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Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Queer Issue

Posted by on June 22 at 16:59 PM

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.

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I'd add a couple of additional tweaks:

"EVERY adopted child removed from a same-sex household MUST be immediately adopted by a married Christian heterosexual couple who have proven they can successfully raise children in a proper environment. That means: no divorces, separations or estrangements; no records of criminal activity or of sexual, physical or mental abuse to a spouse; no bankruptcies, poor credit ratings, or excessive indebtedness; no history of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, etc., etc.

Any child not so placed within 30 days shall be remanded to the custody of the State and their care and upbringing provided for at taxpayer expense."

Not only should these provisions disqualify roughly 75% of Christian households, but as soon as voters hear those last two words, they'll defeat this idiotic bill faster than you can say "Compassionate Conservatism".

Oops, that should read "no records of criminal activity or of sexual, physical or mental abuse to a spouse, CHILD, OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBER..."

I loved that article, Dan. What a wonderful way of throwing their patent cruelty back in their faces! I hope that pro-glbt legislators throughout the country adopt this strategy, and push it effectively.

In the tradition of A Modest Proposal. Well done!

oh, and Comte, those provisions would eleminate 100% of households. No one is that fucking perfect. Thus continuing the spirit of Dan's prose.

Watch out now...those Christians are going to take over...give me a break. It's all the Christians fault...yeah they're just so powerful. Yet, they aren't powerful enough to pass a constitutional amendment redefining marriage.
Way to go Dan!...When in doubt just blame the Christians for all the problems...if you don't have an article to write well just find something to blame the Christians for.

"(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.)"

Hey Dan! You just figured out why many "Gun Nuts" already own and practice with their guns. They figure that when the time comes that the loonies come for them and their families, it'll probably be too late to go find one, and it'll sure as hell be too late to learn to be competent with it.

This was a good Queer Issue, as usual. Even better queer issue: One that wasn't in danger of collapsing under the weight of the writers' self-obsession. I'm sorry, Eli, that some straight dude 'led you on' in Vegas. I'm sorry, Andrea, that your partner made your life a living hell after you bought a house together. But are these stories really all that interesting? I feel like I'm reading a MySpace page. . .

I think writing an article, no matter how tongue-in-cheek, titled "....Unpardonable Gay Crimes" should head the list of unpardonable gay crimes. Also, isn't every issue of The Stranger a queer issue?

I must say, I feel exactly zero sympathy for the poor straight fellow feeling uncomfortable in the gym because gays kept insinuating things, or checking him out, or standing too close, or...whatever.

Welcome to the world of damn near every woman in existence, my friend.

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