By Jonathan A. Wheeler
I was on Spring Vacation in March 2009. I don’t watch much television while at school: I don’t have time. I went home and one day after dinner I walked into the den of my house and my parents were watching what would soon become my new favorite show: Modern Family. For the first time in my life, I saw a sitcom that not only focused on a gay couple, but also took the bold step of giving this gay couple a child—an adopted daughter from East Asia. I was shocked to see that our country had progressed to the point of portraying a normal gay relationship. I told my parents about how much hope I now had for this country. As a straight guy, it is often difficult for me to conceptualize the idea of straight privilege, but nevertheless, I am fully aware that it exists. After seeing this couple’s portrayal, I couldn’t help but tell my parents that my equal opportunity agenda was spreading. My father greeted this with disappointment in my naïveté. He told me that the producers would probably be subjected to scrutiny from many Americans.
Why is our society uncomfortable with two males raising a child? Why is our society uncomfortable with two females raising a child? Thousands, if not millions of children are orphans—they have no parents, yet children being raised by two parents upset our society. Some children are raised by one man; some children are raised by one woman. Why is the addition of another parent who happens to be of the same sex as and in a romantic relationship with the first, so much worse for the development of a child. Is our society afraid that a gay couple will, “pass gay on to their charges?” Being gay is not a communicable disease, being gay is unique to the individual who identifies with the GLBT community. Is our society afraid that two parents of the same sex romantically involved will pass along STDs once thought to be only transmitted via sexual relations with a member of the GLBT community? It has been scientifically proven that STDs cannot be transmitted through casual contact, i.e handshaking, hugging and kissing. Given all this, where is the logic in denying children the privilege of a wonderful home on the basis of the fact that two women or two men would raise the child. Is an orphanage with no mother or father so much better—I think not, because at the end of the day, regardless of whether someone believes that a same-sex couple is capable of raising a child as well as a heterosexual couple, that same-sex couple will likely provide a home much better than an orphanage. I think America needs to reconsider its values and priorities if the idea of two men raising a child is a worse fate than that same child being without a home.