18/09/2007

Homosexuality and Positive Discrimination


An issue that has been in the news (reasonably) recently in this country is the decision to allow homosexual couples to adopt children. This is the current climax of various ‘gay rights’ legislation, but is, understandably, the most controversial.

Normally I have absolutely no issues with equal rights, but the issue here raises questions that go beyond the rights of minority groups (i.e. they affect the children being adopted). Now I left school in 2004, and to be perfectly honest I wouldn’t want to have been adopted by gay parents. It would be an invitation to regular bullying – even in a school that was far from the decadent inner-city comprehensives that seem to be the worry of many parents. I understand that people have different views, and I know some perfectly normally people who have been bought up (for at least part of their lives) by gay parents. I guess I’m still divided on the matter.

I was wondering the other day what would happen if a similar agenda was laid before the American public?

My biggest issue however is the way that minority groups can create their own organisations that exclude, or partially exclude, the majority. The existence of gay nightclubs for me becomes much more sinister when you consider what would happen to somebody who tried to open a heterosexual nightclub. Or what about a white police officers’ association? A male businessmans’ club?

Is this a form of positive discrimination?

3 comments:

Nomi said...

The points you raise are interesting, but the arguments, I don't find valid:

Re: gay nightclubs - straights and women are welcome there too. I know of zero gay clubs which have a test for gayness for entry. Its just that over time gay guys tend to flock to the same clubs to find similar people - same as hmmm ... uppity snobby people joining the same country club?

In any case, the clubs are private and can do whatever they want.

Gay adoption: Your argument is that just because there is homophobia in schools, gays shouldn't be allowed to adopt. That's not tackling the issue (homophobia) and instead giving it cover. Imagine 40 years ago a child saying "i don't want to be adopted by interracial or african american parents because i'll get taunted at school". Clearly the problem is to tackle racism, not try to work around it. And the way to tackle it would be precisely to allow gay adoption, so its mainstream, so in a few years its just as non eyebrow-raising as any other family structure [which is the case in several urban centers now, and specially in european urban centers - no biggie]

The rights of citizens (in this case gay couples) should not be curbed just because the rest of the public is bigoted.

Edward Baker said...

Well that puts some kids in an unfortunate situation in the present.

I guess you could argue that it's also unnatural, inter-racial and African American relationships can produce children anyway. But I'm not sure I want to go down that route.

Todd M. Dobson said...

Hello Edward,

I found your blog and read it with great interest. You seem to be intelligent and also have identified what people see as bigotry and racism and if I may say – juggling with your own beliefs on the subject at hand.

I hope I can positively make you think about a couple of things that might help in forming your judgments or reassessing those vary conclusions on the subject. I will let you know that it is good that you were able to identify those areas in your own personality that you feel conflicted towards. That is not a bad thing and is the first step in opening your mind, so I applaud you for being so brave. I can also tell you that we all hold a little black and white within our personalities - meaning that we have good and bad within us at all times. It is our choices that we make that allow us to know if we are truly open minded or if we’ve closed our minds to certain subjects like racism. It is very difficult for ones self to identify our own bigotry and want to openly discuss those racist tendencies and again I must applauded your efforts.

I would ask you to first speak with the children of several families who have two moms or two dads. Speak directly with the children and find out how having gay parents has affected their lives. I can tell you that I have friends who have adopted and when I was considering adopting a child, I took such opportunities to speak with children of gay parents. The outcome of those conversations plus research that my partner and I did at the time was amazing. In more than twenty different families with a varying number of children I spoke with the kids to ascertain for myself before even considering placing a child in such a situation. I was eager to learn how gay or lesbian parents dealt with certain issues and out twenty families; only two kids felt the impact of having two moms or two dads was a negative one. I will say that in both cases, the kids were in their mid-teen years and having other problems in school or with the parents. In all most all cases, the kids said that yes they had suffered from being picked on by other kids in school. In most cases, because these kids were more stable and moved far less than most of the other children, they were in school with the same kids all the way through high school and that once they dealt with the kids who were picking on them, it seemed to stop. In almost all cases the kids who were saying anything did so because they heard their mother and or father saying something bigoted or racist towards the gay parents and felt is was aloud to voice their own form of abuse during school hours. All in all, I found that the kids seemed to be well adjusted and have better relationships with their parents when they came from such homes as apposed to the other kids in their classes with parents of the opposite sex or with only one parent.

