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Let the Parenting Tests Commence

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by Brian Leubitz

Rick has been pointing out what a farce the cross-examination of Plaintiff’s Expert Michael Lamb has become. I think we really get to the heart of the matter here:

Prop. 8: Many differences in our society between men and women. Men go to prison, alcoholics, violent. Women live longer than men. Death of parent traumatic event for child. Men and women get diseases at different rates. Intelligence of parents can have a psych effect on well being of children.

L: All above yes except last. Not sure that better educated people are always better parents. You could make the case that people who have extremely low levels of intelligence could affect well being of children.

Prop. 8 is trying to say that if you have single sex parents you will end up with a collection of seriously bad people as parents. More men are like Homer Simpson than not?

L: I cannot say that. Some worse.

Prop. 8: did not know any could be worse. Men can’t breast feed and breast feeding is important. Economics matter. Women earn less than men. Lesbians have higher or lower income level than hetero? There are differences between earning power of gay m en and lesbians?

Oh, all the crazy to unravel here. Rather than focusing on the legal vs. scientific aspects of this argument, which Paul has done so well, I wanted to look at where the logic of this argument takes us and what the potential policy impact would be.

I’ll just draw up some of the possible problems that the defense brings up with same sex parents:

  1. Income Differences: lesbians could have lower incomes as women generally earn less than men.
  2. Women live longer: children of gay men might lose their parents younger.
  3. Men go to prison at a higher rate: children of gay men would be statistically more likely to have both parents imprisoned.
  4. Men cannot breastfeed: children of gay men would be forced to use formula.

Now, of course all of these could apply to a straight couple and/or a single parent. First, let’s take the income disparity between an opposite sex marriage and a same sex marriage. Prop 8 doesn’t see fit to discriminate against poor parents. If the people behind prop 8 were truly concerned that children wouldn’t have enough resources, there are much more targeted ways to get at that. Perhaps increasing resources to the federal Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF) program would be a start, but I’ve not seen Maggie Gallagher or Andy Pugno lobbying for that recently.

To the second point, that women live longer. That is true, but entirely speculative for individual cases. And, unfortunately, death of loved ones is a part of every life. I must have missed the day that we made life expectancy a requirement for parenthood. On the prison time/alcoholism point, I would argue that because gay men must go through so much to adopt a child, they are far less likely to go to prison. They must go through adoption screenings and meet with social workers. That is not required of other parents. Finally, the Prop 8 campaign is absolutely correct that men cannot breastfeed, but that is also the case for many women. Yet for years, we have both allowed those women to have children and have yet to ban the sale of formula.

In general, what these questions were really going towards, where the logic takes you is a parenting test. Are you healthy? Are you wealthy? Are you intelligent? Have you ever been arrested? The test could be quite long if you really wanted to extend it out to all of the issues they accuse sex-sex parents of lacking. The idea of such a test is farcical on its face. It would never be allowed in America. Yet, we could all agree that such a test would be far more narrowly tailored to the goals that the Prop 8 campaign claims to be addressing than a marriage ban for same-sex couples.

The fact is that the Prop 8 campaign was never really about the parenting of children, after all that would have led them to an adoption ban. When you really parse the arguments from the Prop 8 campaign, you are left with a tattered shreds of crazy.

73 Comments

  • 1. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Mixed-sex parents = bad, because men married to women drink and gamble too much.
    Two male parents = bad, because men are more likely to be molesters
    Two female parents = bad, because lesbians don't make as much money.

    Oh, I get it! Prop 8 is just trying to form an alliance with these guys!

  • 2. manda  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:21 am

    As to no. 4, there are now "breast milk banks" . Parents who want to give their kids all the nutrients and the potential future benefits but can't for various reasons (gay, adoptive, health issues, maternal death, etc) can buy what they need frozen, then store it briefly and warm up as needed. And don't tell me no one on the Prop 8 side has never heard of a wet nurse.

  • 3. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Well they haven't heard of a lot of stuff when you think about it. Facts, Science, Reality, Truth, Justice are just some of the many examples missing from their comprehension.

  • 4. ZackFord  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:14 am

    But wait! How can I be sure that the reason I'm gay isn't because I was adopted at birth???

    Oh, right, because that's stupid.

