Family Values are Under Attack

That’s right, folks, you’ve heard it first from me: Family values are under attack. People across the nation are fighting for the right for same-sex couples to wed, to adopt children, to raise families with love and compassion–and our family values are under attack.

You might think I’m on the wrong side of the fence here, but you’d be mistaken.

The fight is simple, and the misnomer intense, but this is neither war nor a battlefield, and my heart and your lungs might as well be stripped out and trod upon for all the great strides in communication that either side has made. But given the swiftness of our little feet, perhaps the problem is not our hearts and lungs, but our lips and ears. Neither pair seems to deserve the weight they carry, for while one side speaks, the other does not listen–and when one side listens, the other only speaks over them.

The problem is a matter of family and values and the interrelated nature of the two. I’ll begin with the logical, the most spoken-of, the most important first step in any legal relationship.

Marriage.

To take a cue from Liz Feldman, let me start by saying this: At eight this morning I gay-woke up, then I gay-ate breakfast and gay-rode to school. Here I gay-visited coworkers, gay-walked to class, and then gay-listened while my teacher spoke about counting and probability. Then I gay-walked to my next class, where I gay-wrote a letter to a classmate and gay-watched a documentary on Billy Collins. Then I gay-ate lunch, gay-logged on to my email, and gay-read one of the finest examples of misguided hatred I have read in a while. Thank you, Mitt Romney. I gay-write this for you.

Someday, after I gay-graduate, gay-work, and gay-meet someone, I might even get gay-married. Because obviously everything I do is inherently defined solely by my sexuality. After all, what am I doing right this second but gay-breathing, gay-typing, and gay-living? It’s sickening, all this gayness. I’m sure you appreciate it. I’m sure it’s the only thing you think of when you see me, how gay I look, and when you walk past, how gay I smell, how gay I taste if the aroma is so prevalent and our context so small. I must have neon signs braided into my inch-long hair, must have rainbows tattooed on my teeth when I smile, must ooze and bubble and froth with infectious gayness at the incitement of the oxygen molecules bombarding me every moment, lifting away esters of gaiety that will spread and taint the youth for ages evermore.

And they thought the hole in the ozone layer was dangerous.

Then again, the act of gaiety leaching into the air may be a leading cause of ozone-depletion. We must be chlorofluorocarbons. Hey, it’s better than being carcinogens.

If my satire is not yet evident, if you honestly believe there’s any element of truth other than sarcasm and wit, I pity you. And I beg you to read on, because you probably need this most.

If you support family values, support same-sex marriage. If you support family values, support marriage.

Let’s face it, you don’t need a marriage license to have sex–look at all those teenage girls in high school with tots in the oven if you need any proof, or if I’m being especially spiteful, have you met Bristol Palin yet? If I’m asking for marriage, I’m not asking for sex. I’m asking for marriage. For that same till-death as you did. For that same sanctity, that same commitment, that same love and tenderness and public pronouncement of faith and union that is the foundation of all family values to follow.

So, yes, when gays and lesbians and bisexuals and trans folk fight for marriage equality, we’re not attacking family values. We’re supporting them. Trying to make them more upheld. More respected. More pronounced. The only ones attacking family values are those attacking us. If you support the sanctity of marriage so much, why are you fighting so hard to stop it?

But! But, you say, two men can’t make babies! It’s against nature! It’s _insert insult here_! Because surely there are so many unloved children in the world that we must make more of them. Because, come on now, what’s one new birth when kids out there are waiting to be adopted by loving families? Obviously those kids must just be government fodder, because certainly they don’t need the love and devotion of a family because you’re only a real family if you can make your own babies. Isn’t that right, Mitt?

Either way, I suppose, two men can’t raise a child, can they? I mean, how would that poor awful child feel without a mother in his life? The daughter of two lesbians needs a father figure, doesn’t she?

Yes, yes, so all those single parents out there, we must by law mandate they pick up someone off the street and get married. Because children need a mother and a father. And nothing less. Nothing more.

The point is, and I stress this tremendously, the point is children need love. And commitment. And attention and affection and compassion. And those values can come from anyone, man, woman, intersex, anything–uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings. Love transcends gender. Love transcends everything.

Except for the hearts of the hateful.

Love can’t touch that.

Well, love can, but they push it away.

That’s a pity, too, because a little bit of love can change so much, touch so many hearts, touch more souls and change more lives than an inkling of hatred ever could. But for those poor unfortunate hardened hearts, salvation cannot be caught nor captured; only till hearts are softened can substance by sustained.

But I digress. If you want to know why children should be every bit a part of same-sex couples as any others, just read this. It says it all.

I’m not going to spew at you divorce rates or religious epithets. I’m not talking about how many people fail at marriage, and I’m not talking about how many people believe in the Bible, either. I’m talking about principles, about family and family values. If what we need is love and compassion and a family that is there for each other, through thick and thin and wide and narrow and short and long, than those values transcend gender and sex and can be expressed by anyone, anywhere, no matter who they’re with.

I’m tired of people telling me my fight for equality puts family values in danger. The only people I’ve ever witnessed fighting against family values are those who toss out their kids when they come out as gay or lesbian or bi or trans, those people who take national tragedies and warp them into excuses for why love should not be embraced, all those people who fight to prevent new families from emerging to enforce those so-called family values that they so fervently think they’re protecting.

You know, if not for your stance on social issues, Mitt Romney, I could support you. It’s a shame you must be so hateful, when once you said equality should be a mainstream concern. How have you become so deluded with the lies of ignorant people?

So it’s time to wake up, Mitt Romney. It’s time to wake up, all of you who think like he does, who hate and stand against what’s right in this world. It’s time you take a good long hard look at all the people you think are attacking family values and then take a good long hard look at the real culprit. He’s standing in the mirror watching you now.

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