I have a story for you.
My younger daughter, my boyfriend, and I recently went away to stay with a couple for a mini-vacation weekend. We went out to breakfast, had our cook-out rained out (but it worked out just fine inside), went to a children’s museum together (my princess was the only “child” per se, but we all had a blast), went hiking with the dogs, and laughed a lot.
This couple also arranged for me to go on a special tour that basically fulfilled a lifelong dream, and they took care of my precocious, always-talking, perpetual motion third grader (I call her Belle on my personal blog, so I guess I’ll go with that here, too) so that my boyfriend could go with me. It was an experience I will never forget, and the fact that they arranged it, paid for it, and took on the fastest talker in the east meant the world to me.
While taking Belle to the grocery store (an event that is not for the faint of heart), the possibility of Belle having a sleepover with them came up. Belle was thrilled at the prospect, and later that night I tucked her into an unfamiliar house with a couple she’s known and loved for years while my boyfriend and I went back to the hotel.
The next morning, this saintly couple called to see if we could meet for breakfast a little bit later. Turns out there was a dollhouse in the guest bedroom where Belle had slept, and she was in seventh heaven playing with it.
We had an amazing, relaxing, and fun weekend, and our hosts went way above and beyond what they needed to. I loved every minute of our venture (except possibly the long drive), and I know that my travel-mates felt the same way. I can’t wait to do it again, to explore their very cool house, to go for more hikes, to check out their neck of the woods.
If I told this story to the masses, I suspect the general reaction would be, “Oh, how wonderful! It’s always nice to have a little vacation, and your hosts sound nearly saint-like.”
So why is it that the response would change when I stated that this strong, committed, loving couple are lesbians?
And make no mistake … it would.
Forget the fact that the vast majority of pedophiles are heterosexual. Pretend that it’s okay for heterosexuals to participate in everything from Fifty Shades of Grey-type behavior to swinging to bestiality, and don’t-ask-don’t-tell is the status quo. Spout off passages from …
… Leviticus and Romans when you clearly haven’t read the entire Bible … it’s all about context, seriously.
My family is full of practical jokers, and one of my siblings that refuses to admit it (although I actually think it’s pretty funny) signed me up for Rick Santorum’s mailing list. It’s made for some interesting reading, to say the least.
One of the e-mails I received was very similar to this, an op-ed posted by Santorum on National Review Online:
Research shows that a child raised in a home where Dad is married to Mom is much less likely to live in poverty, get arrested as a juvenile, be suspended or expelled from school, be treated for emotional or behavioral problems, or drop out before completing high school. A Brookings study in 2009 determined that only 2 percent of Americans who work, graduate from high school, and get married before having children end up in poverty. What’s more, 77 percent of these Americans are above the national average in income. And 85 percent of those in the top quintile of income in the U.S. are married.
In too many instances, particularly in our minority communities, children are being raised in broken homes. This is a fact. While there are many heroic single parents, the overwhelming evidence shows that kids benefit strongly from having a mom and a dad. We know that no government social program can produce the same positive outcomes for kids. Healthy marriages and involved fathers, in addition to finding work, are some of the best poverty-fighting strategies out there. We must address the importance of marriage and the challenge of absent fathers head on. Doing so makes sense both for our society and for our economy.
We must support policies that encourage state- and local-level solutions that strengthen marriage and support low-income families so that dads are incentivized to support their children and be involved in their lives. I believe that the best solutions and the best assistance is that which is closest to the challenge being addressed or problem being solved.
Faith-based organizations are a key component to this. Many of these organizations work with fathers to develop the skills necessary to be good husbands and to mentor their children. We cannot transform faith-based and community organizations into bureaucratic arms of the federal government, but instead we must look to devolve resources to state and local governments.
I sent a response to Santorum’s e-mail, actually, basically asking if that meant that I should have stayed with my abusive alcoholic ex-husband for the sake of my children, who had already been badly and potentially irreparably damaged by him. I was very polite about it … I was honestly curious to see what response I would receive.
That I received no response at all is telling, to say the least. I can tell you, with God as my witness, that no amount of “faith-based organizations” or mentoring would be able to turn my ex-husband into a safe and effective father. He has liver damage, brain damage, and wasted a life that once had unlimited potential. It’s a very sad story. The fact that, had I stayed married to him my children and I would have been further abused and possibly dead given his propensity for drunk driving, apparently meant little to Rick Santorum’s political team.
I bring this up because Rick Santorum and his ilk would be willing to work with people like my ex-husband, but the couple that have given my child unconditional love and support for years, never mind a vacation she will always remember, are somehow wrong.
I would like to think that we could live in a world where we don’t judge people based on their sexuality but on their merits–and I assure you that this couple have done tremendous amounts of good in their lives, more so than most.
That they are stripped of basic rights such as marriage and being able to attend neighborhood parties without being ostracized is downright criminal.
And, to leave you with my hope for the future generation, Belle said to me as I tucked her in during her overnight, “Will you tell ___________ and ______________ that I might have to come get in bed with them if I’m scared in the middle of the night?”
From the mouths of babes comes wisdom …
But I am honestly curious: why is it that so many people have such an issue with same-sex couples?