The End of the World as We Know It

The only thing dumber than the name “Mitt Romney” is the most recent idea being espoused by the asshole who goes by it.  Pam’s House Blend links to an article in the Boston Globe, titled “Romney links gay marriage, US prestige,” which excerpts the Massachusetts governor’s address to Utah Republicans Friday night:

“America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home,” Romney said, calling the Supreme Judicial Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts “a blow to the family.”

Considering that the legalization of gay marriage has absolutely no effect whatsoever on straight marriages and the families that result from them, extending the right to marry and start families to lesbians and gays can in no way be described as “collapsing the family.”  Instead, it broadens the definition of what a family is, which would more accurately be described as “extending the family.”  Granting the same rights to the LGBT community so that they may marry and parent makes no difference to the notion of family, other than a semantic one.  Lesbians and gays already have families, and trying to legislate them out of existence is a futile task, motivated by nothing by hatred and fear.

(It’s also notable that Romney’s state is the only one to legalize gay marriage, yet has still managed to maintain the lowest divorce rate in the nation.  I wonder exactly what it will take to undermine the harbingers of doom’s claims that legalized gay marriage will cause all hell to break loose.)

''America's culture is also defined by the fact that we are a religious people," Romney said. ''We recognize our God not only in our Declaration of Independence, but even in our currency. And we are also unique in that we recognize that the family is the fundamental building block of American society."

If the family is the fundamental building block of American society, then why is it that lesbians and gays who pursue equal rights are accused of wanting “special rights”?  You know what another word for fundamental is?  Basic.  So anyone pursuing the chance to participate in one of the basic building blocks of our society surely isn’t asking for special rights, but basic rights.  Of course, disingenuous pricks like Romney know this, which is why we don’t require people to take IQ tests or be employed or be in a long-term relationship or be healthy or meet a prerequisite financial criteria before they have children or get married.  But for a reason that has no standing under a secular rule of law and no basis in logic, if the person with whom you want to express the basic right to a legally recognized family is the same sex you are, this right is denied.

Romney also gave an address to South Carolina Republicans last weekend, during which he said:

''Some [same-sex couples] are actually having children born to them." Complaining about an effort to use gender-neutral language to describe parents on birth certificates, he also said: ''It's not right on paper. It's not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and a father."

I love it: they’re actually having children!  Oh, the horror!  Aside from having read various studies which have indicated absolutely no developmental or other difference between children raised by straight parents and children raised by gay parents, I’ve also had a friend for over a decade who was raised by a gay father.  The only difference I see between him and most other straight guys is that he dresses better and is nicer to women.  (That’s a joke…at least the first part.)

As for every child having a right to a mother and a father, there are plenty of children who grow up without a mother or father (including, I might add, the nearly 1,000 children who have lost parents in Iraq).  Yeah, that stinks, but somehow efforts trying to prevent kids from having two loving parents of the same sex seem incredibly misplaced when there are children who are raised in single parent households all the time, with little attempt made to stem the tide of that increasingly frequent scenario.

Ten countries in Europe have legalized gay marriage (including Britain, very recently), some more than a decade ago, and despite alarmed caterwauling to the contrary, it has not undermined heterosexual marriage or families.  I would argue that '”America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world” if we continue to deny basic equal rights to all of our citizens.  To spread liberty, it might be suggested, one must actually practice it oneself to begin with.

-- Shakespeare’s Sister