But What About the Kids?

An interesting story in the New York Times (in the Fashion and Style section?) about using children in advocating for same-sex marriage. The story runs the gamut, from talking about a 10-year old to adult children, and touches on the significance in the number of children involved in the debate.

Many gay rights activists think that hearing articulate children of same-sex parents ask why their families should have fewer rights than their neighbors goes a long way toward turning the family values argument on its head. Last week, Chiah Connolly-Ingram, 21, the daughter of a lesbian couple, helped close the rally outside the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco, where Proposition 8 is being challenged. “As the daughter of lesbian moms, I know that children are affected by this decision,” said Ms. Connolly-Ingram, a student at City College of San Francisco and an intern at Colage.

It’s a thorough story, although only two paragraphs give a countering viewpoint, and it was interesting that some adult kids of same-sex parents questioned whether marriage should be given the prominence it gets in the LGBT political world.

For me, there was an even more basic question that didn’t get asked: what are the ethics of using children in political campaigns for same-sex marriage and whether asking a 10-year old to testify before a state legislature is good for the child, or the process?

 If children were being used in ads against same-sex marriage, would that question have gone unasked? Would it have been blithely assumed there is nothing wrong with saying–for instance–that same-sex marriage is harming little Billy’s family and that he wishes his family would be left alone? How about an ad with a kid who said he didn’t want to have to read a book about two moms or two princes? Would anyone have asked whether that’s a little exploitive?

I’m not suggesting it is exploitive, but I’m surprised that the question wasn’t asked. Some in the comment section have raised the issue, so I would have liked to have heard the parents respond to the charge.

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One Response

  1. Good points, and I wondered the same thing. I think the difference is that 10-year-old kids with two mothers or two fathers DO have experience with gay parents, whereas a 10-year-old kid with one mom and one dad would probably not have the life experience to be able to talk about “adverse effects” on straight families.

    It is, however, a question worth pondering.

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