There are lots of legal things in this world that people have a moral compunction with. Abortion, gun control, capital punishment, and realistic sex education in schools are some of the more common examples, although gay marriage has become quite an ignited spark these days.
And now, with “mother” and “father” being removed from United States passport applications in …
… lieu of “Parent One” and “Parent Two,” that spark might well explode when this policy goes into effect in February.
A statement on the State Department website noted: “These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.” The statement didn’t note if it was for child applications only.
The State Department said the new passport applications, not yet available to the public, will be available online soon.
[Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services Brenda] Sprague said the decision to remove the traditional parenting names was not an act of political correctness.
You know, Brenda Sprague, somehow I doubt that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the move … I have friends in same-sex relationships that are raising a child together, and I think it’s the only fair thing for the children involved, not to mention their parents (who have as much of a right to raise a child as anyone).
But don’t say that it’s not a PC ploy, particularly given the enthusiastic reaction of gay rights groups.
And of course you can imagine that conservative Christians are on a tear … and as usual, I’m torn between laughing at how crazy they sound and crying at how truly small-minded some people are.
“Only in the topsy-turvy world of left-wing political correctness could it be considered an ‘improvement’ for a birth-related document to provide less information about the circumstances of that birth,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wrote in a statement to Fox News Radio. “This is clearly designed to advance the causes of same-sex ‘marriage’ and homosexual parenting without statutory authority, and violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act.”
Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, agreed. “It’s part of an overall attempt at political correctness to diminish the distinction between men and women and to somehow suggest you don’t need both a father and a mother to raise a child successfully,” said Jeffress. “(This decision) was made to make homosexual couples feel more comfortable in rearing children.”
Look, as far as I’m concerned, as long as children are being raised in healthy, happy, nurturing homes, more power to the people who are raising them. I know of cases where grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even family friends have custody of children because theirs is a better child-rearing environment than those who are often little more than sperm and egg donors.
Two women or two men in a living, committed relationship have as much right to raise a child as anyone. Get over yourselves, crazy radical right religious nuts.
As is often the case, I’m especially touched by the personal story, that of Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council.
Chrisler recounted the day she and her female partner tried to get her twin sons passports.
“Even though my partner was their legal mother, had adopted them after I gave birth to them, she still had to put her name in the father field, and that is both discriminatory and makes us feel like second-class citizens,” she said.
I get that. I think this change is a good thing, and not just for homosexual families. I’ve seen a lot of school forms where “father” and “mother” were crossed out and replaced by “uncle” and “aunt,” and if that doesn’t scream out, “Awkward!” for all parties involved, I don’t know what would.
Is this really that big a deal?