Monday, March 23, 2015

The new attack on same-sex families is nasty and rude . . . but will still fail

Same-sex families provide much love and support.

The groups backing up  Lopez, Stefanowicz, Warwick, etc. don't provide homes. They take away homes. They don't offer solutions. Instead they trot  out pretty boxes of perfect family lives to the American people. Unwrap those boxes and you will find an emptiness with an echo as loud as the one in their chests, where their hearts, souls and integrity should be.

Already in 2015, we have seen surreptitious, but nonetheless, vulgar attacks on same-sex families.

Earlier this year, anti-gay groups and spokespeople rallied behind four individuals who filed an amicus brief to the federal courts speaking against marriage equality. What was different about this brief was that these four individuals are adults who were allegedly raised in same-sex households.

According to Zack Ford from Think Progress:

All four are in the spotlight now for their amicus briefs urging federal courts to uphold state bans on same-sex marriage. In these briefs, they explain how having a gay parent scarred them for life. They missed out on a “vital dual-gender influence,” they argue, and allowing same-sex marriage will similarly harm other children because “the gay community” doesn’t put children first, instead using them as “props to be publicly displayed.” In turn, “children lose forever their rights to know and be raised by their married biological father and mother.”
In addition to their briefs — which they are expected to replicate for consideration by the Supreme Court — their own additional writing is attracting a lot of attention. One of the four, Katy Faust, published a piece at conservative outlet Public Discourse . . . asking the Supreme Court to consider her experience. It has been shared about 150,000 times and even crashed the site due to its traffic. Brittany Newmark Klein, writing under a pen-name, followed suit at The Federalist.

Ford also pointed out that the four (Robert Oscar Lopez, Dawn Stefanowicz, Brittany Newmark Klein, and Katy Faust) are known for either their anti-gay rhetoric or aligning themselves with anti-gay groups over the years (Editor's note - click on the above links to read past statements and posts about Lopez and Stefanowicz).

As if that isn't enough, a "child's right activist" by the name of Heather Barwick published a column this month presumptuously called  Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting. In this piece, which was  published by The Federalist (the same publication which published Klein's piece), Barwick claimed that she was raised in a lesbian household, and thus was deprived the love of a father:

Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

Together these five, as if by coincidence, repeat anti-gay dogma that same-sex households raising children cause harm because they allegedly deprive children of the "traditional mother and father dynamic."

And they also omit or ignore the mitigating factors which led to their alleged "deprived upbringings," such as the Barwick's father abandoning her or Stefanowicz's father being an all-around negative individual which was independent of his sexual orientation.

Also, all of their stories share striking similarities:

1. All are unverified, meaning we haven't heard from the parents (in Stefanowicz's case, her father is deceased) or anyone else who can back up their stories.

2. All of them have either originated from or been heavily pushed by anti-gay or conservative think tanks, organizations, or publications.

3. All of these individuals seem to be garnering a larger spotlight as we get closer to the SCOTUS deciding on nationwide marriage equality.

With these three questionable similarities in mind,  the cynic in me has extreme doubts about the veracity of their stories and or at least their motivations.

But they are getting pushback.

In a recent edition of  The Huffington Post, a young lady in a same-sex family environment, Sidney Switzer, took Barwick to task for generalizing about same-sex households, including her own:

 I have no hole to fill. I am lucky to have two wonderful parents who love me. I don't "desperately need a daddy," because mine didn't leave me. My parents support me and have surrounded me with a great community of LGBT and heterosexual people who are positive role models. There were no man haters in my community. My parents listen to my concerns and do their very best to help me. I have two loving parents who taught me about the ignorant people who will hold up those "Gods Hates Fags" signs and didn't let me worry about it, because I was taught that those people were closed-minded, ignorant, full of hate, and in no way worth my tears. I was encouraged to be patient and educate, but not to be bothered by them. I have two parents who raised my two brothers and me as independent thinkers who have their own voices.

 Personally, I am breaking it down this way. Anyone thinking that Lopez, Stefanowicz, and the rest - even Barwick - are doing these things on their own are naive. Anyone thinking these individuals just sprang up by happenstance are equally naive.

In fact, I have a pretty good idea of who is behind this sudden "exposure" of unverified children from same-sex households coming seemingly out of nowhere to bash their gay parents. One can easily see the slimy tendrils of the Heritage Foundation, the National Organization for Marriage,  the Family Research Council, and various other conservative groups behind this mess.

In fact, Heritage Foundation employee Ryan T. Anderson, a man who has endorsed the discredited "ex-gay" therapy, has been busy promoting these people and their words on twitter and engaging in arguments with those who object by either attacking their families or accusing them of wanting to "deprive children" of good homes.

That's the opposition, my friends.

 Lopez, Stefanowicz, Barwick, etc are not the opposition. They are just willing pawns who plead false love and concern. Meanwhile, individuals like Anderson  write fake intellectual pieces attacking gay parents, or reduce themselves to personally striking against gays and lesbians on twitter, while  claiming that the people they attack are "intolerant" because they won't roll over and allow their families to be devalued or dehumanized.

Anderson and his much-moneyed bosses and associates who are attempting to push this sly assault on same-sex households don't see the reality of families. They think they have the power to eliminate the families they feel don't count (same-sex families), while simultaneously lessening the positive effects of other families they feel don't matter (one-parent families) and totally ignoring foster children and orphans who need a good home the most.

And they do it under the phony guise of concern, i.e. the claim that "every child has a right to a mother and a father," implying that same-sex families are created in the dead of night by gays and lesbians snatching  infants from their cribs as if we are monsters mother threaten to give their children to when they step out of line.

It's an ugly inference. But a deliberate one.

The groups backing up  Lopez, Stefanowicz, Warwick, etc. don't provide homes. They take away homes.

They don't offer solutions. Instead they trot  out pretty boxes of perfect family lives to the American people. Unwrap those boxes and you will find an emptiness with an echo as loud as the one in their chests, where their hearts, souls and integrity should be.

But they won't win.  We know this and most of all, so do they.

And that's why they are getting nastier and stooping to the level of attacking families.

Desperation tends to do that to some people.


Michael G said...

Beautifully written, as usual. Thanks so much Alvin.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Well, the advertising and headhunting has worked! The anti-gay groups found some anti-gay kids who will step out and claim that they were raised by parents in same-sex relationships.

I'm only surprised it took so long to find them. It's easy enough to find kids who hate their parents. I guess the problem was the pool of kids raised in same-sex parent situations was so small and so well adjusted that finding the rebel kids was extra hard.

As usual I wonder what sort of compensation the hate spokesfolks are getting.

Shannon Spencer Fox said...

I'm personally hoping that, if/when this argument's made before the Supreme Court, one of the justices asks the obvious question of 'What about same-sex couples who don't want to raise children?'

Which would, of course, almost completely destroy their argument, since it's not like child-rearing is a current requirement for marriage as-is... heh.

B Snow said...

The "biological mother and father" argument against gay marriage is such a fail. Are these anti-gay groups going to force widowed parents to remarry because "kids need a mom and a dad"? Are they going to ban adoption because then children aren't being raised by their biological parents?

They are a bunch of lying liars who couldn't care less about actual children.

Erica Cook said...

As far as I'm concerned these testimonies are the Anti-gay equivalent to the wrongful life argument. It is the same as saying foster children shouldn't be given homes. Children conceived through IVF should not have been born. And Children who's parent's found a new partner of the same gender after leaving different sex homes should have stayed in bad and sometimes abusive relationships. Any in is a supremacist stance. Simply that.