Puff Piece Goes Poof!
BY Jennifer Roback Morse
December 6-12, 2009 Issue | Posted 11/27/09 at 11:00 AM
“‘Gayby Boom’ Fueled by Same-Sex Parents” screamed a headline on the website of ABC News this past summer. “Post-1980s Children of Gay Parents Thrive in School, More Open Society,” the subhead declared.
Was there some new information in this story?
Nope. It was just another human-interest story in the noble-homosexuals-who-overcome-adversity-and-stay-true-to-themselves template.
Unfortunately for ABC, a closer look at the source of the few facts in this story tells another story — one the “gay rights” lobby and its allies in the media probably would rather you didn’t hear: Same-sex “marriage” is a completely disproportionate response to an overwrought problem.
Most of the feature consisted of interviews with same-sex couples who have raised children together. But among the obvious ploy for sympathy were a few facts, including this eyepopper: “Just under 1% of all couples in the U.S. — or 594,391 people — identify themselves as gay, lesbian or transgender, and about 20% of them are raising children under the age of 18.”
Yes, you read that correctly: Two-tenths of 1% of couples in America are same-sex couples raising children.
One of the most appealing rhetorical questions posed by advocates of same-sex “marriage” is: “Gays and lesbians are already raising children. Why shouldn’t they and their children have the legal protections of marriage?” But these figures, produced by the Williams Institute, a pro-homosexuality think tank, show that a truly tiny percentage of children is at stake. We are being urged to redefine marriage to protect the children of two-tenths of 1% of all the couples in America. And we’re bigots if we resist.
This puts new perspective on demands for same-sex “marriage.” In many states, same-sex couples can use some combination of domestic partnerships or second-party adoption to share legal parenting rights. Why is it bigotry to insist that same-sex couples solve their practical problems with the legal tools already available?
Often, advocates of same-sex “marriage” will respond that it is demeaning that they should be treated differently by the law. But it is no disgrace to say that the law should treat exceptional situations as exceptions. Biology is the ordinary way we assign legal parenting rights. Adoption exists to accommodate the unusual situations in which the biological parents are not available.
Adoptive parents must get fingerprinted and investigated before adoptive children can be placed in their homes. Do we really believe that adoptive parents are second-class citizens?
No. The steps serve to protect the principle that biology is the basic way we assign parenting rights. All other cases are treated as exceptions.
I don’t know how the homosexual-rights lobby gets the major news media to do these unreflective booster articles transparently designed to garner sympathy for same-sex couples and, by extension, for same-sex “marriage.” But this particular puff piece blew up in the face of one major mainstream-media outlet. You’d think the others would notice.
Jennifer Roback Morse is founder and president of the Ruth Institute (RuthInstitute.org), a project of the National Organization for Marriage.
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