Homo The Queer Issue
The theme for this year’s Queer Issue is Additional Amendments, Restrictions, and Bans. The paper is on the streets now, and the whole package is up on the website. There are tons of great pieces—from the Washington Post’s Hank Steuver on “family values” hypocrites to our own Cienna Madrid on fag hags to Mr. Nibbles the Gerbil on the oppressed gerbil community.
My contribution is an essay the nascent anti-gay adoption movement: the same religious conservatives who have successfully banned gay marriage in most of the United States have set their sites set on banning adoptions by same-sex couples. If they’re going to ban future adoptions by gays and lesbians, I argue, then they should do something about adoptions that have already been finalized:
If gays and lesbians are unfit to parent any children we might adopt, then we are surely unfit to parent the children we have already adopted. We should demand that any bill banning adoptions by same-sex couples include a provision that would require the state to remove children from the homes of same-sex couples. Adopted or biological, if the state believes that gays and lesbians are unfit parents, how can they leave the kids we’re already parenting in our homes?
Demanding that any ban on adoptions by same-sex couples be made retroactive, and that it require the state to take our children, adopted or biological, would, I believe, prevent such a ban from ever being passed. It would instantly shift the debate from the hypothetical to the real—i.e. it wouldn’t be about the kids we might adopt one day, but about kids we have already adopted. Gays and lesbians are parenting in record numbers—estimates range from a low of 250,000 to a high of 10,000,000—and prospect of removing so many children from our homes should give the haters pause. (Oh, and you’ll have to remove them by force: I don’t own a gun, but if they ever came for my kid I’d find one fast.)
In the early 1990s one adopted child was removed from her home; searing images of the sobbing child and her distraught adoptive parents were seen all over the country. That one removal sparked a national debate about the rights of birthparents, adoptive parents, and children. Are Americans really prepared to repeat that scene over and over again, sending the police into hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian homes? Night after night, nothing on television but scenes of screaming children being pulled from the arms their parents? Just to appease the bigotry of the American Taliban?
I don’t think Americans have the stomach for that, frankly. But just in case they do, a reader sent in this suggestion:
Your proposal to perfect those anti-gay-adoption bills is excellent. May I suggest one more tweak: putting the compassion back in their conservatism, the demons could also include a provision that gives us affected parents and our children-today-gone-tomorrow 30 days to revoke our citizenship and leave for Canada or somewhere in the EU. You know, enough time to sell the house and pack up. So the choice becomes: take your filth out of our country so we don’t have to see it, or we dismantle your so-called family.