Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers, etc.

I was reading the transcripts of final arguments in the anti-proposition 8 lawsuit in California, and it was an interesting read. The arguments were not new, for the most part, but the way they were stated was so much clearer and more compelling than the usual. That was what I liked about it.

There were some different arguments that I'd never heard before. In fact, the *central* argument of the defense on the heterosexual exclusivity of marriage was a spin-off of arguments I've heard about the ideal circumstances in which to raise a child. This argument was that marriage is intended to benefit society by channeling intimacy (that may lead to a child) into a committed and stable relationship that would be better for an accidental child, should that occur. Or something to that effect. Gays can't have accidental children, and if they go out of their way to get kids, they're the last ones you have to worry about channeling into stability and commitment, because they've already got it in spades. Weird, huh? Flameretardentmormon called that out as disingenuous--something like what our son does when he's been naughty and then has to come up with an excuse after the fact as to why he was in the right the whole time.

Having said that, I disagree with the prosecution that those who supported proposition 8 could only have been motivated by discrimination, hate, and animus. That's the drum I've beaten on this blog for a long while, so that probably comes as no surprise that I get irritated by such labeling of others' motivations. Whether they successfully proved this is not the case, I still know for myself that it's not based on the only motivations I can really know without doubt--my own. I've written about my ambivalence on the subject and the competing gospel principles that may lead members of the church to opposite conclusions, and how I ultimately would have voted for proposition 8, had I been in such a position. I know I'm not motivated by hate, discrimination, or animus, so that's a settled question for me.

In the spirit of Fathers' Day, I thought I'd share this link: Science can't prove fathers matter. That doesn't mean we don't. It reflects my sentiments pretty accurately, in the title particularly. If doing research for the last several months has reinforced one principle in particular, it's the inability of science to satisfactorily address certain types of questions even while being brilliant at addressing others. Whatever science has shown about lesbian mothers and their well-adjusted children, or failed to show about the differences between gay households and straight ones, I'm certain that my choices have been for the best for my children. Absolutely certain.

Happy Fathers' Day!