Thursday, October 22, 2009
There are so many offensive falsehoods in Washington State Senator Val Steven’s recently published plea for donations to the Reject R-71 campaign, I don’t know where to begin. The term “depraved lifestyle” certainly stands out right off the bat, but as I read down the page I realize that this immediate assault is merely a case of ignorant name-calling… and you know what they say about sticks and stones. What’s truly troubling in this “important message” to the homophobic base is the insinuation that wanting “full-scale acceptance” or "normalizing homosexuality” are somehow perverse goals which will lead our society down a path of destruction. (If I hear one more person allude to the decline of Scandinavian society due to their acceptance of homosexuality, I’m going to barf up my lutefisk.
Though there seems to be a lot of pointing to nameless studies and un-cited claims coming from the anti-gay contingent, I have yet to see one shred of proof that gay families are ruining societies anywhere. In trying to illustrate the devastating impact of legalizing gay marriage Stevens’ writes this:
“The sociological effects of fatherless homes are clear from every study...”
What’s clear to me is that a “fatherless” home is not the same thing as a family with two parents of the same gender (nor a "motherless" one for that matter). Pediatrician Dan Summers recently spoke about this in his testimony to the Maine legislature in support of marriage equality.
“It is scientifically untenable to use studies about the effects on children of divorce or being raised in a one-parent household to draw conclusions about children raised in two-parent households where the parents are of the same gender.”
I am not aware of a single study which supports the theory that children are harmed as a result of being raised by gay or lesbian parents, and apparently neither is the Iowa Supreme Court. The court threw out evidence that made this claim because it lacked scientific merit.
Speaking of lacking merit, one of the most ridiculous points the Senator attempts to make (I’ve been in a constant struggle with myself over which claim truly takes the absurdity prize) is that speaking against homosexuality will soon be against the law. I would like to remind Senator Stevens that we have this little thing in the United States called the First Amendment, which allows her to spew as much uninformed, ludicrous, hate speech as she can conjure up. But that doesn’t mean that we have to take it sitting down.
Stevens is right. We are in a battle: Equality is under attack, and as patriots of this great nation it is our duty to defend it. So get out there and vote, and make your neighbors, friends, family, coworkers, baristas, and fellow transit riders do it too. Approve Referendum 71, and bring us one step closer to a state where equality is a reality.
p.s. Does Val Stevens represent your district? Email her and let her know that you don’t appreciate her hateful, false rhetoric, and that you would like her to stand with you in support of equal rights for ALL Washington citizens.