Tag Archives: gay

One less thing to worry about

Last night Mrs. Poolman and I spent the night on cots at our church, as overnight hosts for two homeless families. This is part of a program called Interfaith Hospitality Ministry. Our parish take two or three weeks of the year and provides overnight housing, breakfast and dinner for two or three families. Other churches pick up the other weeks.

I didn’t sleep that well, so I’m a little raw today. This will be a short post.

I thought that the reason I didn’t sleep well was the uncomfortable cot and the unfamiliar surroundings. I was wrong. Apparently I was worrying about the new etiquette for gay weddings.  Marlo Thomas has all the answers for me.

I’ll rest easy tonight.

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‘Why don’t I have a mother?’

Last week it was same-sex-marriages. This week it is same-sex-parents.

I heard on NPR this morning that actor Neal Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser) and his partner have gotten together with a surrogate mother to produce a set of twins (who are yet to be born.)

Neal Patrick Harris (l) and partner David Burtka

I’m not a homophobe. I really couldn’t care less what someone does in the privacy of their bedroom, so long as they aren’t hurting someone else. That’s the problem I have with this trend of gay and lesbian couples having children. There is potential harm.

I believe both mothers and fathers matter to children. Children absorb and learn different things from the different genders. In this case, why would you go through an incredible amount of effort and expense to create a child who will not have a mother? Did your mother not play an important part in your life? Why would you deny your child the benefit of having both a mother and a father?

The nephew of some of our friends went through the same process about a year ago. The two guys ended up with twin girls. While I’m sure these two guys will love and care for their daughters to the maximum extent of which they are capable, but they are limited biologically in what they can provide. Neither is female. The two girls will be raised without a mother or mother-figure. How will that affect the girls? I don’t know, but it can’t be ideal.

It seems like an incredible act of self indulgence. The same-sex parents get a baby to play with, but the child is the one who is missing one parent.

Of course, in today’s climate of “starter marriages,” “no-fault pregnancies” and high rates of divorce, missing parents are all too common with “straight” families.  The difference is that, usually, the parents do not plan to make it that way from the outset.

I feel the same about single women who elect to have a baby without benefit of a functioning father?  I don’t understand the benefit to the child of not having a father.  I guess some mothers really think you are going to be so good as a parent that they can fill both roles. Some of the time, and maybe even most of the time, many parents I know feel they stretching their abilities to handle one job, let alone two.

It may sound contradictory, but I don’t have any problem with gays or lesbians adopting children. Why? Because usually they are improving the lot of a child. By adopting, they are providing a child with a set of parents. While a male-female set of parents would be ideal, same-sex parents are better than no parents at all.

The question is simply this: In the grand scheme of things, is a would-be parent’s desire to have a child of greater importance than that child’s need for both a mother and a father? It’s something to think about.

Ironically, Harris is also the star of the CBS sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother.” That is one story he won’t have to tell his real-life kids.

A solution to the same-sex marriage debate

The issue of same-sex marriage is back on the front burner this week, courtesy of a Federal judge’s ruling this week that struck down California’s Proposition 8, which would have outlawed the practice, at least in California.

There was an interesting column on The Huffington Post today with a reasonable solution — get government out of the marriage business.

Gee, I wish I had thought of that. Oops, maybe I did.

An answer to the same-sex marriage debate

It looks as if a law will soon be passed to allow same-sex marriages in the District of Columbia. As usual, both the liberal and conservative sides of the gay marriage debate are putting in their two cents worth.  This whole debate is become tiresome.

I have a solution to the whole same-sex marriage debate.

Get the state out of the marriage business.

I’m not suggesting that marriages be eliminated; I’m simply proposing that maybe we should get the government out of the process.

A traditional, church marriage really has two separate components. The first is the spiritual and religious aspect – two partners coming together as one and making a solemn vow before God to be pledged to each other for the duration of their lives under the rules and guidelines of whatever religion is involved. The second is aspect is the civil or legal side of a marriage. It includes such issues as assumption of paternity, next of kin status, inheritance rights, and so on.

I propose a divorce. Split the current two faces of marriage into two separate institutions. Let the state handle only the civil/legal aspects of the union, and let churches or religious groups have exclusive domain over the religious/spiritual marriage.

  • On the state-side, create an institution to cover the purely secular aspects of a relationship.
  • Make it a law that any two, non-related, consenting adults can enter into such an arrangement, but only one at a time. That rules out marrying pets, or polygamy.
  • Don’t call it a marriage. Just call it something else, a civil union, a domestic partnership, or whatever.
  • You can have a ceremony, performed by a judge, a justice of the peace, an Elvis impersonator or whomever,  but it wouldn’t be necessary. Completing and signing the forms at the courthouse (like a current marriage license) would suffice.
  • There would still have the traditional, religion-based marriages, just as you have today. When a couple would be married in a church, they would have both a religious marriage and the civil/legal contract.

This would solve several issues.

1. Churches and other religious groups would be the exclusive determiners of what constitutes a “marriage.”

2. Gays and others can get all the legal protection they want without threatening the institution of “marriage.”  If a gay or lesbian couple can find a church that will provide them with a religious wedding to go along with the civil/legal union, who is to argue? That is the business of that particular church or religious group and really none of anyone else’s business.

3. There would be no need to legalize or prohibit same-sex marriages, because the “marriage” aspect of the relationships would not be subject to state jurisdiction. The state would only control the civil/legal contract/partnership/union. “Marriage” would be defined by religious groups and be their business.

There will be those who object, but I suspect they will mainly be those who can’t abide by the thought of gays or lesbians having relationships anyway. You are never going to make everyone happy.

This solution may not be perfect, but it solves a lot of issues.