Thursday, August 05, 2010

Hope for the future

Today I'm going to talk politics, which I don't usually do, because this isn't that kind of blog. I don't know exactly what kind of blog this is, but it isn't a political one. Also, if you're going to leave a hateful comment or send me an e-mail telling me I'm going to hell, don't bother. You're not going to change my mind, and I don't believe in hell, anyway. I'm open to polite discussion, though.

This morning I was listening to NPR while driving the girls to the bus for camp. Of course, the lead story was about the overturning of Prop 8 in California. This led to an interesting and encouraging discussion with Ella about the issue. Lily didn't say much, but I could tell she was listening intently.

Me: Do you understand what the news is about?
Ella: Yes. It's about whether two girls or two boys can get married to each other, like Aunt P and Aunt S (B's aunt and her partner).
Me: Right. The law right now says that only a boy and girl can marry each other, not two girls or two boys.
Ella: Why can't two girls or two boys marry each other?
Me: That's a good question. Some people think that it's wrong. Some people say that it shouldn't be allowed because of the bible.
Ella: What do you think?
Me: I think that two people, boy-girl, girl-girl, boy-boy, if they love each other and aren't married to anyone else already should be allowed to get married.
Ella: And they can't be brothers or sisters.
Me: Right, they can't be related.
Ella: So Aunt P and Aunt S should be able to get married if they want to?
Me: Yes, if they want to.
Ella: The only problem I see is that if too many boys get married to boys or too many girls get married to girls, there won't be as many babies born. But I don't think that's going to be a big problem.
Me: No, probably not. There are lots more straight people than gay people.
Ella: What do you mean "straight"?
Me: Well, when a boy likes girls and a girl likes boys, that's called being straight. When a boy likes boys, that's called being gay. There are some people who think that gay people choose to be gay and that they should just choose not to be. But scientists who study the brain say that whether you like boys or girls is part of how your brain works.
Ella: Gay also means really, really happy. Like SpongeBob.
Me (trying not to laugh): Yes, SpongeBob is totally gay.

The discussion ended there, but I was pleased with how it went. I answered her questions as she asked them and put things in terms she could understand. My hope is that my kids' generation will grow up believing that of course any two adults can get married if they want to.

At the very least, Ella and Lily are off to a good start.

Finally, I would love for just one person to be able to explain to me how allowing two consenting adults to love, honor and cherish each other has any affect on the sanctity of my marriage in any shape or form. I have yet to have anyone give me a good answer other than, "the bible says . . ." So really, if you can explain it, I'd love to hear it.


Unknown said...

That was an AWESOME conversation! I had an old highschool friend who is conservative Christian write to me last night and ask why the news about Prop 8 made me happy. I have not heard back from her but I am interested in her response.

ckh said...

Spongebob is totally gay!

You cracked me up! I can't answer your question about "why not?" because pretty much everyone that I know is in favor of equal treatment for all. I might be close-minded, but I have a hard time believing that there is a good excuse not to treat people the same.

Seamus O'Pine said...

HOK, it's so nice to have allies like you in the world. I have posed that same question to many, many people, but no one can give me an answer.

If it's a religious argument, it has no place in policy. The constitution (the one conservative so often point to as infallible) provides for a separation of church and state. In fact, that's THE PRIMARY foundation for the US. Our Founding Fathers were escaping religious tyranny, looking for the right to practice their beliefs outside of govt approval or regulation. Can't have it both ways, people.

If it's a "denigration of marriage" argument, excuse me? The divorce rate for heterosexuals hovers at 50%. So far, I think there has been only one gay divorce (lots of messy breakups and drama, but only one divorce) in the five states that allow marriage.

I find all the arguments AGAINST to be specious. It all rings far to familiar to those who fought for interracial marriage equality in the middle of the last century. (I also find it HIGHLY ironic that the African American population is so opposed to this equality.)

Lastly, there is the argument that children are best off in a nuclear family with one mommy and one daddy. Yeah. Cause that happens a LOT.

So, if we're not going to allow gay marriage, then let's outlaw divorce, force abortions on any unmarried women who get pregnant, and outlaw adoption. Because really, those all sort of solve the same problem.

Love you H!

Seamus O'Pine said...

OH! And SpongeBob IS totally gay!

Jungle Pete said...

This is my favorite thing of the day. Good for you for having that conversation when most parents would flee from it. Clearly you have raised a thoughtful child.

joanna said...

Hope indeed! What a great conversation. It's come up a couple times with Sam while watching the news, but since it deals with icky things like love and marriage he really doesn't have much of an interest to dig further.

Dee at Pedestrian Palate said...

You handled that conversation quite elegantly. Well done.

Unknown said...

this is a very god analysis of the prop 8 decision from a legal/civil rights perspective:

Baino said...

Well fielded there! Love O'Pine's response and couldn't agree more. Gay and Lesbian couples here can adopt, foster but not marry. They have all the rights of married/deFacto relationships but still can't have that one 'ceremony' that binds them, so stupid. Separation of Church and State? Totally. We get so wound up about rights to bare arms and first amendments when other parts of the constitution are absolutely ignored. Great post Heather, great. And your kids will grow up not only knowing people in a gay relationship but understanding the importance of equality. Good on you.

Liz @ ewmcguire said...

Perfect! That SpongeBob--he's not fooling anyone!

Susan said...

When my kids were little this wasn't even on the radar, but they asked about two men holding hands. I said that I did't see anything wrong with people loving each other. I didn't care if they were two boys or two girls or a boy and a girl. Love was always a good thing. That seemed to satisfy them then and now.

shrink on the couch said...

I like the way you think and talk to your kids. I've never heard a rational (non-Bible) reason, either, but, I have read that it's questionable whether even the original meaning of the Leviticus verse actually demonizes gay (has to do with the literal meaning IN THE DAY of abomination).

You might get a kick out of an older post of mine on this topic:

Alexandra said...

Makes you wonder how adult opinions are formed, if we are so innocently loving of all in our youth...what happens to people?

Jen said...

Spongebob and Patrick are going to hell. :(

I totally agree with you on this issue so my comment is mostly unrelated...

I found your blog via a comment on "The More, The Messier" about hellacious behavior from preteen girls. (It was an old comment.) Now I'm blog-stalking you because my daughter is insane and I'm hoping to pick up some tips from you, since you seem to have two girls in the pre-teen age group.

So, hi!

Joan said...

A perfect conversation! Congratulations.