Editor's Note: Mitchell Halberstadt is a 59-year-old writer, lifelong activist, and gadfly who sometimes makes Michael Petrelis and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore look (by comparison) like pillars of the community. He lives in Oakland, CA.
Chris Crain writes:
It's "patently irrational to argue that DOMA doesn't discriminate against gay Americans because we, too, can enter into 'traditional marriages.' It's unfathomable that lawyers for a president who is the product of an interracial marriage would use an argument that was rejected some four decades ago in Loving v. Virginia."
You've implicitly answered your own rhetorical assertion: no child is the product of a homosexual union in the same sense that Barack Obama is the product of an interracial one.
Homosexual relationships don't create children, nor do they need to do so (nor do they need to be called "marriages") to be valid relationships. While heterosexual marriages don't always create children either, marriage as an institution exists as a corollary of the fact that children are created as a consequence of the consummation of heterosexual unions. That is why -- and it's the only reason why -- pairing or coupling is a specific "right" delineated as "marriage" and considered a unique sort of (specifically heterosexual) bond.
Let me clarify one point here: I'm an open and proud gay man, and my pride and my identity don't depend upon society approving of my "right" to shoe-horn myself into some incongruous simulacrum of "family" or any other social consequence or corollary of reproductive biology. I simply view myself as existing outside that matrix (except in the sense that the mother and father who created me loved me very much).
I don't need any further "rights" to consider myself an equal (and fully-valid) human being.
PS: I fully support civil unions regardless of the number or gender of those involved, and I also fully support the right to adopt children of all adults who (otherwise regardless of their interpersonal bonds) have the time, attention, resources and competence to sustain, nurture, and raise them. (Someone has to pick up after the breeders [and there are obviously many] who can't [or won't] pick up after themselves.) ;-)
For that matter, I entirely reject gender (distinct from biological sex, again a reproductive function) as an aspect of identity, and I thereby also reject the very notion of gender "transition" (except where it's explicitly a function of imagination or a surgical kludge attempting to compensate for neurological "mismatched wiring," a disability. But that's merely a whole other area for me to get myself in trouble with the prevailing conventional queer wisdom. ;-)
We should simply stop letting others and their terms define us, and cherish the value of our status as outsiders.