more to do with basic gender differences than with sexual orientation or temperment.

This is true.

For example, one of my parents is good with methodical planning, has an admirable skill at anything kinetic-spatial, stays cool during turbulent events, and is a born leader who can make quick, practical decisions.

The other parent is very verbal and enjoys discussing feelings and sharing what happened in each day, needs attention, tends to follow rather than lead, and is sometimes easily hurt.

Would you like to guess which is my mother and which is my father?

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "Jumpers" in The New Yorker, October 13, 2003.
[ Parent ]
Those are temperment traits. (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by gblues on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:09:10 PM EST

Temperment being basic personality traits: amiable, analytical, etc. I am talking about basic differences between men and women.

For example, my fiance and I have very similar personality traits, and we are both heterosexual. However, I see holding her hand as a basic means of affection. She places much more importance on it than I do--even though our personality types and sexual orientation are (for all intents and purposes) identical.

Nathan
... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
[ Parent ]
there's my argument (4.00 / 1) (#103)
by infinitera on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:28:12 PM EST

She places much more importance on it than I do--even though our personality types and sexual orientation are (for all intents and purposes) identical.
What I was saying is that you both should place lots of value on it. And if you don't, don't have kids [voluntarily].

[ Parent ]
there are more planets than mars and venus.... (3.00 / 1) (#129)
by killmepleez on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 11:27:42 AM EST

Temperment being basic personality traits: amiable, analytical, etc. I am talking about basic differences between men and women.

maybe i misunderstood you, then.
it sounded as if you were referring to basic [personality] differences between men and women. but when i presented an example of two different personalities held by one man and one woman, you tell me that's not what you're talking about.

if you're not referring to personality or relationship styles, and i assume you're not speaking purely of anatomy, then please indicate exactly what you do mean by "difference".

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "Jumpers" in The New Yorker, October 13, 2003.
[ Parent ]
... and I question your question. :) (4.00 / 4) (#111)
by MrMikey on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 08:43:11 PM EST

{And I question] .. the assertion that most gay "families" are also functional and healthy.
I note that you put the word 'families' in quotes. Why?
The functionality of a family really has very little to do with the functionality of the individuals in the family.
An interesting assertion... what do you base it on? Offhand, I'd say that it would be rather difficult to build a functional family out of non-functional individuals (depending on one's value of "functional", and it's context).
It has everything to do with the attitude family members take towards their relationships with each other.
One can have positive attitudes, and yet still be non-functional. Perhaps you should specify what constitutes, in your opinion, a "functional attitude."
Functionality doesn't just happen, it requires a concerted effort on the parents' part.
I agree.
The advantage to heterosexual families is that men and women have very different perspectives that has more to do with basic gender differences than with sexual orientation or temperment.
Any two individuals will have differing perspectives, regardless of their respective genders. You have yet to establish the necessity or value of perspectives based on "gender differences" than those based on other factors (not that I think they don't have value, mind you).
Thus, when conflict occurs, the functional parents can take advantage of each gender's perspectives and come to a better decision.
:) You're kidding, right? Well, yes, "functional" parents can take advantage of gender perspectives to come to a better decision. Do they? Can those gender perspectives also lead to worse decisions?
Homosexual families not only have to work to be functional, they must learn to take the perspective of the opposite sex.
A profoundly unsupported assertion. Why do they need to learn to take the "perspective of the opposite sex"? Just what is this "perspective"? It would appear that you are assuming the conclusion you wish to prove... a classic case of flawed logic.
The result is that some aspects can be completely overlooked or misunderstood by the homosexual parents.
Care to be specific?
I submit that homosexual families are less likely to be functional--not as a result of the parents' sexual preferences, but as a result of the lack of perspective.
You'll have to do better than this if you wish to form an even somewhat persuasive argument

[ Parent ]
You do have a point, but... (4.85 / 7) (#21)
by quartz on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:41:33 PM EST

The problem appears when people start to interpret "different" to mean "deficient". IMO the fact that children of gay parents are less likely to fit the traditional, socially-imposed gender roles is not a bad thing, and should not be construed as such. Yes, it's OK to compare, but don't say something is bad until you can prove it...



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
My understanding (3.83 / 6) (#24)
by Lord INSERT NAME HERE on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:55:55 PM EST

Is that 10% of the population are gay, and that much of the rest as at least mild bisexual tendencies.
--
Comics are good. Read mine. That's an order.
[ Parent ]
Debunked (4.00 / 4) (#54)
by Woundweavr on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:08:44 AM EST

The 1948 Kinsey 10% figure has been widely debunked. Kinsey used a skewed subject set and extremely broad definitions of homosexuality. For instance, 25% of his study were prison inmates or sex offenders, both of which practice homosexuality at a much higher rate than the general public. Also, of the 5,300 people in the study, several hundred signed up because they were homosexual rights activists.

Numerous studies have placed the actual amount for active homosexuals to be ~1% for active homosexual males and .7% for active lesbians with ~3% and 1.5% for at least one same sex encounter.

The 10% figure is often pushed by gay activists because it obviously gives them more weight(and who can blame them?). While a majority of studies support these figures, a few say as high as 5% of the population (sometimes defining homosexuality as having more than one fantasy about someone of your sex or acknoledging someone of the same sex as a sexual being), so I used the 95-97% hetero figure.

[ Parent ]

Yes and no (3.75 / 4) (#71)
by pietra on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 01:29:57 PM EST

The important thing about Kinsey's study was that it assessed a very broad spectrum of sexual behavior. Yeah, he had some biased sampling, but that was the *point*. It's one thing to say that X% of the population will initiate or be involved in Y behavior under ideal circumstances, i.e. those that they choose or prefer. It's another thing entirely to talk about what *actually* happens in the wide range of non-ideal situations society throws at you. Kinsey wasn't saying that 10% of the population is "gay." He was saying that 10% of the population has "exhibited homosexual tendencies" under a variety of circumstances. The language and the theories have changed over the years. We talk less about behaviors (prison sex between otherwise heterosexual men, or "sodomy" in all of its mysterious state definitions) and more about preference and identity. In other words, now you can be gay and celibate; 50 years ago, you either fucked someone in the ass or you didn't. And yeah, the gay movement has co-opted Kinsey's figures and used them to their own benefit. What would you do, in similar circumstances? Let them take away your kids, or keep you from visiting your partner as he or she lies dying in a hospital? Let an employer fire you just because someone happened to see you going into the wrong bar? Kill yourself because you're part of a teeny percentage of "sexual deviants" when some of the people trying to cast you out might very well have had a few friendly mutual jackoff sessions as adolescents? (That's one of Kinsey's more entertaining discoveries: the number of young teenage guys who masturbated together, but saw nothing even remotely "homosexual" about it.) I'd rather see people being reasonable and recognizing that they shouldn't discriminate on the basis of something as silly as who likes to do what to whom, but that ain't the world we live in. It's getting there, though.

[ Parent ]
Bullshit! (5.00 / 2) (#121)
by FredBloggs on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 07:49:44 AM EST

"25% of his study were prison inmates or sex offenders, both of which practice homosexuality at a much higher rate than the general public"

Pure and simple. The `link` between homosexuality and sex offenders exists only in the minds of the very simple.

[ Parent ]
Actually.... (none / 0) (#168)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 09:00:47 PM EST

...I tend to go with the more natural spectrum of everyone being more or less bisexual and leaning to one side more than the other.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Eh? (4.33 / 3) (#122)
by FredBloggs on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 07:50:59 AM EST

"When ~95-97% of people in the US are hetero (and I would say more likely to have children), there is nothing else to judge against"

Er...apart from the ~3-5% of non-hetero`s...

[ Parent ]
Semi OT - Statistics (4.33 / 9) (#11)
by Woundweavr on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 10:59:50 PM EST

I don't have a copy of the Social Work 46 paper. For the author or anyone who has the journel, how was the there are 3 million gay fathers and 5 million lesbian mothers in America figures? While I'm certain that there are that many homosexuals in the US, it seems unlikely that there are that many parents. That would mean ~3% of the total US population was a gay parent. It would mean between 5-10% of the families in the US has a gay parent(5 if they are all paired, 10 if each has only one). How did the researchers come to this figure?

Polls (3.33 / 6) (#14)
by theboz on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:11:18 PM EST

Write a poll with questions like, "Have you ever thought of another person of your sex as a sexual person?"

If they answer yes, then label them a homosexual and throw them in with the statistics. It's a very typical statistics gathering technique. If you have a biased point you want to prove, you write questions to back up your point. You know the old, "Have you quit beating your wife?" joke.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Lies, damn lies... (4.80 / 5) (#15)
by quartz on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:12:57 PM EST

The authors of the Social Work article back up their figures by citing another study by A. Sullivan for the Child Welfare League of America, which claims those 8 million gays are parents to an estimated 14 million children.

On the other hand, the ASR article authors note, somewhat puzzled, that all figures about gays are very gross estimates (since quite a lot of gays are understandably reticent to make their sexual orientation public); the interesting thing is that for some reason anti-gay articles tend to pick the lower end of the estimate, while the pro-gay ones tend to go with the higher end. The Social Work article was a pro-gay one, so you may actually be right in suspecting their figures of being a little inflated.



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
Ripping apart the common argument (3.81 / 11) (#22)
by Nikau on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 11:49:06 PM EST

Perhaps the most common argument against same-sex parenting is that children of gay parents are more likely to develop homosexual interests and behaviors themselves.

One could also say that children of hetero parents are more likely to develop heterosexual interests and behaviours themselves.

Either way, the argument is essentially useless. Either way, the child stands a good chance of adopting the sexual preferences of the parent(s), so does it really matter? The only way to really ensure that the child assumes his/her own sexual identity is to keep the child away from the parents, and that will most likely do more psychological harm than good.

Let's face it, kids learn a lot from their parents. Monkey see, monkey do. I think it's up to the parents to encourage the child to find what's right for him/her.

Now that I've said that, I believe I'll try to prove black is white, but stay away from zebra crossings.

