, Research Paper
The Ongoing Struggle for a Family
?The most important thing in a family is that all the people in it love each other.?
This excerpt is from a children?s book, written by Leslea Newman, Called ?Heather Has
Two Mommies.? This story is intended to show kids that not everyone?s family is the
same. Many reasons are given to dispute gay and lesbian parenting but all founded on
some of the archaic beliefs that Hitler used to kill homosexuals during W.W.II, fear and
prejudice! Although having children and being parents seems like a basic human right or
choice, many people believe that the government should have the authority to
discriminate who can are cannot have children, regardless of their parenting skills.
Some say that it is unnatural for gay and lesbians to have children because they
have to go to such extremes to have them (Oppos ..199). It is kind of ironic because it
has become mainstream for heterosexual couples that are determined infertile to use
artificial insemination, adoption, and even invitro-fertilization, and when one of these
procedures is successful the couple is said to have had a miracle, while the gay or lesbian
couple is said to be fanatical. Lesbian couples may use sperm banks, or they may become
coparents with a gay couple that also wishes to have children. In these cases the child has
4 loving and nurturing parents instead of the standard 2.
Another opposing view is that all gays and lesbians are sexually promiscuous,
therefore have HIV/AIDS, and their relationships are not stable enough to have children
(Oppos..199). ?Lesbians and gays love and form deep and lasting commitments just like
heterosexuals. To claim otherwise is to declare that lesbians and gays are somehow not
human and ignore the reality of their lives,? (New Civil..125) Laws and social views
seem be conflicted on what they want because they say gay/lesbian relationships are not
stable, but than deny them the right to marry, therefore through laws and legislation the
are not promoting the behavior that they seem to require. HIV/AIDS is a horrible disease
and truthfully is a major concern in the gay community, but it is because of the
stereotypes, lack of education, and knowledge about the disease itself that this disease
was able to attack many gay males. Although HIV/AIDS is a concern for people in
general the number of lesbian women with it is almost non-existent. Does this mean that
heterosexual couples that have HIV/AIDS are not having children? No, countless articles
can be found about drug using prostitutes that give birth to a baby with HIV and still
retains custody. While in 1997, a women named Sharon Bottoms loses her child in
Virginia to her mother for being gay, ?active lesbianism practiced in the home may pose a
burden upon the child by reason of ?Social Condemnation? attached to such an
arrangement? the state Supreme Court stated (issues..36). All hope is not lost though, in
June of 1997 an Ohio appeals court upheld that, ?sexual orientation alone, has no
relevance to a decision concerning the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities,?
Many people believe that gays and lesbians shouldn?t have kids because the child
will be molested and/or be mal adjusted as a youth and adult. ?Lesbians and gays are
inherently sick and prey on children. Giving them custody of children opens those
children up to sexual abuse. They cannot raise healthy children,? (Oppos..199).
The statistics certainly do not support these statements, ?Adults who sexually molest
children are a diverse group. No one race, religion level of intelligence, level of
education, occupation, or income sets perpetrators apart from the rest of the population,?
(New Civil.. 78). One thing is clear, most often a child molester is a heterosexual male
who is acquainted with the victim (New Civil..78). Others believe that a child of a
homosexual is most likely going to be a homosexual, and even if they are not they will
have a hard time growing up due to the teasing and stereotypes of their classmates and
community. Studies have proved these beliefs false, ?Although studies have assessed
over 300 offspring of gay or lesbian parents in 12 different samples, no evidence has been
found for significant disturbances of any kind in the development of sexual identity.?
they go on to say that, ? the same held true for moral development, intelligence, and peer
relationships,? (New Civil..132). Like all children, kids from gay and lesbian familys
have problems with prejudice, much like the children of African-American, Native
American, and Jewish families face. With one exception, this doesn?t people from
believing that the later shouldn?t have children due to bigotry. April Martin a
psychologist and lesbian mother sums it up well when she said, ?On the contrary, the
pride we feel in our families gives our children the tools to deal with prejudice. As in any
family that contains a member of an oppressed minority, our children learn to understand
the problems of ignorance and bias,? (New Civil..133).
In conclusion, no one is saying that gays and lesbian make better parents or that
they want special rights, we just want the chance to be the one who gets up in the
morning and changes diapers, wipes the tears, cleans the scrapes from the first
proudly while they except their diploma, and be there when they say I do. How can you
fault a person for wanting to be the best parent possible?