Supreme Court Debates the Meaning of Family
It's all about family this week.
All the way to the Supreme Court, it's about families.
There are very few places you can go without seeing red equal signs. Maybe you have seen them on Facebook. Maybe you're not on Facebook and haven't seen them.
What do the red equal signs mean? What do they stand for?
The Human Right's Campaign, dedicated to advocating and supporting LGBT rights and marriage for all, started the buzz and it has taken off like a wild fire.
Prop 8 and DOMA In the Supreme Court
Yesterday, the Supreme Court was deliberating about California’s Proposition 8, which bans the right for same-sex couples to marry. Today, arguments will be heard regarding the national Defense of Marriage Act, which has legally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman since 1996.
The LGBT community supports being able to be married. To create their own families, legally and with the rights of heterosexual couples. Many have the same desire that heterosexual couples do, to have children. To have those children, often times using fertility treatment, protected legally as any other child is.
I read over and over yesterday about how simple this is. Because my Facebook page, it was covered in red equal signs and the conversation was that this should be a slam dunk, done, right thing to do.
Maybe it should be that simple. But it isn't. I get that one side of this is that this is the morally correct thing to do for our country.
The other side of the issue is that it is not the morally correct thing to do.
Regardless of what side you are on, the point of even having sides means that it's not simple. Simple would mean not caring about bringing people together in peaceful agreement. Simple would mean getting what I want and not caring about what the other side wants. Simple would mean no more discussion on how to find ways to talk to each other when we disagree.
This isn't a simple issue, not if we want to find peace with one another.
Let's care about the issue enough to continue the conversations, respectfully, with regard to the other point of view. Let's not be dismissive.
Because if we are dismissive, then we create further divisions between us.
Families are about love. That does seem like a simple enough place to start and continue a conversation.
Same-Sex Couples Raising Children
The CBS Evening News reported in June 2012 that data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates the number of same-sex couples raising children is on the rise. In fact, it's more than doubled in the last decade. As a child, I had two loving parents, both of whom I am tremendously grateful to--what loving human beings they were and are. I had two sets of grandparents who were a part of the fabric of my growing up. And then there was Seth. My mother's younger brother. Very bright--very, very bright. Socially conscious. Loved the theatre, opera, arts, musicals, literature. So bright. Drove a motorcycle. Had an apartment in the East Village in New York City. Traveled all the normal places and then all the places that some of us only dream about. Doted on my sisters and me. And we all adored him: my gay uncle.
LGBT Family Building Options
Families are born every day. And children are loved and supported and need more than just their parents. Would Seth have made the decision to become a father if he was young today? LGBT family building options are increasingly selected by gay men and lesbians who want to become solo parents or to create two dad or two mom families. I'm certainly grateful for my uncle's role in my life. He has been an amazing support and influence.
My Memories and Gratitude
I'm not aware that my uncle ever wanted children. We are very close and I think I would know. Or maybe he was just content with the children that he had: my sisters and I. He was hugely influential in my growing up. He was a great champion of me when the typical and normal divisions existed between my parents and myself. He understood things that I was willing to tell him because he was not my parent--or my friend, or my grandparent, or my teacher. He understood all the things I wasn't willing to tell him. He just knew. He was Seth. And he understood everything, including much of what I never had to say out loud.
Seth never had children of his own but we were his children. If he had wanted to become a father, like so many gay men who are building families today, he would have been an incredible one. How honored I have been to be his neice and how lucky I have been to have had him in my life. Thank you Seth . . . and Scot.