  • 5. Michael Herman  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Someone should go to orphanages and ask children about being adopted by same-sex couples. That information could prove endlessly useful in the fight to end the stigma of gay couples with children.

  • 6. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I feel like all these statistics do is imply that gay couples are BETTER parents than straight couples. Thompson is pulling out all the stops to highlight the problems with having two of one gender, but he's drawing from statistics that apply to the entire US population, of which gay people make up a relatively small fraction. It's like using the national murder rate to prove that West Bumblef***, Missouri is just as unsafe as NYC. Glaring example of how information without context useless.

    Claiming that two gay guys are more likely to abuse their kids because guys in general are more likely to abuse their kids ignores the fact that it takes gay couples a lot more effort to even have a kid. Claiming that a family headed by lesbians would be poorer because women earn less ignores the fact that the women-earning-less situation also includes the vast number of single, straight, uneducated mothers working in McDonalds. Once again, a lesbian couple that is dedicated and capable enough to go through the hurdles of adopting a child is probably also earning more than the average American woman.

    A more convincing argument for Prop 8 would be the "X percent of gay couples abuse their kids" argument. Unless I'm missing something, they haven't actually made that statement, and I am assuming it's because they can't.

    But hey, I guess there's more shock value to waving around statistics of abused children than actually making those stats *mean* something…

  • 7. george  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:41 am

    "the Prop 8 campaign was never really about the parenting of children, after all that would have led them to an adoption ban"

    No, the Prop 8 campaing was about giving all children the right and opportunity to know and be raised by their real moms and dads in the biological family unit that is the cornerstone of our society.

    Adoption is ok, but only as a last resort to an orphanage, not with ivf and other unnatural birth methods that deprive kids of their parents.

  • 8. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:41 am

    and since gays can have children just as well when they are not married it's no use to argue that children in ss-marriages would do worse. we heard that children with married parents do better so considereing that there are children in ss-relationships we would only make their lifes better by allowing their parents to marry, wouldn't we?

    the only argument I could come up with would be totally laughable:
    "marriage is to produce children or at least many want to marry before getting children. so If we allow ss-marriages more children would be raised in ss-marriages and this would have a lot of adverse effects as shown above"….

    seems logical but is laughable :D

  • 9. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I would venture to guess that same sex couples ARE better parents because they actually WANT the children, as opposed to heterosexual couples that have 'accidents'.

    Aren't we taught from childhood that if we work for something (going through adoption process, etc) that we generally appreciate it more than if it is just given (heterosexual pregnancy) to us?

    Not to say that heterosexual couples don't want or love their children but I have yet to read a case of child abuse (or murder) involving a gay couple.

    And until recently the woman in NJ that renounced her lesbianism and ran off with the couple's child, you generally don't get amber alerts warning of a gay person that has kidnapped a child. The titleholder for that is generally held by heterosexuals.

  • 10. Phill  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I've been floored all day, following the tweets about what is being said in court by the Yes on 8 side. I'm almost glad cameras weren't allowed because I think I would have lost hope in all of mankind (and especially our education system) having to hear these people actually say all this.

  • 11. bbock  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:46 am

    So… if wealth were an indicator of being good parents, and women earn less, their contention is that two women are inferior parents to a man and a woman? So by that logic, two men would earn more than a man and a woman and should be superior parents. I don't think this helps their case.

  • 12. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Right, they can't make that argument, and as you surmise the data actual points very slightly in the opposite direction. That's probably most likely due to self-selection, I would imagine (i.e. same-sex couples who overcome a negative social climate and other obstacles to raise children tend to be more dedicated than the average person).

    In any case, the takeaway is that there is clearly not enough of a difference to make a compelling case for denying rights. Unfortunately, it is likely the defense will only be held to the "rational" test, which in US court-speak is a very weak test, that they might very well satisfy.

  • 13. terise  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Gotta tell that this line is bothering me!!! I am hetro and have adopted twins. My hubby and I were together for ten years and the only reason we got "married" was because Catholic Social Services would not let us adopt otherwise.

    We didn't marry to procreate – we married to have a family!!! And to insinuate that my girls are lacking an attachment to because I was not able to breastfeed them is ridiculous!!!! We have contact with the birth family (birth mom and her father) but there is no doubt that my girls know who their parents are and it has nothing to do with biology or breastfeeding!!!

