Straight Adoption And Gay Marriage

Orphans Become Naturalized U.S. Citizens

A question has often occurred to me as opponents of marriage equality cite gay people’s biological inability to procreate as a reason to bar us from marriage. What are they implicitly saying about infertile couples who adopt children? Tom Junod takes it personally, as well he should:

I have been married for 28 years. I met my wife in my freshman year of college. We started dating in my second semester, and have been so exclusive that we celebrate the anniversary of our first kiss rather than our wedding day… We have never thought of our marriage as anything but pleasing to anyone who cared to judge it, and have never imagined that the sanctity of our marriage might threaten the sanctity of other marriages, not to mention the institution of marriage itself.

Until now.

What has changed our understanding of the way some people see our marriage is, of course, the general debate unleashed by the last two days of argument before the Supreme Court on the subject of same-sex marriage. No, my wife and I are not of the same sex; I am a man and she is a woman. But we are infertile. We did not procreate. For the past nine years, we have been the adoptive parents of our daughter; we are legally her mother and father, but not biologically, and since Tuesday have been surprised and saddened to be reminded that for a sizable minority of the American public our lack of biological capacity makes all the difference — and dooms our marriage and our family to second-class status.

Read the whole thing, especially the arguments of NOM that uphold biological parenting as the only truly moral option. The logical contortions opponents of marriage equality have gotten themselves into just to justify excluding gays from their own families has led to this. I doubt whether any anti-equality campaigner wants to stigmatize adoption. But their arguments inevitably do – and are becoming a growing liability across American society.

(Photo: Jamie Lieberman (L) of New York City, cries as she holds her adopted son Theo, 2, an orphan originally from Ethiopia, after he received American citizenship November 18, 2010 at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in New York City. Eighteen children, originally from Haiti, Ethiopia, China, and others countries, were sworn in as citizens with their American adopted parents standing by in a ceremony at the New York headquarters from USCIS. By Chris Hondros/Getty Images)