Thursday, December 29, 2005

Gays, babies and Rick Santorum

Speaking of babies, my sister had a baby girl named Grace (right) on October 13th of this year. Before she was born, my sister Morgan had asked me to be her godfather. As godfather, I would act as Grace's parent if both Morgan and her husband Brian were to die unexpectedly in the coming years. I was honored that my sister would bestow such a huge responsibility onto me and of course I accepted. Babies are awesome and as they get older, you can train them to do things for you like put ice in your drink or aerate the lawn.

Most every day that Grace has been alive, I've thought about what I'd be like as a father. As a gay man the idea of fatherhood is somewhat complicated. Whereas straight men are able to make a baby with a six pack of High Life and the drive-thru girl from Arby's, gays require plastic cups and test tubes and/or $50,000 and a good lawyer. And you probably need another gay guy who's also into changing diapers and paying college tuitions; raising a child on your own is possible if you have the money, but far from ideal. In any case, I would definitely put up with all that crap one day to get a kid of my own. And I'd like to think that I would make a decent father.

Sadly, one of my state senators, Rick Santorum, doesn't have so much faith in me. Santorum is a Republican from my home state of Pennsylvania and one of the most conservative and outpsoken members of the Senate. In April 2003, during an interview with the Associated Press, he compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. And I bet he doesn't recycle either.

The other night, I caught an interview he did this summer on C-Span2's BookTV to promote his book It Takes a Family. He had a lot to say about the breakdown of "family values," his inability to be swayed by special interest groups, and how his book was so well written that no one has ever criticized the writing itself, just the ideas he's writing about. He also said that all the criticism that the book has received has come from people who didn't like him to begin with and don't want to hear his ideas. He said that the critics were people who probably haven't even read the book. That's kind of like saying "I'm such a good cook, that no one ever criticizes the crust of the pie full of shit that I made. It's people who don't even like the taste of shit to begin with that are criticizing what I've made, and that hardly seems like a fair group of critics."

Eventually though, things turned gay. The interviewer asked Santorum what his feelings were on homosexual marriage. Santorum's response was that marriage was not about the love between two people like many "selfish, me-first" citizens think, but rather the first step in creating a "family." His implication is that since gays can't physically make kids, we obviously don't want them and probably shouldn't have them. Since we shouldn't have kids, we also shouldn't be getting married either.

I could sit and argue with Santorum. I could tell him about my desire to have children. I could ask him how I could be gay and part of a family as a son but not as a father. I could ask him if he thinks infertile couples, the elderly, or disabled persons who are also physically unable to have kids should have their marriage licenses torn up. But having that kind of conversation with Santorum implies that I think he uses reason in coming up with his ideals. I don't. Like Dan Savage, I think that there are just are some fundamentalists who cannot be reasoned with. And like Dan Savage, I think we should use the English language to cut them out of the conversation. In May of 2003, Savage used his syndicated sex column, Savage Love, to franchise the word "Santorum" as meaning "The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex." You can check out spreadingsantorum.com to track the word's progression into the English lexicon. It's really catching on.

What I propose is that we do something kind of similar with the word "family." Rick Santorum's definition of family stupid and illogical and it disregards adoptive parents, foster parents, step parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles, family friends and god parents and their importance in the lives of children. The emphasis Senator Santorum places on straight marriage and straight sex as the only arenas for creating a family is ridiculous. The word "family" should represent any group of people who love each other. Any other definition is innacurate and illogical. I think if we can move away from the idea that "family" has to include a mom and a dad who have sex and make babies, more of the population will be included in the conversation on what "family values" really are, and we can move away from the shit pie Rick Santorum is trying to sell us. Shit pie is gross. It's time to move on.

Dave

3 Comments:

Blogger Volatile Intellect said...

Here Here!!

Found your blog on a time-filling browse. Thanks for the interesting read. I'll be back.

12:16 PM, December 29, 2005

 
Blogger the great waldo pepper said...

awesome first post! very funny... as if a United States senator would actually compare homosexuality to bigamy and incest! HA HA HA! Some creative mind you've got, Dave! Keep up the humorous posts!

1:22 PM, December 29, 2005

 
Anonymous Brian said...

really enjoyed it. now im trying to preach it to some other people.

12:45 PM, December 30, 2005

 

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