    Sorry…sore spot with me…just venting.

    Thanks for all your good work live blogging this trial.

  • 14. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:47 am

    depends on whether you were adopted by one of those recruiting Vampire-Gays… :D

  • 15. george  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I feel like my kids ARE me and I am them, so it's not even a question of whether they are wanted; it's like asking whether I want my arm or my leg. Even when that arm or leg is created by accident. That, to me, is a big difference between my kids and any kids that I might adopt.

  • 16. george  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:57 am

    The murders you speak of are usually when the mother brings in a boyfriend; the real fathers don't kill their kids.

  • 17. george  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Hey James –

    You've mentioned the rational test before; someone else mentioned strict scrutiny (I know there's another standard in the middle somewhere) if it's determined that homosexuals are a protected class. What makes you think the rational relationship standard will apply?

  • 18. lesbianmother  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:03 am

    This is ludicrous! I am a woman raising 5 kids with another woman. Ages ranging from 5-12. We were obviously both in hetro-relationships prior, because we thought that’s what we were supposed to do… That didn't work for us. Our kids couldn't be more happy, smart, outgoing, and involved. They know we are gay, and so do many adults around us. IT’S OK for kids to be raised by same sex couples. We have been together since the 5 year old was 3 months old. We are both her mommies. The preschool even sent her X-Mas gift she made for us this year labeled, “To My Mommies.” Her father (who is the same as 3 of the other children) wanted nothing to do with a 3 month old baby when I left him (for my girlfriend), so he did not see her until she was 2 years old. “YAY” for hetro fathers. As for can we financially support them… I am the head of a 911 center and she is a Paramedic. I think lesbians can support a family just fine!

  • 19. george  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Nice. You left your husband and deprived your children of their father. Sounds pretty selfish to me. That's a shame for your kids; how would you know that they couldn't be happier, since you deprived them of their dad? I know people who weren't crazy about their dad, but would never have traded him in for a second woman.

  • 20. Christine  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Conveniently ignored in the "women make less money so lesbians make bad parents" argument is that the expenses of adoption, in vitro, insemination, etc. are astronomical. Women who have the money to have a baby on their own are going to be able to provide adequately for that baby. Duh.

  • 21. lesbianmother  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I never said I took the children away from their father. He has every other weekend visitation that he lacks to fulfill most of the time. He also has an open invitation to come to every school and sporting event. He makes his own decision to not participate more in their lives. I even invited him to the 5 year olds birthday last month. I am HAVE NOT been selfish by depriving them of their father at all.

  • 22. yeyeo  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Oh Georgie, Georgie, George. I am the mother of a child with special needs. I am also gay and have a long term partner. How we got pregnant is none of your damned business. But our son is here and beautiful and functioning in the top 5% of kids with his diagnosis. Wake up. Not every family looks like yours. Would you, if given the chance, have him taken away?

  • 23. yeyeo  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Well, that speaks to you limitations. Why wouldn't you give an arm for an adopted child? How do you know? Have you adopted a child? Get off your sanctimonious high horse. Are you insinuating that the quality of your love for your children is higher than mine for my son? How dare you!

    This is typical of your sides arguments. Speculative, biased nonsense. The facts are that these children exist and we love them with all our hearts. You can not turn back the clock and make them vanish.

    Why is it so important for you to make yourself right and us wrong?

  • 24. heyGEORGE  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Stop being so mean. If YOU were such a good person you wouldn't be so negative towards other peoples happiness….

  • 25. yeyeo  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

    You haven't studied your history. Haven't you ever heard of Agememnon?

  • 26. yeyeo  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I agree. My mother used to say, "If you see someone doing something bad to someone else, don't ever think they won't do it to you." I worry about George's judgmental attitudes being directed towards anyone in his family that may ever disagree with him.

    PS Georgie – your a real bastard for attacking lesbian mother's choices. My guess is that you are a real bastard across the board.

  • 27. yeyeo  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:48 am

    "I know people who weren’t crazy about their dad, but would never have traded him in for a second woman."
    You do? So you know people that hated their dad, then their mom's hooked up with another woman, and the kids said that they preferred the dad. YOU KNOW THESE PEOPLE? REALLY? I would love to see your study of them, George.

