Throwback Thursday-Family and values

In response to a meme dismissing the idea of LGBT couples as families because “if you want [children], you need a [woman] and a [man].”  Seriously, people?

From August 18, 2012 :

This hits a nerve with me (beyond how it seems we are ALL being manipulated by pithy slogans and the media attention over this thing).

This whole debate is about family, and values, right? Then can we please examine our assumptions about family.

Why would the ability to produce children have anything to do with being a family? Are we saying that if you don’t have children, you’re not a real family? (Rather like, if you can’t have children or, worse, you choose not to be a mother, then you’re not a real woman? If you can’t father children then you’re not a real man?)

I hope not, as there are many loving families out there who do not have children. Some even chose not to have children on purpose (gasp!). Those families are just as real and valid as those with children.

Are we saying that simply producing children makes you a family? A one-night stand can produce a child. An intermarital affair can produce a child. Rape can produce a child. How many children are born into this world with no real family at all? How many children are still in foster care and up for adoption? How many children are successfully adopted and living in families that had nothing to do with how they were born?

And of course, in the real world some “families” are often abusive or neglectful, hateful or apathetic, towards children. Indeed, many families are downright dysfunctional, especially at Thanksgiving.

But I don’t think that’s what we mean when we talk about defending/ protecting family. We mean family as an ideal. What does that mean?

Family means standing by each other. Family stands by you when you’re up, when you’re down, when you’ve made a mistake- Family believes in you and teaches you to believe in yourself. Family means helping each other face the rest of the world. Family means taking the time to talk to each other, and to try and understand each other. Family means cheering each other on, but also telling each other the truth- especially when it’s no one else’s business, and maybe we don’t want to hear it but it needs to be said. Family means sharing the chores that no one wants to do- like mowing the yard, or cleaning the toilet, or filing taxes- so no one is stuck doing them all on their own. Family means love, and showing each other love in a million different ways throughout your lives together.

It doesn’t have anything to do with children.

And it doesn’t have anything to do with sex.

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