As for the parents, they seemed to be more interested in their children (adopted or from a previous marriage) and seemed to have better, more opened communications with their kids than their counter-parts. Because of this, the kids shared more with them and they seemed to have a closer bond with their parents, happier and more rounded. They seemed to have far fewer teen births or pregnancies and their children seemed to have a better grasp on sex and sexuality. In none of the cases did the parents push their children to be gay and in fact I found that in almost all cases while the parents were open to any sexuality they preferred their kids to be heterosexual and not homosexual. The reasoning was so their kids wouldn’t have to endure the same bigotry and homophobia that they did. All-in-all, they didn’t care and let their kids know that they were loved and that was significant in those bonds formed between parents and children.

Most of the states who have granted homosexual adoptions have done countless studies on the facts and have found what the State of New York, the State of Massachusetts and the State of Oregon have found in their major studies: Gay and Lesbian parents seem to provide a more stable household, be more open minded and have better relationships then their heterosexual counterparts. The bottom line was gay and lesbian parents were just as good if not better parents as anyone and creating a loving, caring environment for the kids is the only important issue at hand. Most states that are allowing gays and lesbians to adopt find two very committed, loving and caring parents for the children place within those homes.

My personal experience as a man that was about to start the adoption courses several years ago, I wanted a child so bad that I didn’t care what sex or even how old, I just wanted to give a child the love and support I was denied coming from a heterosexual household. Any two people (guy and girl) can get together (one night stand or relationship of some kind), no matter what their age and have sex with the results of procreating a child. In many cases they don’t want the baby and if one or both of them keep the child, everyone ends up loosing in the long run. With one or two gay parents, the child has one or two parents who love them so much they fight against the odds to adopt them and have to continue the fight with treats like Virginia, Florida and other states who promise to remove the child if for any reason the parent(s) and child pass through their jurisdiction. Those bigoted, racist states don’t care what damage they inflict on the children they “rescue”, they just feel they are morally doing their duty by removing the child from such horrible influences. It should only matter what is truly in the best interest of the child and no matter what your religious or other beliefs are; a loving, caring nurturing environment is always the best for a child.

I would have given my life to have just one parent who would have fought for me for any reason at all. I would have given my life just to have one parent who loved and cared for me enough to stop the physically and mentally abuse me and my siblings suffered daily. This was long before they knew I was gay and when they found out about my homosexuality at the age of fifteen years old, they ostracized me. Just to refute any arguments that I stand in a small crowd of abused children; No, the multitude I stand in is heavy with adults who had abusive parents. That is why you see more and more abuse of children by parents who don’t know how to be good to their kids because they were never given good examples during their childhood. Coming from a home with a mom and a dad doesn’t guarantee anything and I would have given everything just to have one good parent who loved me as both parents do for the twenty families I was able to speak with.

Edward, please reconsider your arguments and this time base them more on what is truly right for the children. One or two active parents in a child’s life can eliminate or minimize the abuse one child suffers at the hands and mouths of others. If that is the worst thing a kid endures, it is not that bad, but love – coming from a truly loving and open home; now that would be worth anything for any child to experience. I won’t matter if the parents are gay or straight, all that should matter is there love and support in the home.

I hope I you might reconsider your stance after reading my response to you and more importantly I hope I am able to open your mind to even the slightest sliver of homophobia you might hold in your heart. It is easy to hate and to give in to hate; but I see within you the ability to truly love and that will eliminate hate each and every time. Thank you for allowing me to comment and I hope you fine peace and love filling your heart.

Your humble servant – Todd M. Dobson

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