  • 28. lesbianmother  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Thank you… I'm trying to be nice, but all I am getting out of George is his bigotry.

  • 29. fiona64  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Because, of course, growing up in an orphanage and "aging out" without ever being adopted is such healthy thing for a child. @@

    (Those are my eyes, rolling like dice …)

  • 30. fiona64  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Well, George, I recommend that you not adopt if you are unable to provide a loving home for a child in need thereof.

  • 31. fiona64  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

    George opined: the real fathers don’t kill their kids.

    Really? More than 20 million hits on the Google search string "father murdering children."
    http://www.google.com/search?q=father+murdering+c

    Enjoy.

  • 32. fiona64  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  • 33. Aconite  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Does anyone else have a problem with the "my children ARE me" attitude? Like, lack of healthy boundaries there, man.

    Your children are not you. They are separate, individual people who are invariably going to be different than you in significant ways. Believing that your kids are actually part of you and not wonderful people all their own is the kind of sick attitude held by guys who decide that they're going to commit suicide by shooting their kids and wives before offing themselves. 'Cause, y'know, their kids ARE them.

  • 34. lesbianmother  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    George if your children are you.. If one of them turns out to be gay, would that make you gay? Would you still love them as you do now, or would you chop off your arm? (disown them)

  • 35. Abby  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    The Prop 8 attorney was wrong about one crucial fact in his cross-examination. Although it's not common, it is not particularly difficulty for men to breastfeed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_lactation.

  • 36. george  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I'd have him living with whomever his biological parents are from the get go. I don't believe children should be produced from strangers for the selfish wants of others.

  • 37. Jason  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Gay couples have to really want a child in order to realize that dream. Gay people who are selfish and not interested in having children would not go through all the effort to become a parent. Many children are born to hetero people and they are neglected and abused because the parents were not ready to have kids nor did they really want kids. Has the platiffs' side brought up this point?

    It seems so much of this trial so far has been about kids and parents, what about the fact that many married couples (gay or straight) will not have kids? Isn't all this talk about parenting more about adoption by gay people than about including them in marriage?

  • 38. Jason  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Ok, so then you should be posting in a forum about banning ivf and surrogacy, this is about marriage. Marriage does not require children and having children does not require marriage.

  • 39. Jason  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Yes, good point. It seems all of their bantering in court today was not really helpful. It's like they just wanted to waste a lot of time.

  • 40. Jason  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I'm sure your child is far better off than many children being raised by their bio parent(s). Fairly recently, I've seen the wonderful gift of adoption. One of my brothers is dating a woman who adopted a child. I'm no expert, but from what I've seen her son is well adjusted, smart, and kind. I'm sure he is better off with her than he would be in an orphanage.

  • 41. yeyeo  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:48 am

    George, for your information he is living with his biological mother, and that would be my partner, idiot. The donor has no desire to raise him. Those are the facts. So, you ARE saying, that if it were up to you, you would have our son removed?

  • 42. Jason  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:55 am

    One thing I found interesting is the defense has mentioned that President Obama is against ssm. Ok, that's what he says now. Since President Clinton has come around and can now say he supports ssm, I'm sure Pres. Obama will as well. He's from a younger generation which generally supports marriage inclusion. Of course that doesn't do much for us now.

    Maybe more importantly, Pres. Obama was raised by a single mom and yet became our President. Doesn't that give at least some weight to successful children w/o an involved male parent?

  • 43. Frijondi  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:01 am

    George, if either of my parents had turned out to be gay, I would have wished them all happiness with a same-sex partner. I certainly would not have wanted to live in a family unit that was founded on a lie.

  • 44. Jason  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Yes, George is a troll. The good thing about trolls is that we should use them to sharpen our argument for marriage equality. If we are strong and right, adversity will eventually bring us to equality. We will not continue to suffer without ever stronger protest.

  • 45. Gayle Madwin  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I'm pretty sure the part about drinking and gambling was mistranscribed here. The Firedoglake liveblogger transcribed it to indicate that men married to women do not drink and gamble as much as unmarried men do.

  • 46. Brian  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    That's a load of crap. I've personally known two women who were killed by their fathers. One father was a drunk and killed her for absolutely no reason that can be identified, and the other killed his daughter because she ran off with her boyfriend after graduating.

    Tell us again how 'real fathers' don't kill their kids, please.

