A Good Parent



I believe gay people should be judged on their parenting skills, the same as anyone else looking to adopt. When an individual seeks to adopt a child, it is the duty of the state where they live to “investigate” the individual, to judge their ability to be good parents. Until a child is adopted, they are a ward of the state. The state is the only one who can protect them from abuse and exploitation. They should check prospective parents before allowing them to adopt. It’s their job and their obligation to the children they are supposed to protect. However, these prospective parents should not be judged on their sexual orientation.

Whether a prospective parent is homosexual or heterosexual does not affect their ability to be a good parent. Their morality could, but morality and sexual orientation are not the same thing. To those who say, “That’s not true.” I would say, “There are many immoral heterosexual parents in the world.” Prostitutes, and drug dealers, spouse abusers, and child molesters have all been in the ranks of heterosexual parents. I’m not saying homosexuals can’t be any of these things, or that society approves of prostitution, drug abuse or abuse of any kind as long as it comes from a heterosexual. What I’m saying is, society is lumping homosexuals together with these types of individuals by saying just being homosexual makes a person an undesirable element. This is wrong. No one who would be a good parent should be excluded from consideration because of his or her sexual orientation.

The logic of those who want to keep gay people from adopting children, and away from children altogether if possible, goes something like this: if gay people are allowed to influence children, the children they influence might grow up thinking there’s nothing wrong with being gay. And, the logic continues, if they grow up not knowing gay is wrong and something to be ashamed of, they might not just be more accepting of the gay lifestyle as normal, they might try it out themselves. There’s a threat, the argument goes, they will be more likely to become gay because they will think of it as normal. Even if they don’t “become” gay they might still, at some point in their lives, have at least one homosexual relationship. Because they were raised by parents who were homosexual , they wouldn’t realize this was a “bad” abnormal thing they should be ashamed of even thinking about. These well-meaning, concerned citizens don’t want these poor innocents corrupted. They don’t want them exposed to “gayness”. They would rather see them unadopted and homeless.

These people treat being gay as either a disease the children can catch or and attitude they could learn. Do they treat their own sexuality the same way, I wonder? Do they think they could decide to “become” gay if they suddenly felt that gay was right and normal? Somehow, I don’t think so. I don’t think these people have truly thought out the logic of what they are saying. If they had, they would realize that neither viewpoint is logical. If one could “catch” sexual orientation from one’s parents where did all the gay people come from in the first place? The majority of them had straight parents. So, by their own logic, if gay parents will raise gay children, straight parents should only raise straight children.

We all know this isn’t the way it works out. Straight parents do have gay children. It seems likely then that gay parents could raise straight children. It also seems logical that a parent’s sexual orientation doesn’t affect the sexual orientation of his or her child, like catching a cold. As for it being an “attitude” they learn from their parents I would say, again, look to your own life. Did you learn to be straight from your parents? To say that “gayness” is a learned behavior is no more fair than to say “straightness” is a learned behavior. This implies the person has a choice, whether they realize it or not.

Some people do honestly believe all a gay person has to do is make up their mind to be straight and they can change. Once again, I would say, look to your own life. Let’s suppose for an instant gay is the norm and straight is different. You’re straight. Society makes your life difficult because you’re straight. Do you honestly me to tell me, you believe if you try hard enough, you can become gay? Would you really want to? Even though it would make your life easier, would you really want to be gay just to fit in? What about being true to one’s self?

Personally, I couldn’t do it. I’m heterosexual. I couldn’t be gay. Even if I forced myself into a gay relationship for some reason, I wouldn’t be happy. Even if it was someone I really did care about, I’d never be able to make it work. I would be looking for that something I was missing that only a heterosexual relationship could provide.

And, frankly, it’s not the American way, to ask someone to change their sexual orientation to make others more comfortable. We, as individuals, are allowed to be different in this country. Our country was founded on the idea that it was okay to be different. The Constitution says it’s all right. It also says that the government is not allowed to pressure us to conform. It doesn’t specifically say individuals within society can’t try to make us be what they want us to be, but it does say there are rules. There are laws about discrimination. It’s not okay for a society to tell some members that while they have all the other qualifications to be good parents, they are unfit to be parents because they don’t blend in with society’s views on sexual orientation. It’s not okay for society to tell them they must change in order to be considered as adoptive parents. That is discrimination.

It isn’t just discrimination though, it’s stagnation. One of the good things about a society that allows its citizens to be non-conformists is it encourages us, as individuals, to try new things. Societies don’t learn and grow if their members do try new things every once in awhile. Every new thing tried doesn’t work out, but some do. So, what might our society get from allowing gay people to adopt children? What we might get is a child who will grow up to be more compassionate about lifestyles that don’t conform to the norm.

We might get a child that helps our society keep growing and evolving by growing up unafraid to try something new. We might get a child that grows up to be more understanding of everyone, even people who don’t live the way they do, or who don’t believe what they believe. Would that really be such a bad thing?

©2002




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