June 18, 2014

Dear Curtis:
Yes, my kids recognize same sex relationships

Today, dear readers, I'd like to take you into the world of Curtis. Curtis wrote an insightful letter to the Stevens Point Journal up in Wisconsin.

Curtis is concerned, guys. He's concerned about this trend called "marriage equality":

The term now being heard regarding same-sex marriage is “marriage equality.” Let’s examine that thought for a moment.

And boy does he have some thoughts, on that thought, guys. Some T.H.O.U.G.H.T.S.

Curtis says:
Show a young child a picture of a man and a woman holding hands. Now show the child a picture of two men or two women holding hands. Then ask the child if these things are the same or different. The child instinctively knows that both pictures are not the same; the second does not equal the first; they are different.
Dear Curtis, I'm here to tell you that yes, kids can and do recognize homosexual couples. I should know. I've got two that do.

The first time my oldest noticed there was something "different" about his best friend's parents, he was about four years old, and it went like this:

Him: Mommy, why does [my friend's] dad sound like a girl?
Me: Well, she is a girl. [Friend] has two moms.
Him: Oh.
Me: Yeah, sometimes a family is a mom and dad and other times it's two moms, or two dads, or just a mom or a dad, and sometimes no mom or dad but a grandma or aunt or someone.
Him: Oh, okay. [returns to playing]

So, Curtis, you are right in one respect--he noticed something different. What you are wrong about is his reaction. To him, this was a perfectly normal situation. Friend has two parents that love him; my kid intuitively understood that, although we had never addressed homosexuality or being kind and accepting with him.

When it came to marriage equality, he was about five and the conversation went like this:

Him: [runs in from playing outside] Hey, Mom! Mom! Did you know moms can marry other moms?
Me: Why yes, I did.
Him: Okay! I'm going back out to play now!

Again, Curtis--you were right. He noticed a difference. You were wrong about the reaction. Again, it's a normal, natural part of his world. Again, we haven't had any conversations on the topic aside from what he has brought up.

Do you know, Curtis, what conversation my son had a problem with? It was this past year. He's seven now, and it went like this:

Him: Mom, did you know [Friend] goes to a different school than me?
Me: I do.. (side note: Friend attends a private Christian school in our area, my son attends public schools)
Him: [Friend] said when they go to his school, he has to pretend that one of his mom's is his other mom's friend. They aren't allowed to be married. Why do they do that?
Me: Well, honey, some people don't believe that two women or two men should be allowed to be married. They believe it is wrong.
Him: But [Friend] is happy. He loves his moms.
Me: I know.
Him: His moms love him like you and Dad love me.
Me: I know, honey.
Him: Why would they think that was wrong?
Me: I don't know, babe. I don't get it either.
Him: It doesn't make sense.

Curtis, which of these conversations do you think was the most damaging to my child? I'll give you a hint: It wasn't the first two.

Curtis also gave us this gem:
On a physical level alone, not even considering the mental, emotional, social or spiritual aspects, it is readily apparent that same-sex marriage can never equal the natural marriage between a man and a woman. “Marriage equality” as it is being promoted is impossible.
Why does Curtis believe this? He goes on for two paragraphs about how "sexual relations" are different between man/woman couples and same sex couples. Well, no shit, Sherlock. He says:
Sexual relations between a man and a woman are unique because a man and a woman are physically different but complementary. Sexual relations between a man and a woman are not the same as sexual relations between two men or two women; they are not equal; they are different.
Like most marriage equality opponents, Curtis is hung up on the fact that same sex couples can't "come together, conceive and produce a child" by themselves. He says:
Two men by themselves or two women by themselves can never procreate. As far as procreation goes, the union of two same-sex persons is not the same as the marriage between a man and a woman; the unions are not equal; they are different.
Do you know who else can't reproduce? Heterosexual couples that are infertile. Are their relationships also secondary, Curtis, to man/woman couples that can reproduce?

And it also begs the question: What about man/woman couples that opt not to reproduce? Couples that are celibate?

The reduction of marriage to the sexual relations and procreation is insulting. I'm a married woman. I've been married nearly two years, and my husband and I have been involved for nearly eight. There are many aspects of my marriage, and sex is but one. It's special, don't get me wrong--but it's only one. Reducing marriage to sex discounts marriages that are mutually sexless--AND YES THOSE EXIST. And no, there's nothing wrong with a relationship where both parties agree. Marriage, again, is a contract, and the terms are negotiable and individual to the individuals involved.

There is more to marriage than sex and kids. Full. Stop.

There's also this idea Curtis seems hung up on that things that are different cannot be equal. What a load of crock.

My husband is a man; I am a woman. We are different, but we are equal.
My husband is 5' 8"; I am 5' 2" (if I'm lying...). We are different, but we are equal.
My state governor is a woman of Indian heritage; I am a white woman of German ancestry. We are different, but we are equal.
My sister has blonde hair; I have brown hair. We are different, but we are equal.
My neighbors live in a house that has a porch; my house does not. We are different, but we are equal.
My best friend has no kids; I have kids. We are different, but we are equal.

And when it comes to sex, the same applies.

My husband enjoys fellatio; I enjoy cunnilingus. We are different, but we are equal.
Some folks enjoy missionary; others enjoy more provocative positions. Different, but equal.

Do I really have to go on? I don't think so.

I'm going to leave it with this point: Marriage equality isn't about our differences, anymore than marriage itself is. It's about what we all have in common--that desire to partner with someone, to commit to them, to mate for life, and to have that bond recognized by the communities we live in.

That's something that's absolutely the same, and it's something that should be equal.

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