---
I have a zero-tolerance policy for zero-tolerance policies, and this policy itself is the exception to itself which allows me to have it without being contradictory. - Happy Monkey

children (4.16 / 6) (#47)
by 5150 on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 09:41:07 AM EST

I personally know two lesbians that are daughters of lesbians. In both cases the mothers were very closeted when their daughters were at home. In both cases the mothers only came out to their daughters when the daughters came out themselves. In both cases the mothers are still homophobic and disparaging, both toward their daughters and toward themselves. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a combination of genetics (let's just assume for a moment that there is a `gay gene' or `gay tendency gene') and social influence (let's just assume that both of these mothers grew up in an environment that was not only, not supportive of their disposition toward other women, but downright condemning of this tendency). As a result these mothers not only can not except who they are, they are less likely to raise well adapted children. Classic chicken and egg, are gays and lesbians `bad' parents because of society, or does society disapprove of them because they are `bad' parents. All I can add to this is that if my partner and I ever choose to have children, we will live in a tolerant community, and we will teach our child/ren tolerance and love of all people, regardless of skin color, sex organs, or partnership attractions.

[ Parent ]
Homosexual interests...? (4.33 / 3) (#49)
by dachshund on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 10:11:32 AM EST

Either way, the child stands a good chance of adopting the sexual preferences of the parent(s), so does it really matter?

But note that they don't even necessarily argue that the children will adopt the sexual preferences of the parent; they have to throw in words like "homosexual interests". What does that mean, exactly, if it's distinct from sexual preference?

Also, I'd be surprised if an upswing in the percentage of gay children of gay parents wasn't due to a greater understanding (and lack of fear) of being gay. It's hard to do any comparison of gay vs. straight when we don't really know how many people actually fall into either camp, because so many people will do anything to hide their true preferences.

[ Parent ]

You're looking at this the wrong way... (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by Tessera on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 08:31:49 PM EST

It's not that if I'm gay, my kids are more likely to become gay. It's that my kids are more likely to be tolerant and openminded. Am I going to teach my kids how homosexuality is "inherently evil" and should be eradicated? No, although some straights might. And that means that my kids will be more tolerant of it as a concept; in short, I'm never going to teach them that homosexuality is a bad thing.

Plus, there is the fact that if someone says "Homosexuality is bad!" they will think "Well, daddy's gay, and daddy's not bad, so they must be wrong!" But they're not going to "learn by example" and start having sex with other men because their dad did. If that's how things work, how did gay people come around in the first place? Wouldn't we have learned by example of our parents and been straight?

And saying "the child stands a good chance of adopting the sexual prefences of the parents" is an unbased and false statement. It'd be nice if you at least tried to back these things up somehow.

[ Parent ]
Ah...wait a sec... (none / 0) (#167)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:52:05 PM EST

I'm gay and my parents are straight.

Doesn't that effectively shut down your argument?

Just nit-picking.

:0-)
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

I have done some research... (2.25 / 12) (#26)
by Spatula on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 12:44:22 AM EST

and here is the result of my research.

+1 anyway. Just because I can. And I definitely don't represent all straight people.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.

What? (3.00 / 1) (#94)
by scruffyMark on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:56:54 PM EST

What on earth was that?

I'm baffled, speechless, at the strangeness and incoherence of that comic. Was the act of linking to that a joke on your part?

Baffled. Absolutely.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, it was a joke. (3.00 / 1) (#116)
by Spatula on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 12:56:55 AM EST

No matter. I still read SMC, even though it's gone completely downhill lately.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.
[ Parent ]
Downhill? (3.00 / 1) (#138)
by scruffyMark on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 08:57:02 PM EST

Out of curiosity, which direction is down in the context of SMC? More, or less, mindbogglingly odd?

[ Parent ]
Less weird (3.00 / 1) (#141)
by Spatula on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:07:05 AM EST

I have read SMC with the firm opinion that it was, at best, borderline manic. Lately, theyve been getting just plain fux0r3d. That's downhill, for me. I read Okashina Okashi lately just for a touch of sanity these days, as well as megatokyo.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.
[ Parent ]
religious differences (3.45 / 11) (#27)
by auraslip on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 02:28:53 AM EST

"if they can decide that all Homosexuals are bad parents, why can't they decide that all Muslims, or Jew's, or Hindu's , or any one not Christian are bad parents?"

"becuase little billy, that would be racist."

"but how is sexual preference any different then religious?"

"uhhh....listen the point is, children need a father and a mother to develop normally."
-------------------------------------------------

So I guess anything not normal is deficient. Gee, sounds a bit like racism.


124
Flawed argument... (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by cypherpunks on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 12:41:39 PM EST

Religion is chosen. Homosexuality isn't.
This, of course, is contrary to what most anti-homosexuality people will argue though.
Still, whether being gay makes you a worse parent (which I doubt) is irrelevant. Being stupid makes you a worse parents too--IMO--but few people seriously suggest we regulate that.
Of course, unfit is much stronger than "worse than normal."

--General "Forgot my password" Wesc/LKBM

[ Parent ]
Stacey and Biblarz (4.36 / 11) (#28)
by marx on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 02:43:32 AM EST

"daughters with lesbian mothers reported higher aspirations to nontraditional-gender occupations [...] such as doctor, lawyer, engineer and astronaut"

Eh, this statement would be labeled "female discrimination" in most of the world. I hardly think these people are qualified to judge whether pro-gay data is "grossly inconsistent" with "gender identity and sexual orientation".

If that's all they could come up with, then it appears the studies show that there is not any distortion of gender identity.

Is the belief of these two widespread in the US? I thought we got past that kind of gendered occupation thinking somewhere in the 70s.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

Gender typing (4.88 / 9) (#32)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:14:58 AM EST

I always find it interesting when science is used to justify or further moral agenda. :)

To me, the fact that daughters of lesbians tend to be less in tune with their gender-identity is evidence of good parenting. Most parents want thier children to excell at whatever each child is best at, but unwittingly restrict their options by gender-casting thier interests at a young age.

For example, an associate of mine found her daughter playing with a toy dump truck and quickly said "honey, that's just for boys." That kind of attitude just makes me shake my head -- and in light of the cited research, wish that more "parents" were gay!

--
No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

[ Parent ]

Even if the reverse was true. (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by DavidTC on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 12:37:30 PM EST

Even if the reverse was true, and daughters of lesibans were more likely to grow up to be construction workers, and the sons of gay men grew up to be hairdressers more often then not, that's reverse gender typing and it's not worse than gender typing.

In fact, it would appear to be better for society as a whole, because it would help destroy gender typing altogether, even if some people ended up in the 'wrong' jobs, because it leads us to a future were people don't have expectations based on gender, whereas normal gender typing just continues the stereotypes.

The best thing is to just stop the typing, but if you can't do that, than you might as well randomly type people, that at least screws up the types for later generations.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

"Reverse" gender typing (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 01:43:46 PM EST

Even if the reverse was true, and daughters of lesibans were more likely to grow up to be construction workers, and the sons of gay men grew up to be hairdressers more often then not, that's reverse gender typing and it's not worse than gender typing.
I agree with you completely -- my point is that parents often gender-type instead of exposing thier children (or letting the children discover) alternatives that traditionally land on the "other side" of the gender chasm.

--
No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

[ Parent ]
I cant comment on this. (1.70 / 10) (#33)
by Juan Rojo on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:34:26 AM EST

I'm not gay, I respect them as much as I respect anyone else, but i just dont understand them. Gay parenting is a touchy issue, so i dont think people whitout the understanding of such marginal sexual orientations, like me, has the moral right to speak for them.

Shutup; YOU CAN COMMENT! (3.40 / 5) (#35)
by gnovos on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:41:04 AM EST

Then you can't speak for the morality or lack thereof of murder until you have murdered someone? That is absurd! You have as much moral right to comment as anyone else.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
No, I cant. (5.00 / 2) (#83)
by Juan Rojo on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 03:05:10 PM EST

And I feel sad that you compare homosexuality with murder. Murder is an action and we know what happens out of it (someone is killed) but not how. I wouldnt be able to comment on why a murderer decided to kill someone, because too many factors come into play. Maybe you think that you can easily stereotype all murderers, all gays, all lesbians, all jews, all fundamentalists, whathever. Well, congratulations, i cant.

[ Parent ]
Marginal (4.00 / 3) (#38)
by marx on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:54:41 AM EST

marginal sexual orientations

It's not marginal though. There are about the same number of gay people in the world as there are people in the entire Americas. That's not a marginal population.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

4.6% (2.66 / 3) (#44)
by J'raxis on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 08:01:24 AM EST

280,000,000 / 6,000,000,000 = 4.6%. I would say that is rather small. In terms of statistics is there a hard threshold where something is considered marginal, or...?

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

"Americas" is more than just the U.S. [n (3.50 / 2) (#56)
by skunk on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:15:46 AM EST


--SS
[ Parent ]
Yeh... (3.50 / 2) (#63)
by J'raxis on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 12:01:04 PM EST

I noticed that America was plural as soon as I submitted...

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Mmhmm (4.00 / 2) (#76)
by pietra on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 01:52:43 PM EST

I'm not a guy. I respect guys as much as I respect anyone else, but I just don't understand them. I especially don't understand why the majority of them leave the toilet seat up, or why they like Duke Nukem so much. Since I just can't comprehend men, I believe I'll avoid voting on any issues that deal solely with men, like, say, the reinstatement of the draft. After all, it doesn't affect me at all, since I'm not a man, and can't understand them. I don't have the moral right to speak up for men being forced to fight and die in a war they may not feel is just.

[ Parent ]
you fail on this, sorry. (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by Juan Rojo on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 03:18:25 PM EST

Specially when you say "the majority". my point is really simple, i dont understand them, so i cant generalize, thus i cant comment. You may know some guys, you may know a lot of guys, but you dont know every guy on earth, you can comment on a guy, or comment on your friends, but if you go making comments about "social issues on the behavior of male human species and their male condition" what you said may be labeled as "femenist".

[ Parent ]
Actually, it's "feminist" (3.00 / 1) (#135)
by pietra on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 06:15:46 PM EST

and you're still a "homophobe." Do yourself a favor: open a browser, and type in "www.planetout.com" (I want you to put forth a *little* effort). There. Now you understand a certain amount about queer life in America. No, you don't know everything. Hopefully, though, you've figured out that ignorance is no excuse for blathering about how much you don't know.