  • 47. george  |  January 16, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Oh, lookey, an angry gay person resorting to name calling; now we understand the concern of defendants' witnesses, don't we?

    As far as you son goes, what's done is done. It's a shame that he will never have the love of a father and that this was an intentional act on both your part and the father's.

  • 48. Brian Leubitz  |  January 16, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Must be nice to live in your world, but in the real world, of child protective services, and children being abused and unloved, things are different.

    Break out of your bubble and look around at what is really going on in the world. It's not the gays that are creating these problems.

  • 49. Terri  |  January 16, 2010 at 2:42 am

    "Oh, lookey, an angry gay person resorting to name calling; now we understand the concern of defendants’ witnesses, don’t we?"

    George you aren't being serious – right? She used the word idiot correctly:

    an idiot, dolt, or dullard is a mentally deficient person, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way.

  • 50. george  |  January 16, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I'm not a troll in the sense that I'm here to merely be disruptive. I'm here making the arguments that your opposition is making. It's good for everyone to know both sides; if I didn't want to hear both sides, I'd be on some conservative live blogging site.

    If there's no discussion from different sides, all you're doing is stroking each other, which is fine, but then, you'll all be scratching you heads wondering why the court held as it did and claiming "unfair trial," and all that hooey. So, hate me all you want; but you should respect my argument, because it's not just my own.

  • 51. george  |  January 16, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Well, knowing that there is an environmental cause to homosexuality, I'm fairly certain that my kids won't be gay; but I'm fighting against a public school system that thinks they should be given the choice to be gay if that's what they want. I'm already encouraging them that if they want kids, they should get married to an opposite sex partner.

  • 52. george  |  January 16, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Check their genes; they are mine and my wife's. They are us; they have our blood, and they have scores of blood relatives who are also a part of them. And what an incredible bond it forms between all of us.

    One day this country is going to look back ands say, "What the hell were we thinking, creating an environment where we allowed kids to be produced for the selfish desires of others at the sacrifice of the kids' right to know and be raised by their parents? How did we let our empathy overcome our common sense?"

  • 53. george  |  January 16, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Obama is my age.

    I wonder what he would say about whether or not he would have preferred to have been raised by his father as well as his mother?
    I think he's probably saddened by the fact they he never had his father's tutelage growing up, and to some extent, he spends lots of time with his daughters so that they do no have that same sense of sadness and wonder.

    I think Obama shows that kids can become exceptional members of society nothwithstanding the absence of a father, but that doesn't mean we should then dispense with the need for fathers. And perhaps he's be a more decisive, realist president if he had that male influence in his life. Yes, perhaps he would be even better if he had his father growing up.

  • 54. becca  |  January 16, 2010 at 8:08 am

    (imagine me sputtering with rage here) I concur: so much that's said against gay parenting could be applied to anti-adoption efforts, too. I'm a straight woman, happily married, with two adopted kids (hey, IVF doesn't work for everybody – and thanks with the "unnatural birth methods" crack!) who are about as well-adjusted as teenagers can be. I support same-sex marriage.

    George, you just don't know what you're talking about.

  • 55. yeyeo  |  January 16, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Oh, now you're a geneticist and an expert on why people are gay? You have been so wrong about so many things, Georgie. Biological fathers have indeed murdered their children. There is absolutely no proof that sexual orientation is produced by environmental causes. (I have 3 hetero siblings and we all grew up in the same circumstances) And there is no evidence that hetero couples are better at raising children than gay ones. It's one thing to debate, but it no longer becomes a debate if one of the sides is talking unfounded nonsense. There is absolutely no evidence to support your argument. Yes, yes, I get it, you love your kids. That's great. But the difference between you and me is that I would never want to interfere with your, or your children's, pursuit of happiness.

    But, I see, that trying to reason with you is like trying to reason with an insane person. You seem to be addicted to your world view, you must be right, no matter what it does to other people.

    You should home school your kids. Then you can teach them whatever you want, no matter how unfounded. In the public schools, they are supposed to teach kids about current events. I suppose you would just want to wish that away.

    And now you are wildly theorizing about Obama. Are you a sociologist? Are you a Psychologist? I would be very interested to know what field your training is in, if you have any.

    We are not going away. Ever.

