Tuesday, August 23, 2005

AP headline: "High Court Protects Kids of Calif. Gays"

The story is here, but I think the headline is poorly worded. The story is about how the California (where else?) Supreme Court ruled that "estranged" gay/lesbian couples who have kids together via the wonders of modern medical technology (or however they do it) are treated as divorcing parents when it comes to child support. Issues of your own opinions on gay marriage or parenting aside, here's what I find interesting:

1. The headline. "High Court Protects Kids of Calif. Gays"? What about the article implies that this is about child protection? Since when does child support equal child protection? Don't get me wrong, I'm 1,000% in favor of child support when couples split, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to call it "child protection", be it hetero or homo couples.

2. The reaction of the anti-gay marriage side. "Today's ruling defies logic and common sense by saying that children can have two moms," said attorney Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel. "That policy establishes that moms and dads as a unit are irrelevant when it comes to raising children." Huh?

Whether Staver likes it or not, the fact is that children do live in two-mom or two-dad households. Is that wrong? Maybe and maybe not (I'm not trying to Kerry this question...you'll see where I'm going), but the fact is that these arrangements exist! If they exist, they must be acknowledged as a household that has children, and irrespective of any harm (perceived or real) to the kids growing up in such a household, the fact is that it is not illegal in California (and other states).

Thus, if children are lawfully living with two parental units, how does it harm society in saying that in the event of a split, one parent must provide child support for the kids that he/she legally shared with someone else? Honestly, I am offended that the gay parents who resist paying support try arguing that since they weren't legally married, they weren't legally parents and thus aren't legally liable for supporting children they agreed to! I mean, you can't say "We just want to be the same as everyone else" and then say "Uh...except here!"

For the record, I fully support civil unions for gays, and I oppose gay marriage. Marriage, in my view, is a religiously-binding act (even if atheists get married...sucks for them). However, I also think that the federal government should not get involved in the gay marriage debate. Nothing in the Constitution says that it's the federal government's job to meddle with marriage, hetero or otherwise. The states are taking care of it, and with the exception of MA, no state has signed onto the idea of gay marriage as of yet.

Maybe you agree with all, some, or none of what I wrote. As always, I welcome your comments!