[ Parent ]
All your questions answered: (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by dasunt on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 08:13:57 PM EST

We keep the toilet seat up because we are lazy.

Duke Nukem (the original), was a nice campy game. The 3D version, and stuff like Quake, is entertaining because it allows you to measure yourself against other people. Competition is something desired by most men.

There, now you understand guys. :)



[ Parent ]
It makes me want to spit (4.44 / 29) (#34)
by jabon on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:37:38 AM EST

Every time I hear reports of Court rulings, Supreme or otherwise, against gay rights it makes me want to spit on the ground we are trying to defend against terrorism. Flaming mad I tell you (no pun intended). How can these FOOLS possibly say something so derogitory as "Homosexuality is an inherent evil, and if a person openly engages in such a practice, that fact alone would render him or her an unfit parent," and yet still hold their positions of law interpretation? A lot of good the separation of church and state has done.

Its justs so rediculous, but there it is. Gay people, myself included, are EXACTLY GOD DAMN LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. These studies you cite blatently ignore the fact that "homosexual behavior among youth is associated with suicidal behavior, prostitution, running away from home, substance abuse, HIV infection, highly promiscuous behavior with multiple sex partners, and premature sexual activity" are a DIRECT result of being excluded and utterly denounced by our society.

I was told recently by my relious institution that in addition to being denied sexual activity, I would now be actively denied marriage, because it was against God. AGAINST GOD. For all of you statisticians out there, take a random sampling of people of any background, tell them repeatedly from their early childhood (about when sexuality starts being recognized) that they are against God and inherintly evil, and report back the probability of their displaying the behaivors listed above.

My seething anger mixed with a dash of cynicism probably isn't helping my cause any, and I don't really see this issue going away until the current generation of politicians and justices die and take their prejudiced, illegal, hate mongering, facist (for some flavor) ideas with them. It probably won't end even then though, because our society has an inherant need to hate a group of people, with a progressively more abstract classification (nationality -> color -> sexual preference).

One last thought: The gender roles we have in US society are completely artificial. Why do they have to remain the same when they have been changing since their inception? It used to be laughable that a woman could vote, and yet now it is laughable that they ever couldn't? Why doesn't this idea scale well? Are we lacking in education, ability to abstract, are all of us intelligent or just a very few engaging in a heated debate with a stone wall? Basically, what part of "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are people not understanding?

Don't whine, switch churches (4.50 / 6) (#40)
by gnovos on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 07:40:46 AM EST

So your church believes homosexuality is against, God, so what? If YOU don't beleiev what they believe, then you are in the wrong religion. How would you feel if a Christian were to lambast his synagoge for not believing in Jesus? You would think he was a retarded raving nut! The Jewish faith, by the very core of thier beliefs, do not think that Jesus is the savior, so how can he expect his Jewish synagoge to switch thier 5000 year old beliefs just for him?

The same applies to you! If your church doesn't believe what you believe, then you are in the wrong place! Switch churches. If you are unwilling to switch churches, then *you* are in the wrong. You cannot expect a basketball team to admit you if you want to play football, you cannot expect a flight going to Paris to instead go to Amsterdam instead because you want to go there, so why do you expect a non-homosexual-beliving institution to let you marry if they don't believe in that?

What if someone else in the same church said he thinks the crosses on the walls should be replaced with golden cows? How would you feel, seriously? Well, that is exactly how they feel about you!

Find a different church.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
Not so easy, but yes. (4.00 / 1) (#112)
by vastor on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 10:07:09 PM EST

As a christian it is our duty to proclaim, admonish and teach (Colossians 1:28 for example). If your church is warped, then some effort ought to be made to correct it. That's something I'm struggling with at the moment (since the last two sermons have had parts about homosexuality being not on).

But I do agree with the conclusion and am looking to find a different church myself (which is a shame, since the current one is a good community and fairly biblically sound). However there is an issue about the need to correct things... though I'm a wimp/non-confrontational so probably won't do anything (though may explain to one or two people there that I'm closest to, not sure yet).

I do agree with the other people though that have said being gay has made them review things and see things differently to if they'd been straight. It's about the only redeeming factor I've found to the experience, that instead of being on the somewhat religious right (except I've socialist tendancies), I think I've ended up viewing things much nearer to the truth than would otherwise have been the case.

Switching churches because of bad teaching is a tough thing to do - since Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ and it is painful to leave those you have grown close to.

My current plan is to basically fade out from this church and in to the next one. So I'll keep going to the bible studies I'm in until the end of the year and then just not sign up for new ones (and if I've a timetable clash for the one I go to on campus during the day, not change in second semester).

I don't like your sport example much. I'd revise it to be something along the lines of having a bunch of sporting friends that you play football with but hassle you out and tell you that you're wrong for playing basketball as well. Maybe even better would be to compare rugby league and rugby union as the sports. Whichever way a church goes in its view of homosexuality, it is a side issue compared to the main cause and they do a lot of damage by driving people away over it (whether it be contributing to those that suicide or making it such an issue that members of the church feel alienated, it certainly isn't the right way of going about things - a quiet word/discussion with those affected would be far more appropriate than blanket statements, a little tact could go a long way).

[ Parent ]
Sports (none / 0) (#117)
by gnovos on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 04:25:02 AM EST

I liked you post, but just to nitpick: I think the sports example is good if you look at it right. Many areas have "house rules" for sports. Of course, we see that less nowadays, but there was once a time when running an extra point in (in football) would get you +2 in college, but only +1 in the NFL. (Maybe that is differnt now, I don't keep up w/sports of any kind). Now, if one player on an NFL team wanted to play by college rules, no matter how much he wanted to, no matter how good his arguments for a two point rule are, he isn't going to be allowed to do it. It's the same game, but one rule is different, and that can make a lot of difference.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
$0.02 (5.00 / 2) (#43)
by AnalogBoy on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 07:57:54 AM EST

Its justs so rediculous, but there it is. Gay people, myself included, are EXACTLY GOD DAMN LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. These studies you cite blatently ignore the fact that "homosexual behavior among youth is associated with suicidal behavior, prostitution, running away from home, substance abuse, HIV infection, highly promiscuous behavior with multiple sex partners, and premature sexual activity" are a DIRECT result of being excluded and utterly denounced by our society.

*applause*
I've said this all along. Except being gay for me was pretty formative. The seclusion i suffered as a adolecent drove me down the path i'm on now. Right now, i wish it wouldn't have happened that way. I have to wonder how much different my life would be if I were straight.
--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
[ Parent ]
For me... (4.66 / 6) (#78)
by DranoK 420 on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 02:24:47 PM EST

Being gay shaped me into a better person. Up until puberty I blindly followed my parent's ultra-conservative religious socio/political beliefs. Even as a Freshman in HS I was a complete right-wing Nazi dick. If it wasn't for the most basic fact that I had a crush on Matt instead of Rachael I would still probably be an ultra-conservative right-wing twat with no ability to see past my own arrogance.

As someone who knows, let me explain why people like this Judge think the way they do. It's not because they want to be assholes. It's not because they have some sort of political agenda they want passed. To them it honestly *is* about protecting the innocense of children. As fucked up as we might think it is, these people truely believe a kid is better off without a home than with a gay family.

You can't reason with people like this, no matter how hard you try. Why? Because beleiving that homosexuality is wrong is a moral landmark for them. Because they believe it every bit as much as they do God himself exists, or that murder is wrong. There is no ambiguity in these people's minds, no shades of grey.

I know how hard it was for me to break out of these beliefs. It was as painful as trying to break an addiction to drugs. In order to change your morals from "being a fag is wrong" to "I'm gay and that's OK" isn't as simple as just changing one opinion. First you need to alter the way you view the Bible. Then disrupt your very belief in God. All the while continuing to here everyone around you denounce gays as being dirty and evil.

In my case I ended up completely abandoning religion. It was the only way to reconcile all the different contradictions. But I cannot stress enough how difficult the process was. I went through it because I didn't have a choice. I was so depressed I realized that if I didn't stop belieiving homosexuality was morally wrong I would eventually end up committing suicide. I couldn't tolerate living as depressed as I was, and I didn't want to die. So I had no choice but to try to abandon this belief. A close friend in HS had the same choice to make, but abandoning his Chrisitian upbringing turned out to be impossible for him. His father happened to have a gun, and one Saturday night the depression got to him and he ended his life in what I hope was a quick and painless manner. I would never be so arrogant to presume that I lived because I was stronger, or that I had a stronger will to live. I got lucky. One day admist countless tears my mind re-ordered itself and I saw things from a new perspective. Had this not happened I'm sure I wouldn't be around today either.

I agree with the poster that the high rate of suicideds among gay youth is indeed caused by the intollerance their peers and religions have toward them. But it's not a matter of simply convincing these people they're wrong. Nobody wants to go through moral detox -- I did because I had to. What desire do right-wing pundits have to change their morals?

Sadly I think all we can do is wait for these people to die and hope we can teach their children a different set of morals. It's ironic but as things stand now the only hope is to force our schools to indoctrinate kids with the notion of equality instead of moral behavior.

The sad fact is that children believe what they are told to believe, and will continue to do so for most of their lives. If their school, church and family tell them homosexuality is wrong, they'll think it's wrong.

It's a pity the human species relies so much on value systems taught from birth. Until we as a species make a conscious decision to teach our kids that they need to find their own truths and beliefs, until we stop telling them what is right and wrong and letting them discover it for themselves, we will always have the same social problems we do now. Terrorism, right-wing intollerance, liberal tree-hugger insanity, racism, anti-racism, etc -- all these things stem from the fact that people have a hard time changing what they believe to be right and wrong.

Somehow I doubt we will ever be willing to tell our children, "No, Johnny, I can't tell you if that's right or wrong. You'll have to discover that for yourself". Truly a shame, too, because I think the world would be a much better -- and more interesting -- place if we did.

DranoK


Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence.


[ Parent ]
"against God" (2.40 / 5) (#87)
by bolthole on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 03:52:09 PM EST

I was told recently by my relious institution that in addition to being denied sexual activity, I would now be actively denied marriage, because it was against God. AGAINST GOD. For all of you statisticians out there, take a random sampling of people of any background, tell them repeatedly from their early childhood (about when sexuality starts being recognized) that they are against God and inherintly evil, and report back the probability of their displaying the behaivors listed above.