    As Oscar Wilde said, "There is not good or bad. There is only charming and tedious."

    You, my dear, have become tedious.

  • 56. Patrick  |  January 16, 2010 at 8:30 am

    My partner and I have 3 children. Of first son is adopted. He came about because 2 straight people were irresponsible in their actions. He was adopted into a loving home where he is thriving.

    Our other sons are twins who were borne out of love in our relationship. They are genetically related to each of us (and no, not through a 3rd party like a sister or something donating an egg). They are also thriving. Prop H8 and similar laws thoughout the majority of this country keep our sons from having the legal protections marriage affords to most families.

    George, I hope your ilk will one day recognise the error of your ways. Either that, or walk around with the white robes and dunce cap you clearly deserve so the rest of us can more easily recognise you.

  • 57. george  |  January 16, 2010 at 9:02 am

    yeyeo –

    Read the identical twins studies; same genes, yet they're sexuality differs with their environments. Despite efforts by gay advocates, no doubt, there is no gene that has been discovered that is responsible for homosexuality, so it's possible that it's all environmentally caused.

    Given that 98% of society is heterosexual, I guess it's not surprising that there would be some fathers killing their children, though I wonder how many of those are married to the mother….

    No one's saying heteros are better at bringing up kids; what's being said is that children should have the right to know and be raised by the mommies and daddies.

    As for Obama, I know his biography is titled, "Dreams of my Father," and I know he has spoken out on the importance of fathers taking responsibility for their children. Don't have to be a sociologist or psychologist to have a good idea on what he thinks.

  • 58. Terri  |  January 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Obama did not say he was against SSM, he said he was against the involvement of the Federal Government in regards to SSM. He said he thought that it should be handled on a state by state basis. This is typically how things are handled – state by state. He did not go into what his personal feelings on SSM were.

  • 59. Terri  |  January 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Hey George – ever hear the story of Abraham and Isaac?

    "When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
    10Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. (Gen. 22:9-10)"

    I know that it is technically attempted murder which you might call a test and/or a sacrifice. I see it as something entirely different and still wonder at a god that would ask such a thing. Guess some fathers would kill their children.

  • 60. Kaylis  |  January 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I am a parent of two boys with disabilities, one extensive and one less-so, and also in a long-term female-female relationship. The boys are both with their biological mother and both have had close relationships with their biological fathers (the older one does not anymore because his father has died). Where are they losing out? Not only do they have two mothers who are devoted to them, but they also have a devoted father (the second's father has chosen to replace the deceased as a father-figure for the elder).

    And, yes, we are parents who have even chosen to have a child with disabilities after getting the diagnosis in utero. The majority (over 80%) of heterosexual couples abort a child when told the child will have Down syndrome. How is that pro-child?

  • 61. Kaylis  |  January 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Oh, so your kids are only a part of you because some of your chromosomes are the same? Coming from that perspective even adoptions should be out because those poor kids would always be second-class.

  • 62. Kaylis  |  January 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Let's insert a bit of history here… Just for fun… There were actually people in the 1930's who believed, as you seem to, that a legal marriage isn't necessary. Often they had to go through with it too. I know because my grandparents were some of them. They didn't have a legal marriage until they had been together for years and had two kids! The only reason for the legal document was that my grandmother couldn't get a job teaching in NY without being married. Imagine, the school district's concern was that unmarried women would run off to get married!

  • 63. Kaylis  |  January 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Ah. How many of these blood relatives are internally miserable because they know something's missing in their lives and they don't know how to find it?

    Depending on which studies you look at, 5-15% of ALL populations through history were homosexual and a larger number were bisexual. Homosexuality and bisexuality are NOT caused by environment. They happen all through the animal kingdom, in the natural environments of the animals.

  • 64. Kaylis  |  January 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Also women can breastfeed adopted babies.

  • 65. Kaylis  |  January 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    George, so where are these twin studies? What are your sources?

    Also, you cite that 98% of the population is heterosexual. That doesn't even allow for the statistical incidence of homosexuality, much less those of us who are bisexual and happen to have fallen in love with a same-sex person. I am definitely not heterosexual (nor am I homosexual).

