Robert Lopez writes: Gay culture is not the same as other ways of life. It is highly specific and fraught with problems. As statistics attest, gay adults have higher rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, sexual assault, and suicidal ideation. We need to help people who struggle with all these issues surrounding homosexuality. By that I mean we must help them live as happy homosexuals; I am not calling for gay people to “change” if they really are gay.
But helping gay people live satisfying lives is an issue quite distinct from the best interests of a child whose well-being has been entrusted to your state. A child does not need to be exposed to all those problems. It does nobody any favors to pretend that gay people don’t have a higher incidence of these problems and to feign equivalence between a gay home, where not one but two people come from this high-risk demographic, and a straight home, where the problems aren’t so rampant.
Of course there are specific examples of terrible heterosexual homes and then you will see carefully selected examples of highly functional, happy gay couples with kids, but as a governor you can’t be naïve. Gay couples have a lot more hardship and that hardship rolls downhill and affects the kids, who are often expected to protect their parents when they should be the ones being protected.
If my father had died or if he’d abandoned me through some kind of tragedy beyond my parents’ control, that would be one thing. I might have been able to deal with that. But it didn’t happen like that. Two lesbians valued their relationship with each other and dragged me into their romantic dynamics, cutting me off from my dad. I felt powerless and still do, when I think about it.
Overwhelmingly, the people who have spoken to me, who were raised by a biological parent and that parent’s gay partner, did not want to be placed in an emotional relationship with the non-biological gay partner. They viewed that person as someone whom they had to adapt to, in order to have access to their biological parent, not someone whom they wanted the state’s laws to impose on them as an added emotional burden. This dynamic, believe it or not, is evident even in cases where the child came into the gay couple’s home through sperm banking or through surrogacy. Even if the child has known nothing but the gay couple, the child generally does not want to have to deal with both gay adults as parents; they want one dad or one mom, and the added gay person in the adult pairing is a burdensome addition. Much of their longing and sadness in adolescence and adulthood focuses, moreover, on the vacuum left by the missing father or missing mother.