This should not be a surprise to you. After all, it's right there in the bible that (male) homosexual acts are against God.

However, it is not saying, "IF you are 'gay', you are inherently evil". It is saying "doing homosexual acts is inherently evil". So from a Jewish/Christian point of view, things are very clear: if you have homosexual urges/inclinations, either you dont act on them, or you are not a true Jew/Christian (Muslim?) Up to you. Just dont claim that you can be a Christian and be actively homosexual. People do, but they're following their own made-up religion.

[ Parent ]

Y'know Homer, the Bible says lots of things (4.50 / 6) (#101)
by revscat on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:14:41 PM EST

After all, it's right there in the bible that (male) homosexual acts are against God.

Maybe, but you know, the Bible says a lot of things. It also says women shouldn't cut their hair and that disobedient children should be stoned. So what? People pick and choose verses out of the Bible to support pre-existing prejudices.

No one "obeys" 100% of a religious text, not even fundamentalist evangelical whacknuts. It's impossible.




- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
finally, a real comment! (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by Juan Rojo on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 03:58:44 PM EST

This is exactly why gay people shouldnt be discriminated. Gay people has been around since like, ever. Think about Tchaikovsky, Oscar Wilde, even Louis 14 had a relationship with Colbert. Culture is now more open than ever before to gay people, but to me the question is more like, do you think that its current state of occidental culture will allow for a child with gay parents to adopt to it? Without a doubt the kid will go through discrimination, which as much as we condemn, it cant be avoided. Another issue that thrives me is that while lesbian couples seem to have no problem in adopting boys/girls, the majority of male gay couples seem to be all for adopting boys only. This is to my judgement, discrimination. I dont know about US, but social plans in many countries dont let you choose the gender of the baby/kid you're going to adopt when you fill a request.

[ Parent ]
Ummm... (none / 0) (#166)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:30:43 PM EST

...Lesbians have no need of adoption... all they need is a sperm donor.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Homosexuality is an inherent evil (3.22 / 9) (#36)
by gnovos on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:43:00 AM EST

This is an easy, open and shut case. If somone can PROVE the evility of homosexuality, then you take the kid away, and if you can't then you don't. SHOW ME THE PROOF.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
Couch potato is an inherent evil (4.75 / 4) (#37)
by looksaus on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:33:06 AM EST

This is an easy, open and shut case. If someone can PROVE the evil in couch potato parents, then you take the kid away, and if you can't then you don't. SHOW ME THE PROOF.

Oh, and maybe we should have taken his daughter away from the US president way back when he was an alcoholic.

And me from my mom and dad, because they were poor when I was a little kid.

If you do research on homosexual parents, in order to have a reason to prohibit them to have kids (or not), where do you stop? Shouldn't you be more consequent and deny other categories of the population the right to have kids? No kids for couch potatoes, beer drinkers, poor people,...
http://MusicaLiberata.org Towards a Free Classical Music Library
[ Parent ]
EVIL (4.50 / 2) (#39)
by gnovos on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 07:27:17 AM EST

Well, you don't stop. As long as you can PROVE how evil something is, then you don't draw a line. After all, evil is evil. Evil, by DEFINITION, is a bad thing.

My point, however, was that proving evil is not such an easy task. By calling homosexual parents evil, which somone did you'll note, and not providing any justification, the argument expects us to simply agree with it on faith. The tennets of logic do not let you do that.

People should not be allowed to toss around rhetoric without backing thier words up with proof. Simply saying homosexuality is "evil", and not offering any justification on why that is the case, is wrong. Just like saying that ANYTHING is "evil" is wrong... UNLESS, you can demonstrate WHY it's evil.

If somone can prove to me why being a homosexual is evil, and I mean real proof, not just stuff the aliens told you, or stuff that you "just know, man", then I will whole-heartedly agree.

The same is true for the drinkers and deatbeat couch potatos. SHOW ME why they are evil, don't just say it and expect me to take your work for it.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
Can't be done? (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by sal5ero on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 09:43:37 AM EST

Can it even be proven (or dis-proven)? First, two parties have to agree on the definition of evil, before agreeing on what falls into the category of evil. If you have different ideas of what evil IS, you can't possibly even try to compare what is to be considered evil. Some would consider evil exists, can be defined, and then things are to be considered evil or not. Some would consider that there is no such thing as evil. Some would consider that evils simply consists of a list of things that are "by definition of the list" evil. (much like the "problem of good: is "the good" good merely because God says it is, or does God say it is good because it is independently good?) Some would consider that there is no such thing as evil - that there is merely a negative emotional reaction to some events.



[ Parent ]
Proof vs Definition (5.00 / 3) (#41)
by PresJPolk on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 07:52:10 AM EST

Asking christians and muslims to prove homosexuality is evil is like asking a physicist to prove that velocity is the rate of change of position. You can't prove a definition.

According to some religions, there is a list of acts that are defined as evil, and when homosexuality is on that list, then homosexuality is just evil. But, you can't prove that.

So, you have to move the argument to another level. Fighting one tenet of a belief is like cutting off the top of a weed - without attacking the core the rest will just grow back. You have to fight the core reglious belief itself, if you want to get anywhere.

[ Parent ]
Courts and Justice (4.50 / 2) (#42)
by gnovos on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 07:57:28 AM EST

Sure, for religions, this is all well and good. They can go one believing that tin cans are the work of teh devil all they want. But in a courtroom, you need proof. The instant that a courtroom starts ARBITRARILY defining things as bad or good without proof, then that court ceases to exist in the eyes of justice. It's only a slippery slope away from defining "being you" as "evil".

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
Arbitrary definitions (4.50 / 2) (#45)
by PresJPolk on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 08:14:58 AM EST

Courts use arbitrary definitions every day. Those definitions are called laws. That's where the religious beliefs get into the courtroom. Beliefs like "Thou shalt not kill" get codified into murder laws, and then the courts enforce the religious belief.

[ Parent ]
Not necessarily (5.00 / 1) (#97)
by Dyolf Knip on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:42:52 PM EST

Most laws you can trace back to a single 'unprovable' axiom: Do no harm. Murder, theft, assault, even libel can be defined in terms of it. Physical crimes are obviously unhealthy for the victim, and one of the requirements for a libel suit is to show that the plantiff was actually harmed. The judge in this case is claiming without proof that an act is indeed harmful and that is were he is wrong.

Of course, we also run into problems with laws against consensual acts like drug use and assisted suicide.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

and children (4.00 / 1) (#114)
by kerinsky on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:43:44 PM EST

also any law restricting what children can and cannot do.

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
Homosexuality is not an act (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by pietra on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 01:44:26 PM EST

For one, it's not a verb. It's a noun. You're making the very common mid-20th century blur between "sodomy" and "homosexuality." To clarify, sodomy is the actual sexual act, as defined rather bewilderingly by many states, and it includes just about any sexual activity that isn't the missionary position between a man and a woman. Seriously. Sodomy does not refer exclusively to anal sex. In California, it's a blowjob, or eating someone out. In a couple of states, it includes bestiality. Homosexuality is the *condition* of attraction to the same gender. You can be homosexual, or gay, without ever once acting on those desires. In other words, you can be gay and never commit a single sexual act (unless you define lusting madly after someone as a sexual act). Christianity (which is the only religion whose prohibitions on sex I am familiar with) prohibits the act (in extremely cloudy and badly translated terms) but says precisely zip about the thought processes/orientation/condition of sexually desiring someone of your gender. This is why the Catholic Church has recently taken the position that gays are okay so long as they are celibate (and not priests, and not abusing small children under their care). Yes, it's confusing. Yes, it makes no damn sense at all. Yes, that's why I think this is a lousy method of codifying identity into illegality.

[ Parent ]
Chose your defenition (4.00 / 1) (#115)
by kerinsky on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 12:26:52 AM EST

Actually the word is an adjective and a noun, at least according to webster. It ends up being a matter of choosing your own definition, usually to further your own agenda or to fall in line with your own beliefs, and I include myself in the word "your" as well.

In common usage the word homosexual can refer to someone who simply has an attraction to members of their own sex, or to indicate a person who has engaged in sexual intercourse with a member of the same sex. Simply saying that the word only means one thing or the other ignores the fact that words derive their meaning from their usage.

That being said I dislike the definition of the word homosexual that considers anyone with certain feelings towards their own sex to be homosexual. It seems to me that a definition based on what a person thinks is then a matter of reading someone's mind. In the end someone could be a homosexual by this definition, and yet show absolutely no outside signs.

I wonder why we feel a need to pigeonhole people, even ourselves, so much. I don't mean any disrespect, but I hear people say that they felt like they were homosexual as long as they can remember and I have to wonder what it can possibly mean to be homosexual at 5 years old. Perhaps its a natural reaction to the stigma that society applies, a tendency to say "I've always been this way and there is nothing, and never has been anything, that could be done about it." Yet I would assume that many, if not most, of these same people would not chose to become "heterosexual" even if they could snap their fingers and magically make it happen. Deriving identity from sexuality seems a little silly. I don't do it to myself, and try not to do it to others and I feel the government should act similarly. Heck, I'm a virgin, and as my definition of homo- and hetero-sexual revolve around an action that I have not engaged in, I consider myself neither.

In the end of course the important issue is the children (I cannot believe I just said that) Once the government takes such explicit responsibility for a child as putting him or her in the foster care system it must make its decision based solely on what it best for the child. I don't think there is anything inherently harmful to an average child in being raised by a homosexual couple to warrent. Of course I cannot make an informed decision on this matter, as I have not observed a signifigant number of children in the forster care system who were both adopted by hetero- and homosexual couples. I also don't trust most surverys or studies I read on the issue, or any issue really, especially once I actually investigate it...

Anyway, in the end it should be handled on a case by case basis. If a child is 15 and was raised to hate homosexuals, it's probably not good for the child or the potential adoptees to allow adoption. In the end neither homosexual or heterosexual couples have any right to adopt, but a blanket restriction against homosexual couples can only serve to have a neutral or negative effect.

