It's "Wordless Wednesday," but I can't be wordless about this.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the Supreme Court has heard arguments over the last two days regarding the legality of gay marriage. Yesterday's hearing was about Proposition 8 in California, while today's was focused on the Defense of Marriage Act.
I find it a little strange that, in 2013, we are still having to argue for fundamental rights in this country. In fact, I find it strange that we have human rights issues, period. We live in a nation that was founded on the separation of church and state and the belief that all men were created equal, but we don't treat each other this way. We've persecuted others for the color of their skin, their sexuality, their gender . . . counting our differences rather than taking note of how we're similar. This is what we do, as a society. We judge others who are unlike us and we determine whether those individuals are worthy of the same rights we have.
One of the central issues in the gay marriage debate turned to the relationship between procreation and marriage. (If you haven't seen it yet, check out Mel's post and this article on how infertility came up in several of yesterday's remarks.) Two men or two women raising a child together. In the harsh words of Justice Scalia:
"If you redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, you must -- you must permit adoption by same-sex couples, and there's -there's considerable disagreement among -- among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a -- in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not. Some states do not -- do not permit adoption by same-sex couples for that reason."
We have many gay and lesbian friends. However, we met two of our closest friends through our adoption social worker. They were married about a week before we were - in Canada, because they are unable to marry here. Like many couples, gay or straight, they wanted to be parents. They were lucky enough to find some amazing resources here in Florida who helped them navigate the adoption process and who brought them to their son.
Their son is 18 months old now. He is a healthy, happy little boy with TWO loving, amazing parents. They were two of our biggest cheerleaders and supporters through our adoption process. Since K was born, we've leaned on them often for parenting advice, as well.
I don't view them any differently than any other married couple with kids that we know. Except in those moments when they tell us crazy stories about people's remarks or the paperwork they needed to go through to do the basic things that most of us take for granted. Imagine trying to explain to a social security worker that you are BOTH the parents of your child. Or a hospital worker that it doesn't matter who you put down under "mother's name" or "father's name" because you just both need to be on the paperwork as PARENTS.
Both of them have great senses of humor about all of it, and we've laughed with them about some of the things they've gone through as two men parenting in a state where gay marriage isn't recognized and where adoption by gay couples isn't technically "legal." But deep down, it's not funny. I mean, we know we're equal. We share loves of sushi, beer, travel, and Disney. We get together and bitch about work or politics. We talk about poop and daycare germs and watch our kids grow together. But the government looks at their family and then looks at ours, and they say we aren't equal. So many members of our society do the same. How is that right? How is that embracing the values our nation was founded upon?
I've been thinking of them and all of our friends who identify as LGBT these last two days. I've teared up reading some of the wonderful things people have posted on social media in support of the LGBT community. And I've been trying to stay hopeful. I don't know how SCOTUS will rule on Prop 8 or on DOMA. It will be a long three months of waiting. But I know what I want them to rule. I know I want them to do right by our friends - all of them. I know I want them to honor our nation's past and set the precedent for the future.
One where we are all recognized as equal . . . not one where we just pretend we are.