Monday, June 29, 2009
In the past, I've expressed skepticism about reasons offered for excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage. I've also expressed concern that same-sex marriage brings a potentially expansive role for the state given the lack of social, cultural, biological, and religious support for same-sex marriage (in comparision to traditional marriage). A quote from yesterday's Frank Rich column in the New York Times perfectly captures my concern:
One gay leader invited to the Oval Office . . . was Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council, an advocacy organization for gay families based in Massachusetts. She showed a photo of her 7-year-old twin sons, Tom and Tim, to Obama. The president cooed. “I told him they’re following in Sasha’s footsteps, entering the second grade,” she recounted to me last week. “It was a very human exchange between two parents.”
Chrisler seized the moment to appeal to the president on behalf of her boys. “The worst thing you can experience as parents is to feel your children are discriminated against,” she told him. “Imagine if you have to explain every day who your parents are and that they’re as real as every family is.” Chrisler said that she and her children “want a president who will make that go away,” adding, “I believe in his heart he wants that to happen, his political mistakes notwithstanding.”
I think the bullying experienced by children of same-sex couples is a problem that should be addressed (and is being addressed in the schools with which I'm familiar). But if we're at the point of expecting the federal government to ensure that everyone treats every family form as being just "as real" as every other family form, we have a problem.