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
A bit of clarification: (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by pietra on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 06:00:35 PM EST

It's not a question of picking a definition; these definitions tend to get picked for you by law enforcement. Type "Oscar Wilde" into Google if you don't believe me. You do, however, do a very good job of demonstrating precisely the confusion and haziness surrounding this topic, and I think that in and of itself should prove just how irrelevant one's sexuality is to one's parenting skills. In other words: if we can't even agree on a definition, as a society, where the hell do we get off saying that this neblous thing is wrong?

I don't mean any disrespect, but I hear people say that they felt like they were homosexual as long as they can remember and I have to wonder what it can possibly mean to be homosexual at 5 years old.

Okay, let me explain it to you, at least in my own terms: When I was four, I wanted to marry Wonder Woman (or rather, Linda Carter, as she played Wonder Woman in the TV show). I wanted to wake up next to her in the morning, and make her breakfast. I had a very distinct image of our wedding, and it included me in a tuxedo. I knew, absolutely, that she and I would be so happy together, and that she would make an awesome wife. I was extremely shaky on what exactly that entailed in the sex department, or even what a sex department was, but I knew *something* was up with Linda Carter, and it wasn't just the bracelets. Not unusual fantasies for a kid circa 1979 or so, but I had two X chromosomes. Things got a lot clearer when I hit puberty.

Heck, I'm a virgin, and as my definition of homo- and hetero-sexual revolve around an action that I have not engaged in, I consider myself neither.

You sure about that? You sound as though you're pretty resolutely on the straight side of the scale. Seriously.

[ Parent ]

Homosexuality (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by PresJPolk on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 06:49:19 AM EST

Seems to me that in some parts of the world, like Egypt, it's an act, too.

It all goes back to the underlying beliefs, though.

[ Parent ]
Nope, back to sodomy (4.00 / 1) (#134)
by pietra on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 06:10:17 PM EST

The legal line started to get fuzzy in Great Britain with the passage of the Labouchere Act in 1885. Prior to that, sodomy (defined forthrightly as anal intercourse, period) was punishable by death (though hardly anyone was ever prosecuted, according to most extant legal records). This act defined "gross indecency" as anything "queer" that was visible in public, and included holding hands with someone of the same gender, or kissing, or even cross-dressing. However, the penalty was lessened to 2 years hard labor. This law is the very one that Oscar Wilde was punished under. Egypt's law is basically identical to the prior British legislation with a little extra scope; fucking someone up the ass is illegal, while exchanging love letters (which is what ultimately screwed Wilde) is not. It's very hard to prosecute matters of the heart, but it's very easy to prosecute actions, especially when you have witnesses. Therefore, sodomy is illegal in Egypt. Being a celibate (and utterly silent) gay man is not.

[ Parent ]
Looking again (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by PresJPolk on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 07:55:50 PM EST

Looking again, it's hard to say. A google search of "rounding up homosexuals Egypt" returns:

http://www.dominionpost.com/a/news/2001/07/17/az/

Maybe they're only charging those who participated in sodomy, maybe they're not.

[ Parent ]
You're right... (none / 0) (#155)
by BooBoo on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 10:35:02 PM EST

Actually, there's a lot of things that Christianity considers evil that we do all the time.

Eating Shrimp or Pork.

Masturbating

Cutting our hair

Getting a tattoo

those are just a few of them... take a look through those old laws and see if they apply today, rather than only being necessary as guidelines for sanitation and health.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

April Fools? (1.37 / 16) (#46)
by inquiz on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 08:21:18 AM EST

At first I thought this was an April Fools joke. Sadly, I was mistaken.

And what about children? (1.89 / 29) (#48)
by vlad123 on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 10:04:15 AM EST

Don't they have the right to have a normal family? Don't they deserve a father (a male) a mother (a female), just like the mother Nature would expected?

Why should the children serve to selfish gays and lesbian to fulfil their need for them? Child is not an object. If the gays and lesbian can't have them - too bad. There is nothing to be done. This is the higher principle of Nature. Please respect it.

This society is in every other way so obsess with children rights, why it does not see that? Why should the rights of gays and lesbian be put above the rights of children? Why?

the normal questions (5.00 / 10) (#50)
by leifb on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 10:39:04 AM EST

Don't they have the right to have a normal family?

Don't they have the right to be raised by two parents of the same skin color? And shouldn't that skin color match the child's?

Don't they have a right to be raised in a family where only the father works, and the mother stays at home?

Don't they have the right to be raised by an extended family, including grandparents, older siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles so that they can always get the attention they need, and any adult that needs a break can get one?

If the gays and lesbian can't have them - too bad. There is nothing to be done. This is the higher principle of Nature.

And if a man and a woman are infertile together for whatever reason, there's nothing to be done. That's the higher principle of nature.

Or if their children are likely to inherit a genetic disorder, nothing should be done to prevent that or remedy it, because the child would have died on its own, and that's the higher principle of nature.

[ Parent ]

Not to mention (3.75 / 4) (#53)
by Hong Kong Phooey on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 10:53:04 AM EST

If the child falls and cuts up a wound, nothing should be done to remedy it, because the child would have died on its own, and that's the higher principle of nature.

[ Parent ]
Poor logic. (4.33 / 3) (#58)
by SirYoplait on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:23:29 AM EST

According to the afore mentioned 'higher principal of nature', the parent or community would take care of the child. Usually.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but... (none / 0) (#165)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:23:24 PM EST

Naturally, there would be nothing to clean and bind the wound, unless we had figured out a way to do so.

As humans, we did... but, technically, that would be counted as interfering with nature to lengthen our own lives.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Ironic (3.50 / 2) (#93)
by epepke on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:45:59 PM EST

Don't they have the right to be raised by two parents of the same skin color? And shouldn't that skin color match the child's?

It's ironic that you say this. Adoption agencies are extremely reluctant to let White couples adopt Black children, due to a certain amount of agitation in the late 1980's and early 1990's that this was "cultural genocide." I.e. it was a horrible thing for a black child to have to be a part of "White culture."

Now, although I think this is ludicrous, I didn't notice much controversy at the time. So at least one of the elements that you present as reductio ad absurdum is actually mainstream.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I know... (4.00 / 2) (#110)
by leifb on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 08:27:55 PM EST

...and I find it an equal tragedy to keeping children from stable homes because the would-be adoptive parents are queer.

As though keeping children jumping from one foster home to another for years on end weren't a far greater form of cultural genocide.

[ Parent ]

Specious reasoning (4.42 / 7) (#60)
by revscat on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:32:59 AM EST

Don't they have the right to have a normal family? Don't they deserve a father (a male) a mother (a female), just like the mother Nature would expected?

Oh, they still have a mother and a father. Biologically, anyway. But for whatever reason their parents don't want them, so someone else needs to raise them.

Why should the children serve to selfish gays and lesbian to fulfil their need for them?

How is that "selfishness" any different from anyone who wishes to adopt a child?

There is nothing to be done. This is the higher principle of Nature. Please respect it.

Ummmmm, no. Allowing gays/lesbians to adopting adopt is no more "against nature" than any other given piece of law is. We have societies based upon laws so that we can rise above that natural state.

Why should the rights of gays and lesbian be put above the rights of children?

How is allowing party (a) to do what party (b) has always been able to do putting (b)'s rights above (a)'s? Don't see it. It's not inequality, it's justice. It's giving the same rights to everyone. Equality.

And learn to write, man. Your grammar is terrible.




- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
Are you being consistent? (4.70 / 10) (#62)
by NoBeardPete on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:56:05 AM EST

So you think children have a right to a normal family, with a mother and a father. Do you apply this to everyone, though? What about single mothers? Do you think their children should be taken from them? Say a child is born, and the mother dies in childbirth? Should the father not be allowed to keep the child? How about sailors, who spend most of their time at sea. Should they not be allowed to have children with their wives, who live back on land?

Hell, you thought that normality was such an important feature that you put "normal" in bold. So I guess we can eliminate even more people from having children. Any couple who has an income more than a standard deviation above or below average should be ineligiable for having children. I mean, it's not "normal" to be super rich, or super poor. And members of small ethnic or religious groups ought to be prevented from having children, too. American Indians, for example, who the hell do they think they are, bringing children into a dying culture? And those Hindus - where do they think they are, India?

What we need to do is have someone carefully compile statistics on the US, so we can determine what is normal for every trait. No one too tall, too short, too rich or poor, too thin or fat, too kind or mean, too idealistic or too practical, too active or too lazy, too religious or too atheistic, or too anything will be allowed to have kids. I mean, it's important that kids have a normal family, right?


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

yes! (4.00 / 1) (#124)
by sal5ero on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 09:31:59 AM EST

and don't forget, that once you pare the eligible families down with all these criteria, the only ones left would be a miniscule fraction of society - hardly what could be considered a "normal" family! (if we consider normal to be within a statistical norm, then meeting ALL the norms would not be "normal")



[ Parent ]
Are you a fundamentalist pagan? (3.66 / 3) (#72)
by SIGFPE on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 01:40:14 PM EST

just like the mother Nature would expected?
You must be a fundamentalist Pagan or something. Mother Nature doesn't exist. There's no such person. There is no such thing as a 'higher principle of nature'. Nature has no lawbooks because people (and maybe gods) write lawbooks and Nature isn't a person.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
Nature (4.75 / 8) (#73)
by DarkZero on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 01:40:20 PM EST

Heh. People only care about keeping to the "higher principles of Nature" when it comes to hating homosexuals. I doubt that you will care about what's natural and normal when you need a heart transplant or chemotherapy, or want to use birth control or a condom when you have sex with your heterosexual girlfriend, or feel like sitting at a computer all day instead of hunting deer out in the plains and bringing them back to your straw hut to be killed and eaten. And more importantly, adoption isn't natural, either. Nature never intended for mammals to raise children other than their own, but humans and some primate species have adapted to the need to care for children that are not the fruit of their loins, but instead the fruit of someone else's. Primates, including humans, have always used their intellect to defy the traditional will of nature in order to better their lot and the lot of their species as a whole. Maybe you should try yours before repeating this tired and clichéd knee jerk reaction to homosexuality.