  • 66. Kaylis & Clover  |  January 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Let's see. It's been only in the past 100 years or so that children have had any legal rights at all in this country (think child labor laws). It's been in our lifetimes that adopted adults had a right to any information at all on their biological parents. For centuries children were considered possessions of the adults around them (be they parents, owners, employers or whatever) and they had NO RIGHTS whatsoever. George is creating and expanding rights for children in order to prevent the creation/expansion of rights for same sex couples.

  • 67. george  |  January 17, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Santtila, P., Sandnabba, N.K., Harlaar, N., Varjonen, M., Alanko, K., & von der Pahlen, B. (2008). Potential for homosexual response is prevalent and genetic. Biological Psychology, 77(1), 102-105.

    And don't be fooled by the title. Read it. The study at best shows some genetic cause (not the 100% that its title might imply), and arguably supports 0% genetic cause.

  • 68. yeyeo  |  January 17, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Just wanted to share this with you George.

    by Dr. Barry Starr, Stanford University

    ShareThis
    Is homosexuality an inborn, unchangeable part of us or can people actually "convert"? I think it is just the way I am but my classmates and some family members think otherwise. How can I convince them that this really is the way I am supposed to be?

    -A high school student from California

    December 22, 2008

    First off, almost all of the data shows that being gay is not a choice. Most people discover they are gay rather than choosing it. As such, it is very difficult to "convert" to heterosexuality. It requires going against who you are.

    I have seen no reliable data on the conversion of homosexuals. Or on how well it works, how happy the recently "converted" are, how long they stay "converted", or any other statistics. There is some anecdotal data—things like it worked for me, it can work for you. But nothing that would make it into a scientific journal.

    Because of this, I can't evaluate the therapy scientifically. But even proponents say the success rate is pretty low—it doesn't work that often.

    One reason why conversion might be so difficult is that the brains of gays may be different from their straight counterparts. For example, a couple of studies have been done that show that the brains of gay people are different than those of straight people. And that gay people respond to pheromones differently than straight people.

    This isn't surprising, sexual attraction resides in the brain. But where do these changes come from? Are they destined by genes, is it something in the environment or a combination of the two?

    The best evidence points to the environment and genes both playing a role.

    To try to sort out environment and genes, scientists often do a twin study. In a twin study, identical twins are compared to fraternal twins. If something happens more often in identical twins, then that something is influenced by genes.

    How does a twin study show something runs in a family? Remember, identical twins have exactly the same genes. Fraternal twins share only as many genes as any brother or sister.

    Because twins are born at the same time, the environment is as same as possible for them. So if something happens more often in identical than in fraternal twins, then it is most likely because they share the same genes.

    A number of studies have looked at homosexuality in twins, all with similar results. For example, in one study, if one identical twin was gay, the other was also gay 50% of the time. If they were fraternal twins, they were both gay 22% of the time. And if one was adopted, the chances fell to 11%.

    Now these numbers are from one study. Other studies have different percentages but the same trend—identical twins are more likely to both be gay as compared to fraternal twins.

    This strongly suggests that there is a genetic component—there is something in their genes that makes them more likely to be gay. Genetics, though, isn't everything.

    If it were, then identical twins would both be gay 100% of the time. And this clearly isn't the case.

    And if it were all environment, then identical twins would both be gay as often as fraternal twins. Again, this isn't the situation.

    So the interplay of environment and genes probably results in homosexuality. By environment, I don't just mean how someone is raised (although that is sometimes part of it). I mean the effect the environment can have on how the brain is hardwired very early on.

    In the womb, things happen that can affect how we develop. A surge of hormones here, a viral infection there, and we are not the same as we would be without these environmental factors.

    Handedness is an example of this. Some people have genes that make them more likely to be left-handed. Not all of these folks end up lefties, though.

    Something else has to happen while they are developing. Scientists haven't pinpointed what this something is but it is the combination of genes and environment that makes someone left-handed.

    Maybe something similar happens with gay people. And since the brain continues to develop after we're born, the environment can affect how our brain develops even after we are born.

    The key here, though, is that this all affects how our brains are hardwired. It isn't a choice or something like that, a brain has been configured to be attracted to the same sex.

    Is there any evidence of this happening? There is some evidence that increased steroids in the womb may increase the chances that a girl will be a lesbian. Some studies show that the more older brothers you have, the more likely it is for you to be gay. Also, gay people tend to be left handed much more often.

