Sunday, May 24, 2009

Said, and said well.

Cokie and Steven Roberts wrote the following. This is excerpted from a longer column.

Why minds are changing on same-sex marriage

A young gay couple we know desperately wants a child of their own, so they are scrimping and saving to pay for a surrogate mother. They figure the process will take five years and many thousands of dollars, but they are committed to parenthood.

A lesbian acquaintance is preparing to marry her longtime partner back home in Massachusetts, which has sanctioned gay marriage for years. Her talk about dresses and honeymoons sounds just as excited, and apprehensive, as any other bride we've ever met.

As a dear friend lay dying, her son's boyfriend took on the task of changing her IV tubes. At our grandson's Little League games, one teammate's "two dads" show up regularly and cheer him on. A colleague retired recently to Seattle, where she could baby-sit for her only grandchild, the biological son of her daughter's partner.

Are these families threatening the moral order? Are they diminishing the sanctity of marriage? Are saving money and buying wedding dresses and cheering at Little League games acts of rebellion against established social norms?

Of course not. In fact, they are exactly the opposite. These same-sex couples are sharing and strengthening the "family values" that conservatives profess to defend when they oppose gay marriage - constancy, stability and a belief in the promises they make to each other and their children.