[ Parent ]
re: Nature (4.00 / 1) (#123)
by sal5ero on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 09:23:22 AM EST

to play devil's advocate...

generally primates are mostly caring for children in some way related to them. that way they are still helping to propagate their own genes, even if the child is not their own. it could be argued that an urge to care for children not related or only very distantly related is a quirky outcome of the way we are wired to help propagate our genes via altruism. a good reference on this is "the selfish gene" by Richard Dawkins. Not that I am an evolutionist myself, I think teleology comes into the mix, somewhere.



[ Parent ]
Rational and reasonable? (3.66 / 3) (#80)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 02:38:17 PM EST

Don't they have the right to have a normal family?

Possibly, but that isn't relevant. We're talking about children who have *no family*; who have been wards of the state for years, who are passed around from temporary family to temporary family and not given the chance to form emotional bonds with any of them. Then one temporary family says "ok, we like these kids, we want to adopt them, and make them part of our family permanent, and form emotional bonds, and take care of them", and the state says: "NO! you are evil homosexuals! these kids would be better off being passed from family to family for the rest of their childhood than to live with you!"

How is that rational or reasonable? How is it in the best interest *of the children*?

[ Parent ]

"Nature" (4.00 / 1) (#142)
by RandomPeon on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:13:19 AM EST

Don't they deserve a father (a male) a mother (a female), just like the mother Nature would expected?

"Nature" did not "intend" for you to have your very own father. Your father should have several mates. He only had one? How unnatural.

Did the other females in your tribe/pack breastfeed you? No? How unnatural and dangerous. What if your mother died (gored by wild animals, perhaps)? None of the other females in the tribe would have displayed any interest in raising you and you would have been abandoned. Good thing your mom wasn't eaten.

[ Parent ]
WHOA!!!!! (none / 0) (#164)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:14:42 PM EST

Who says I'm selfish for not wanting a child of my own?!?!

If I'm willing to take in the offspring of another human to raise as my own because THEY DIDN'T WANT IT, then I should be able to do so, within the restrictions of the agency that allows these things, regardless of my sexual orientation.

Who are you, or anyone else, for that matter, to say that I'm not "normal"?

If you read Darwin's "Origin of the Species" Homosexuality is QUITE "normal" in all mammalian species as a natural form of population control. Hell, I have a twin brother and 3 sisters, 2 of which have already had children. My genes have already been passed on, I don't need to breed. I wouldn't mind raising a child, however.

Why is it that people have this need to believe, unconditionally, a 2000 year old novel? I'd much rather believe the words of a 100-year-old scientific text, with requisite studies and charts and pretty photographs, than a book based on an oral, misogynistic, history that has NO DOCUMENTED PROOF of ever really happening.

I bet you think Christ was white and looked like Ted Nugent, don't you?
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Or, conversely... (4.64 / 17) (#52)
by Jel on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 10:51:23 AM EST

Homosexuality is an inherent evil, and if a person openly engages in such a practice, that fact alone would render him or her an unfit parent.
Or, conversely... any individual or organisation which would remove a child from a loving environment on the basis of unfounded prejudice and blatantly selfish defense mechanisms has no right to be involved in deciding upon the future of a child.

Political Maneuvers (3.71 / 7) (#59)
by Crimsonfunk on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:30:55 AM EST

I suppose that, if the option were available, you would want a child to grow up in a heterosexual household with equal input from both parents.

It's great to say that, but when the truth states that there are copious numbers of unwanted children (I don't really have any statistics, but given how many adoption ads I see in the local paper, I'll risk that assumption). Loving, nurturing care from someone is better than none at all, even if it comes from someone that a portion of society frowns upon.

It's difficult to know for certain if gay households adversely affect children - the only way to be sure is to let it happen, which could be compared to testing an AIDS vaccine by infecting random people and seeing if they die (hyperbole, I know, but you see the point). The fact remains that it IS proven that living in foster care throughout your childhood WILL adversely affect you, and if there's someone out there with a genuine interest in being the child's parent, they should be allowed to do so. In the end it will be the kids without parents that suffer the consequences of self-righteous bluster.



Actually (4.00 / 3) (#77)
by epepke on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 02:07:36 PM EST

If the option were available, I would want a child to grow up in an extended family, with lots of different adults involved in the child's life, probably many of whom would be gay. Ever since American culture decided that the nuclear family was good enough, things have been going downhill.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
My Thoughts (4.33 / 9) (#61)
by tkrabec on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 11:36:34 AM EST

As long as there are KIDS who need homes(which will always be the case). Gay and Lesbian's should be allowed to adopt. This should not be about Gay/Lesbian rights, it should be about the rights of the KIDS who deserve a loving stable home.

<rant>

I do foster care and my views have changed. I no longer feel that parents who have had taken their children away have rights to see their children. Their children are the ones with the rights. The Kids have the rights:
to see their mother
to see their father
to a stable, loving home
to expect not to be lied to by their parents

Their parents do not have any rights, the gave those up/lost them when they did what ever they did to have their children removed.
</rant>

-- tim

I have to have this (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by joecool12321 on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 02:47:12 PM EST

After I read the story, I started preparing a debate case for the collge I attend. One of my harms of the current system is that by not allowing homosexuals to adopt, you're keeping children in the foster system. Do you know of any literature (especially internet-based) that speaks to the importance of being with parents, and (although I think the foster system does the best it can) speaks to how keeping children in foster homes is bad for the children?

I really appreciate it,
--Joey

[ Parent ]
Sources of info (4.00 / 1) (#95)
by quartz on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:06:17 PM EST

You can do the same thing I did: go to your college's library (or log in from home, if you're lazy like me) and search the library database for "gay parenting". You'll find loads of useful info in journals and even newspapers. In fact, reference #1 in my article was about children in foster care and why should gays be allowed to adopt.



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
Cross-Dressing Lesbians! (4.12 / 8) (#64)
by epepke on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 12:27:59 PM EST

"increased cross-dressing [tendencies] among daughters [of lesbians]"

Can somebody please tell me how exactly a lesbian is supposed to cross-dress? About the only masculine article of clothing that isn't acceptable for women to wear is a kilt. Other than that, they're pretty much limited to the shock value of buttons on the "wrong" side and shirts that don't fit very well.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


My Thoughts Too... (2.00 / 9) (#67)
by barl0w on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 12:37:41 PM EST

Because children don't have a home doesn't mean that homosexual couples should have a right to adopt them.

This is because the definition of a "family" is not girl-girl relationship with child(ren), nor is it a guy-guy relationship with child(ren). If God had wanted Adam to have children with a same-sex "partner" he would have just created another man out of dust instead of taking one of Adam's ribs and creating a woman.

The standards of equal-liberalists do not need to perpetuate to the very sacred responsibility that comes with parenting. I agree with the ruling whole-heartedly.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
[ Parent ]

Question (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by aphrael on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 02:35:57 PM EST

if the legal basis for the ruling is that "God did not want Adam to have children with a same-sex partner", then how is the ruling consistent with the legal requirement that the state not establish a religion? Eg., if I cannot adopt because it violates *your* religion, even if it's allowed in *mine*, how is that not legal favoritism of your religious beliefs?

[ Parent ]
Keep your religion away from my family! (4.00 / 4) (#81)
by MikeGauland on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 02:42:33 PM EST

Apparently I'm not quite as privy to god's intentions as you are. I suppose it would also be fair to say that if god wanted these kids to have a home, they wouldn't be in foster care? Pay a visit to whatever government agency in your area handles foster care. Ask about children who are available for adoption. After reading about case after case of the horrible abuse many of these children have been subjected to by their overwhelmingly heterosexual parents, I can't imagine you would deny them any safe, loving home.

[ Parent ]
More thoughts... (4.25 / 4) (#86)
by MrMikey on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 03:37:41 PM EST

At the risk of feeding a troll...
Because children don't have a home doesn't mean that homosexual couples should have a right to adopt them.
This is true. Homosexual couples, like heterosexual couples, must be taken on a case-by-base basis when it comes to determining fitness. Some same-sex and mixed-sex couples are fit to be parents, and some are not.
This is because the definition of a "family" is not girl-girl relationship with child(ren), nor is it a guy-guy relationship with child(ren).
Your definition, perhaps. There are many different kinds of families.
If God
Zeus? Odin? Quetzlcoatl? You'll have to be more specific.
... had wanted Adam to have children with a same-sex "partner" he would have just created another man out of dust instead of taking one of Adam's ribs and creating a woman.
Oh, that one. You are using a 2,000+ year old Creation myth to justify your position? Frankly, I'm disappointed.
The standards of equal-liberalists
What, pray, is an "equal-liberalist"? I haven't heard that one before.
... do not need to perpetuate to the very sacred responsibility that comes with parenting. I agree with the ruling whole-heartedly.
You are, of course, quite free to agree with this ruling to your heart's content, just as I am free to conider this ruling an obscene travesty which, I hope, will be firmly struck down the moment it's appealed. I also hope that this judge is censured in no uncertain terms.

[ Parent ]
Heh (3.33 / 3) (#98)
by AmberEyes on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:44:37 PM EST

I've never seen a justification of the childish phrase:

It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

It's still amusingly juvenile though.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Definition of "Family" (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by Trevasel on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:35:46 PM EST

fam·i·ly   Pronunciation Key  
n. pl. fam·i·lies
1. A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.
2. Two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place.
3. All the members of a household under one roof.
4. A group of persons sharing common ancestry. See Usage Note at collective noun.

I don't see anything about the genders or sexual orientation of the parents in this definition.
-- That which does not kill you only makes you stranger - Trevor Goodchild
[ Parent ]
God? (4.00 / 2) (#120)
by FredBloggs on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 07:46:30 AM EST

Whos this God character you mention? I dont seem to be able to find any proof of his existance.

[ Parent ]
And what sacred responsibility is that? (none / 0) (#163)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 08:00:26 PM EST

Is it making sure that a child is fed, and clothed, and getting an education?

Is it giving a child a home?

Is it teaching a child values that are important to you?

Is it passing on traditions to the next generation?

Is it making sure that said child is loved?

Or is it all of the above?

I think I'm MORE than capable of giving a child a good, loving home and a decent, moral upbringing, and it's people like YOU that are denying a child a chance at those things, just because you're to fucking narrow-minded to accept that a family isn't just your genetic parents and siblings.

Besides, if you're so convinced that God made man in his own image, why are there gay people if humans were only intended to be straight?