    The animal evidence is also pretty strong that what happens in the womb can affect the eventual sexual orientation of the fetus. For example, exposure to differing amounts of testosterone or estrogen in the womb can affect whether an animal is hetero- or homosexual.

    How would genes work in all of this? What genes would do is either make the fetus more or less sensitive to these hormones or, perhaps, affect how or whether the mother reacts.

    So, for example, a surge of hormones may change one fetus' brain but not another's. Or the mother might respond to stress with more hormones causing a change whereas a different mother wouldn't release as much hormone.

    Whatever the cause, it is very unlikely that just one gene will cause someone to be gay, at least in people. But it is a different story in the fruit fly.

    As we talk about at http://www.thetech.org/genetics/news.php?id=19, a single DNA mutation can turn a straight male fruit fly into a gay one. A similar mutation in a female fly makes her more interested in the girls than the boys.

    As I said, though, it is pretty unlikely that anything so simple is happening in people. Something so complex most likely involves lots of genes.

    So there you have it. Being gay is not being mentally ill (at least according to the American Psychiatric Association). There appear to be real changes in the brain that correlate with being gay. And from the twin studies, it looks like genes play a role.

    So can you convert? There isn't any good data on this but most health professionals think that most homosexuals cannot. Whether or not you can convert is really only something you, not your family or friends, can decide.

  • 69. yeyeo  |  January 17, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Thank you, Kaylis.

  • 70. Beth Taylor  |  January 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Oh, so now it's come down to parenting tests, huh? If the Prop. 8 side made all adults who want children take parenting tests, I doubt there would be many who would pass such a test. Just watch the show "Supernanny" if you want examples of poor heterosexual parenting. Thus far, I've not seen a gay or lesbian couple needing the services of the "Supernanny". Could this be because gay and lesbian couples are some of the kindest, nicest, and most loving couples in the world? I think so!

  • 71. Aconite  |  January 18, 2010 at 5:54 am

    george said: "So, hate me all you want; but you should respect my argument, because it’s not just my own."

    Uh, no. Arguments do not win logic points simply because more than one person makes them. Opinions do not magically gather more weight from the number of people who hold them. That flaw in thinking has a name: argumentum ad populum.

    So no, you don't get respect for your argument simply because it's "not just [your] own." You earn respect for your argument by showing the merits of your argument, which so far you have not done.

    Ladies and gents, george and people like him–who are so convinced they are right they will not look at evidence that shows otherwise, and will selectively edit information until it fits their preconceived worldview–cannot be argued with, because they don't live in a world where logic means anything. The only thing that matters to them is belief, and they will simply ignore facts that contradict their belief, because they don't want to change their minds based on something so trivial as truth.

    Tearing apart bizarre, illogical arguments entirely untouched by facts is sometimes a fun way to kill time while waiting for the next updates on the trial, though.

  • 72. Dudlyne  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:56 am

    george
    it is true what you say of the studies with identical twins. in psychology, the agreement is that a person's sexuality is a product of nature and nurture. genetics and environment. your environment affects your willingness to accept certain things about yourself. When a person is raised in an environment that would cause them to hate those aspects of themselves they can result in them never accepting those aspects of themselves or as many have experienced, not accepting the truth until much older and more educated. Although, twins are genetically identical and raised in the same household, they still have differing life experiences and encounter environments that are not fully identical. Thus based on theory it is not that sexuality is based soley on environment but that it is a concept much more complicated than the black or white, either or logic that you would like applied to it. Truth unbeknownest to you in this society there are a plethora of people who are actually LGBT who are living a lie and in actuality if they were raised in an accepting and tolerant would be able to embraced. This in my opinion is the true fear of those not wanting marriage. Marriage would =overall acceptance = more children gay. Not because it catching (its not a disease) but because more would know that they can openly embrace that part of them.

    on a side note: whenever i have encounted supposed ex-gay christians, it is not they are no longer gay, its that they "choose" to ignore their true feelings and desires. If you are implying being gay is a choice, then you must recognize that the only choice in the matter is whether we want to live a lie or not.

  • 73. Jane  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:05 am

    After watching http://fora.tv/2007/03/14/Gay_Marriage_Debate (specifically part 12 Q4) I am almost convinced that “George”, who commented quite a bit on earlier posts was/is actually David Blankenhorn.

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