The Lady Speaks

McCain Says: Family=Male/Female Parents

Via Shakesville, Reason # 3582668 for Why I Won’t Vote For John McCain.

From a man who cheated on and later divorced the wife who waited through the many years he was a prisoner of war. The mother of the two sons he adopted and the daughter they had together:

Mr. McCain, who with his wife, Cindy, has an adopted daughter, said flatly that he opposed allowing gay couples to adopt. “I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don’t believe in gay adoption,” he said. [New York Times]

Proven? Who’s “proven” this? As a single, straight mom, I call bullshit.

Are gay parents somehow less equipped to give a child a loving home? Are straight parents somehow more equipped?

And what about single parents – straight and gay? I don’t know what you’d think of my kids, Mr. McCain. They’re responsible, caring, law-abiding, generous, ethical human beings. Did that happen solely because I like boys? What about my sister who didn’t choose single parenthood, but had it forced on her by the death of her husband?

There are plenty of examples of why heterosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to have or adopt children, so maybe, just maybe, it could be that what guarantees happy, well-adjusted, successful children — and what makes a good parent — has danged little to do with what happens in the bedroom or even a wedding ring?

Maybe it has something to do with that little thing I call “Love.”

Not the Hallmark card, Kodak commercial, Republican political ad kind, but real love. The caring, committed kind that always seeks to do what’s best for the child. The kind that knows the ability to conceive a child has little to do with the ability to raise that child in an atmosphere of love and acceptance.

The love that gives new parents the strength to get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby and change dirty diapers when it would just be easier to pretend they didn’t hear them cry; that gives a parent the ability to look at their three-year-old’s Sharpie artwork on the freshly-painted wall and not react by slamming the child against that wall; that spends five hours driving around because it’s the only way to get a colicky baby to sleep.

The kind of love that is mean enough to make a kindergartener walk back into a store to apologize and return the candy bar they swiped; that lets a parent hold their teen daughter when she cries about the boy who broke her heart even though they told her the boy was a rotten, no-good, so-and-so; that holds your hair when you throw up after eating a hot dog and a burger, popcorn, funnel cake, fry cake, a candied apple, and two bags of cotton candy at the carnival; that paces the floor of an emergency room after their seven-year-old tried to be Evel Knievel.

The kind that, when their child screams, “I hate you” after being denied something “everyone else has,” says, “I love you, too”; that never says “I told you so” when something turns out just as badly as you predicted; that, when their teenage son comes in two hours past curfew, hugs him in relief then wants to swat him for scaring them to death.

The kind that wants to give a home to a child who would otherwise be left to languish in the foster care system.

I don’t care if that love comes from a same-sex couple, a hetero couple, a single straight parent, or a single GLBTQ parent.

In fact, Mr. McCain, the people who love and raise you don’t even have to be your “parents.” How many people have raised their grandchildren or nieces and nephews or cousins to prevent them from entering foster care? How many people have raised their own siblings after a family tragedy? How many people are raising the child(ren) of one of their friends, or even a friend of their own child?

Do you really believe only a male/female set can care about the life of a child and do their very best for them?

And let me quote Sarah in Chicago, from the comments at Shakesville, who says it better and more succinctly than I:

As a social scientist, I can tell you, the casual link between two opposite-gendered parents and supposed good outcomes for children? IT DOES NOT F[***]ING EXIST!

Every time we control for gender in parenting arrangements, it drops away! Seriously!

These studies that they cite (or think they’re citing) are correlations that show that children in minority groups do better when they have the resources and attention of more than one parent. But what it has more to do with, is poverty levels and access to the provisions that two parents provide in disadvantaged social locations as being better for the outcomes of children.

IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GENDER.

We have never shown that two opposite-gendered parents are the ‘optimal’ arrangement for rearing children. NEVER. And we won’t EVER. You know why? BECAUSE IT’S NOT THE CASE. You know what provides a good outcome for a child? Love, attention, and having as many adults having input and contributions to a child as possible.

Crossposted at The Mom Speaks

July 13, 2008 - Posted by | America, Children, Election '08, Family, Gay Rights, Government, Life, Parenting

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