And on that note, when was the last time you ate shrimp, clams, lobster or pork? God said you can't do that, either.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Cross-Dressing Lesbians... (none / 0) (#162)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:50:05 PM EST

Usually "Drag-Kings" will use faux facial hair and bind their breasts, or wear padding to make themselves look broad-shouldered or have a beer belly.

Just in case you were wondering.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Heh (2.66 / 3) (#69)
by AmberEyes on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 12:50:48 PM EST

I so already covered this.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
Quoth the onion... (3.50 / 4) (#85)
by rebelcool on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 03:27:46 PM EST

"The last thing we need is to put children in the hands of people who actually want them."

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

What? (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by Dyolf Knip on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:20:38 PM EST

The last thing we need is to put children in the hands of people who actually want them.

Unbelievable. Did that jackass actually say that? I couldn't find a link to the full text of the opinion.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

This is from The Onion (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by Trevasel on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:33:39 PM EST

http://www.theonion.com/onion3811/wdyt_3811.html
-- That which does not kill you only makes you stranger - Trevor Goodchild
[ Parent ]
exactly (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by Yael on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 01:00:58 AM EST

it seems completely ridiculous to deny someone parenting rights based on their sexuality. even more so when they are the biological parent. I can't believe that a person's sexuality "determines" their parenting skills. I can't believe people that actually really want children are denied of this because of their sexual orientation, while many children remain in horrible abusive homes. It just makes no sense.

[ Parent ]
Priests in white frocks!!! (2.33 / 3) (#89)
by bayankaran on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 04:03:46 PM EST

The next in the list for the Alabama court would be single parents.

The answer is simple; what these kids need are priests in white frocks; Catholic church has recently passed the admission criteria.

Huh? (none / 0) (#154)
by BooBoo on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 10:29:46 PM EST

Why would any child need a Catholic priest to raise them? Particularly with the scandal that's going on right now.

Granted, the gay ones are most likely not to be guilty of child molestation.

;0-)
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Was being sarcastic... (none / 0) (#157)
by bayankaran on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 03:55:49 PM EST

I was just being sarcastic.

[ Parent ]
Ahhhhh... (none / 0) (#161)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:46:49 PM EST

OK. Go ahead then. I'll just watch.

:0-)
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

My quote of the day pretty much sums it up. (1.50 / 2) (#102)
by tweek on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:15:02 PM EST

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

-Thomas Jefferson

When are the people running this fucking country going to realize this? I don't give a rat's ass if you're gay,straight or a goat fucker.

My only concern is that when we start claiming sexual preference is a borth trait, we end up with a book like this one.


Some people call me crazy but I prefer to think of myself as freelance lunatic.

Bad example... (4.00 / 1) (#107)
by Tau on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 06:38:05 PM EST

...though I like the quote. Goat fucking and homosexual parenting does involve a third party who has limited to no scope for consent. Not saying one equals the other though there is certainly room for debate about homosexual parenting and what effect it has on the child.

---
WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
[ Parent ]
But there's no definitive proof... (none / 0) (#160)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:46:03 PM EST

...that it's one or the other. Most studies say that being homosexual is a combination of genetics and environment. I personally think that people are born with the predisposition, and choosing to act on it is their own decision.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Too early for studies to tell. (4.33 / 3) (#108)
by vastor on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 08:13:51 PM EST

As a guest speaker said at one of my lectures (was the principal from the roughest high school in the area), all a child needs is one good parent. Those from two parent families just have slightly better odds of getting that than those from single parent familis (this last bit is my extrapolation).

Personally, I'd like to see more research done on non-nuclear families. Certainly extended families seem to have been better for children than nuclear families, so mixing gay extended families together would seem to be a good way of surpassing the standard heterosexual nuclear household.

Gay men tend to have high disposable incomes (statistically) while single mothers tend to be at around the bottom. Thus a household unit based around a gay man and single mother means they can each provide gender role modeling as well providing a parenting role to the gay man and a far more pleasant financial position to the mother/child. Though this is largely an arranged household unit, but it'd be interesting to see how they fared (and could face all sorts of issues if the single mother did marry later on etc).

But group/extended households I think are something that would benefit all children/family, whether they end up as all heterosexuals or a mix or all gay/lesbian. Not to mention it is much more efficient to have common kitchen/laundry etc facilities for several+ people over two or three.

I think growing up with a gay parent would be pretty hard on a child, just from the hassle they'd get at school and stuff, but I think it's getting better - just like growing up the child of a single (divorced) mother would have been very tough 30/40/50 years ago (when similar things would have been said about them as parents to what is said about gay parents today).

Things will blow over, it is just unpleasant to be at the forefront of change when the legacy is working against you. The more things change, the more they stay the same - today it's just the gays getting hassled out. Culture is sometimes like an onion, it'd be interesting to see if there was anything left once all the layers of prejudice were peeled off.

Residing in progressive urban centers isn't surprising, gay ghettos (and presumably other types in need of tolerance) have been going on for a long time. If I was going to bring up a child as a gay guy, I'd probably want to move somewhere that would cause them the minimum of grief.

But I really think it's too early for any studies of children growing up with gay parents to provide valid results. Too small a sample size and it's taking place in a generally hostile-to-the-idea environment (kind of like growing carrots in the desert, seeing them shrivel a little and then deciding carrots are a bad idea).




Your point on kids getting stick.. (4.00 / 1) (#128)
by RandomAction on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 11:11:05 AM EST

..is a good one. Other peoples ignorance shouldn't be a justification against people having a family. Adopted or not.

Iv'e heard the arugment that inter-racial marriges are bad for the kids. Of course the person making it was convinced they weren't racist in any way. This was an arument made quite a few years ago, but in London today, no one bats an eyelid at inter-racial couples/famlies.

[ Parent ]
Homophobic (3.00 / 6) (#127)
by Silent Chris on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 10:48:34 AM EST

I can definitely say I'm homophobic. I don't know why. Maybe it was my upbringing (my mom was very against homosexuals). I get nervous when I see someone gay, and occasionally angry at gay people for no reason.

However, I see no justifiable reason for not letting gays adopt children. Even the "worst case" conservative scenario, that the parents will somehow affect the children's upbringing, is not even worth discussing. Shouldn't we then disallow agressive people in trailer homes from adopting kids? Overly competitive people from sports? People whose parents were abusive? Taking one away takes away all the others.

There are some homosexual assholes out there, just as there are some straight assholes. Being homosexual doesn't make you an asshole. I think if there's a need for people to adopt children (and there definitely is) we shouldn't prevent it.

Wait a sec... (none / 0) (#153)
by BooBoo on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 10:21:37 PM EST

I don't think you're as homophobic as you think.

There are people that you are afraid of, or get angry at, simply because of their homosexuality, yet, you understand the need for those people to be allowed basic human rights, like the ability to raise children.

I think if you just stood back and reminded yourself that gay people ARE still human, you wouldn't be so nervous.

We don't bite, normally, unless asked.

:0-)
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Where does it come from? (4.50 / 2) (#130)
by krek on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 12:00:11 PM EST

Is homosexuality the result of nature or nurture? I have been pondering this topic in recent months and all I have been able to come up with is what I think it may mean in each case.

Nature: Homosexuality is the result of genetics.
In this case evolution should have wiped out the "Gay Gene" a long time ago, as homosexual couples produce no genetic offspring of their own. But, due to the "closet" effect, homosexuality has been geneticly propagated by one homosexual parent and one heterosexual (or perhaps two closeted gays) having a child. Since in this case homosexuality is genetic, it can be regarded as a genetic defect (like downs syndrome) or as genetic diversity (like freckles). Our future decisions regarding gentic alterations will probably determine how we will handle this situation.

Nurture: Homosexuality is the result of environment.
Parents and other influences have driven the child to homosexuality. Through example or abuse, lack of role-modeling or experimentation, a child has grown into an individual who identifies themselves as homosexual. As such, homosexuality could be viewed as abnormal, a condition which can be cured. Like shyness or arrogance, homosexuality is simply a personality trait, and, like cruelty, could be rendered unacceptable by societal norm, or, like compassion, could be celebrated.

Now, in the end, I feel that both are accurate and yet both are wrong. I am thinking that, like the women's movement (still waiting for the men's movement guys!), this is evolution. Our brains have more or less outstripped our need for physical evolution. At the same time, the need for strict gender roles for the continued survival of the species is gone. Science have improved the infant mortality rates, and thus, or need to out perform other competitor species in birth rates has diminished. A genetic niche has opened up, and it is being filled.

On a similar note: Friends and I were discussing a related issue the other day and we thought of this scenario.

Our control or reproductive technologies is approaching the point of mastery. That being said, it may be possible to produce a female baby by taking half of the chomosomes from one adult female and combining it with the complementary chromosomes from the other female. With both X and Y chromosomes men could produce both male and female children in this way (interesting parallel to the Adam's rib business, no??). I this is the case, then what is preventing the breakup of the human race into three separate species. Let's just say that the gay men all decide that they have had it with the rest of humanity and decide to find themselves a nice island where they can procreate in the above mentioned manner and not be persecuted by the hets of the world, and the lesbian community does the same. Now each or the three sub-groups of humanity can exist completly independant of each other for perpetuity; evolution should produce three separate species after several millenia. Creepy, no??

Another result of this hypothetical child producing method is that if the women of the world ever DO get tired of men and expel us to another planet or something, surviving on the sperm bank reserves and dildos. When they do run out they will be able to produce more women but no men. While on the other hand, the men will be able to create both men and women... Nya Nya!


Hmmmm.. a bit of a tagent there.

Twin's Studies... (3.50 / 2) (#131)
by MrMikey on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 12:10:58 PM EST

Here is an ABC News article from 1999 that discusses the search for the "gay gene", and some of the evidence for and against its existence. The results of twin's studies, in particular, are telling:
Twin studies, like those done by Bailey, have fueled the search for such genes. In 1991, he studied the twin brothers of gay men and found that 52 percent of identical twins were also gay, while only 22 percent of fraternal twins were. Among women, 48 percent of identical twins were also lesbian, while the rate dropped to 16 percent for fraternal twins.
This would seem to indicate that it's part genetic, and part environmental (environment includes the prenatal environment, btw).

