Proposition 8 – I’m sorry, what was the reason again?

I’m getting more breathless email from the protectmarriage.com campaign again. 

From their email I’ve learned that their campaign now has over ten million dollars of funding for their “Vote Yes on 8” advertising.  From what I can tell, a significant amount of that funding is coming from out of state.  James Dobson subsidiaries have given at least 1.5 million, and I suspect possibly double that.

I’ve learned that they held a conference call with over a thousand pastors on the line.

But what I haven’t learned, what protectmarriage.com has failed to inform me in every single communication, is just why marriage must be defined as between a man and a woman.

I’m pretty sure that there is a hidden message here, I can see the evidence of that hidden message through Dobson’s involvement.  In a nutshell, the hidden message seems to be, “God doesn’t like homosexual lifestyles.”  But protectmarriage.com is staying away from that message.  I assume they are doing so because it would make them look fanatical.

The message they seem to be delivering is that traditional marriage is good for children, while same sex marriage is bad for children.  But they do not say why!

The protectmarriage.com blog quotes an LA Time op-ed by “liberal Democrat” David Blankenhorn as a good explanation of why traditional marriage matters.  I read through that article and found quote-mining (always a bad sign!) and poor reasoning.  The comments to that piece destroy it entirely.

From the op-ed:

Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving, and many of its features vary across groups and cultures. But there is one constant. In all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood. Among us humans, the scholars report, marriage is not primarily a license to have sex. Nor is it primarily a license to receive benefits or social recognition. It is primarily a license to have children.

In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood — biological, social and legal — into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other.

Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him. Every single one. Moreover, losing that right will not be a consequence of something that at least most of us view as tragic, such as a marriage that didn’t last, or an unexpected pregnancy where the father-to-be has no intention of sticking around. On the contrary, in the case of same-sex marriage and the children of those unions, it will be explained to everyone, including the children, that something wonderful has happened!

That’s an explanation?

Same-sex marriage means that a child in such a marriage is denied his birthright!  But what about orphans without parents, perhaps they would prefer to be adopted by same sex couples instead of waiting until they turn 18 in foster care or an orphanage?

I don’t have kids.  My wife’s condition made it impossible.  By Blankenhorn’s logic, childless marriage is worthless.  Childless partners might as well just became “domestic partners”.

But domestic partnership does not in all cases bestow the same rights on a couple as marriage.  Hospitals at a whim can deny visitation to a domestic partner, can even deny the partner’s wishes in how to care for the sick partner.  And no matter how much you strengthen domestic partnership to give it the same rights as marriage, domestic partners will still bump into ignorant people in positions of power.

By the time you run home to get your power of attourney, by the time you call your lawyer and the cops to enforce your rights, a hospital can act against your wishes.  And suing them over this is difficult for someone who is “merely” a domestic partner. 

Blankenhorn says, “Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you.” Brittney Spears was married when she had her children.  Andrea Yates was married.  How many people on the sex-offender websites around the nation were put there by their own sons and daughters, from “traditional” marriages?  Obviously merely being married doesn’t ensure the welfare of children in a marriage. 

Lawmakers could very well enforce “traditional marriage”, they could even make divorce unlawful again.  They could pass a law requiring that mom and dad give junior a kiss, a glass of water, and a tuck into bed every night.  But it still won’t guarantee the rights of the child.

The reason why Proposition 8 fails is because you can’t legislate the love of a parent toward a child.  Some people are just flawed parents, perhaps they never should have been parents.  The reason why same-sex marriage can be good for children is because some people in a same-sex relationship are great parents who often have a great deal of love that they want to give a child.  And there will be children in such a relationship because in so many cases one member of a same-sex union is the parent of the child in question.

On another note, protectmarriage.com keeps a blog.  But they never allow comments on their blog – comments are always closed.  I find that very interesting.