[ Parent ]
Have you ever thought... (none / 0) (#159)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:41:12 PM EST

...that the biggest reason that only a percentage of identical twins are both gay is because one of them has very negative feelings about his own sexuality?

Not a fact, by a long shot. Just something to getcha thinkin'.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Monkeys, greeks, and egyptians (5.00 / 2) (#143)
by RandomPeon on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 03:28:22 AM EST

Assuming you buy the theory of evolution, you should be able to get good evidence by looking at the sex habits of our closest relatives, the bonobo monkeys. A google search on the subject of bonobo monkeys and bisexuality turns up quite a bit. Human-like monkeys have something approaching a culture in their groups, and they engage in sex for fun(like humans), masturbate (like humans) and are often observed in sexual activity with members of the same sex (like humans?). It's a group thing.

We humans (including heterosexuals) engage in all kinds of reproductively worthless sex acts - masturbation, oral sex, and many more.... And these things aren't modern cultural developments. We've got polite latin words for oral sex, an Egyptian god who masturbates, and famous ancients who were homosexual (useless trivia - the first autobiography was written by Sappho of Lesbos) - all of which suggests that non-procreative sex has a couple millenia of tradition and occurs in all cultures.

[ Parent ]
Hmm. (4.16 / 6) (#139)
by pietra on Tue Apr 02, 2002 at 10:59:52 PM EST

And so far, no one has pointed out what I think is the most egregious part of this whole discussion:

The Alabama case revolves around whether or not a lesbian mother should have custody of HER OWN CHILD. As in, lived in her for nine months, whom she gave birth to, has half her genes. Very fascinating discussion as to whether or not gays should be able to adopt aside, the real issue here is whether or not a state should be able to take your biological children away from you solely on the basis of your sexual orientation. I can't think of many things more cruel or inhumane, yet it seems to have slipped right under the k5 radar. Please tell me I managed to miss a post somewhere.

Hah! (2.00 / 1) (#144)
by Steeltoe on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 10:37:22 AM EST

<i>Please tell me I managed to miss a post somewhere. </i>

I'm looking at it right now, above my lame comment.


Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
That's not the case (4.00 / 1) (#145)
by nosilA on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 04:49:17 PM EST

I agree that the comment was ridiculous, but the case was not really about her being a lesbian and therefore not deserving her child.

She divorced her husband, and got joint custody (she had the kid more at this point). Then she decided to give up custody all together when she got a girlfriend and the ex-husband moved. Then, she decided she wanted custody back. He challenged this in Alabama (where he lived) and this was the result. I think it makes sense... she gave up custody, and now she wants it back... from the kid's biological father?

The statement by the Alabama Chief Justice was inappropriate, but irrelavant to the decision.

-Alison
Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]
He said what he said (5.00 / 1) (#146)
by pietra on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:26:08 PM EST

He didn't say, "Ma'am, you can't seem to make up your mind whether you want custody or not. I don't think it's in your daughter's best interests to grant you sole custody." If he had, this wouldn't be a topic of discussion. It's entirely possible that she's a flighty, totally irresponsible mother, but that has jack to do with her sexual orientation. He commented on her sexual orientation, not her dubious parenting skills. That's what I'm upset about.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but... (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by nosilA on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 06:59:38 PM EST

7 other justices agreed, but wrote a separate opinion, that did not even deal with the homosexual aspect. See the opinions. All I'm saying is that the opinion of the court did not center around the sexuality of the mother, but on her irresponsibility as compared to the father. The Chief Justice felt the need to explain that he was a bigot, but that was not the official opinion of the court.

-Alison
Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

Yes, and that's what bothers me! (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by pietra on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 07:28:40 PM EST

Sheesh. What part of this don't you get?

[ Parent ]
Say what? (4.50 / 2) (#149)
by fanatic on Wed Apr 03, 2002 at 09:54:48 PM EST

thus implicitly recognizing heterosexual parenting as the "gold standard".

Not much of an agenda on your part, eh?

More research is needed, but I expect that if it's been this way (heterosexual parenting) for a long time, then there is danger in deviation from that. Thtat's how evolution tends to work.

Unfortunately, when mistakes are made in parenting, everybody pays hard for a looong time.

Evolution (none / 0) (#151)
by pedant on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:15:17 PM EST

if it's been this way (heterosexual parenting) for a long time, then there is danger in deviation from that.

Throughout most of known human evolutionary history, children have been raised more or less communally (primarily by the women). Nuclear-family "heterosexual parenting" is therefore just as much a deviation as homosexual parenting, if not more so.

Thtat's how evolution tends to work.

Evolution is responsible for the fact that homosexual behavior exists at all. And research suggests that its purpose may originally have been related to child-rearing.

Since homosexuals are less likely to produce offspring of their own, they would be available to assist in raising the children of their siblings, to whom they bear almost as close a genetic relationship as they would to their own offspring (in some cases, more so). Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that a propensity toward homosexuality is at least partially influenced by hormones in the womb. The implication is that the mother may be ensuring the survival of her grandchildren by creating an altruistic aunt or uncle to help take care of them. This is consistent with a known correlation between the number of older male siblings one has, exposure to androgen in the womb, and homosexuality.

[ Parent ]

I hat to break it to you.... (none / 0) (#152)
by BooBoo on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 09:50:23 PM EST

More research is needed, but I expect that if it's been this way (heterosexual parenting) for a long time, then there is danger in deviation from that. Thtat's how evolution tends to work.

Ummmm... heterosexual parenting is the "standard" because a male and a female are (generally) required in the mating process... this does not mean, however, that either or both of the parents will stick around to raise the child... particularly in today's society. That being the case, we have already "deviated from the norm."

Besides, even before the issue of "gay Parenting," people were raising their children with same-sex friends or relatives. The issue of having 2 same-sex individuals raising a child together is not one of sexuality in that case, it's more than likely an issue of need, and many times, it works quite well.

Being gay myself, I often wonder what it would be like to have a child of my own and raise that child with my partner. If I choose to go that route, I'd really rather not have my parental rights stomped on by politicians, thank you.
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

I have 3 moms. (3.33 / 3) (#150)
by everyplace on Sat Apr 06, 2002 at 05:25:44 AM EST

I consider myself as much of an "expert" on gay parenting as anyone could claim. I'm the product of such.

My mother came out when I was 4. I've never really asked her how long she was interested in women prior to that, but that point is irrelevant to this discussion.

Shortly after coming out, my mother and I moved out, into her new girlfriend's house, and my parents got divorced. This was bad. But, it was no worse than any other divorce between two people, regarldess of sexual orientation.

After 6 months, we moved into our own apartment, and my dad was granted partial custody, so I could visit him 3 days a week. It was never an issue as to whether my mom was a fit mother or not, as she was the same person as she always was.

She didn't really come out to me until I was 11, when I figured it out. Now, a lot of people laugh at this, saying "how could you not know?" It's not that she hid her sexuality from me, but really, how important is sexual orientation to someone who's still in elementary school?

When I was 12, my mom started dating a woman with a boy who was two years younger than I. 2 years later, they bought a house together, and the 4 of us lived as one happy family. My mom is a Digital Services Librarian, her girlfriend is the head a of the Graduate Psychology department at a well-respected local university. Shortly after moving in, my brother and I started referring to us as brothers, since there was no real distinction between the real thing and how we lived. To this day, we are as close as any other brothers that grew up together. Neither of us are homosexual.

My father didn't re-marry, but he got involved with a woman with two girls (both of which are about 10 years older than I) shortly after my mom and I moved out. They have been together for just over 15 years now, and I view his girlfriend as equally a parent as I view him, or either of my other two mothers. While this is a very abnormal, non-nuclear family structure, I don't view it as bad at all. The only stressful point of the entire structure for me while I was growing up was that I had to split my time between two sets of parents. But this is the case for any divorced household. When someone asks me if I have any brothers or sisters, I say "I have two sisters and one brother, but I'm an only child."

Perhaps the biggest issue I had with all of this was at my middleschool, when I told my fellow classmates that my mom was gay. I didn't understand that there was such a thing as homophobia, because it just was never even a concept in my life. Hating gay people wasn't even something I could get a firm grasp on, much like I don't understand people that are racially prejudice in any regard. But much of that (by default) comes from being raised in a very liberal houeshold.

Anyway, kids in my school were far from accepting of this news, and I became the laughing stock of the school, for having a gay mom. But again, it just didn't even occur to me that this would be an issue.

I guess the message I'm trying to get across is that the things I had to deal with when growing up were the same as others with more traditional households. Does that girl like me? Am I doing well enough in school? Should I get a summer job? Which college should I go to? Things like that. The orientation of my mother never changed how I handled anything in life. As I said before, the only negative effect it had on me was the way other people viewed my family.

origin of vice in homosexuals? (none / 0) (#156)
by BordersBitch on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 11:37:13 AM EST

Unfortunately, it is true that teenagers with homosexual tendencies run a greater risk of becoming involved in drugs, unsafe-sex, prostitution, the whole nasty batch. But there is a clear reason for this. High School life in America is so strongly homophobic that it restricts kids who show these tendencies. They are often driven from the kind of activities that often keep hetero kids out of trouble. They are forced to build a counter-culture of their own, and sadly this counter-culture becomes mired in drugs, alcohol, and meaningless sex. To fit in, these kids often must hide their homosexualtiy, which in and of itself leads todepression and discontentment. Is it any wonder that kids who are made to feel like shit about themselves, made to feel like "faggots" and "queers" and are beaten up for it, seem incapable of living in a standard community, and seem to reject the commonly held morals of the people who kick their faces in? But the homophobic community refuses to see this. They point out the effects of their own homophobia, and call them the evils of homosexuality. But there are enough gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals out there leading perfectly "normal" lives, in monogamous relationships, with little or no drug use, to prove this perception wrong. "I work for Borders. I shift books slightly to the left all day long . . . "

Thank you. (none / 0) (#158)
by BooBoo on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 07:37:46 PM EST

It's about time somebody finally put the "blame" where it belongs.

:0-)
*************

On tattoos: FUCK YEAH, IT HURTS!!!

BooBoo
[ Parent ]

Social Studies on Gay Parenting -- An Overview | 168 comments (148 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
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