Cogs in the Gay Marriage Machine

There is so much bad news, fallacious rhetoric, bad faith, and general unscrupulousness coming from the ligbitists (my name for LGBT activists) that it might be tempting, at times, to write off everyone queer as a bunch of incorrigible homofascists.  When sterling exceptions remind us that no constituency has a monopoly on human dignity, we ought to stand up and give proper credit where it is due.

Openly gay Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the Italian geniuses in evening wear and accessories, came forward and stated their defense of the traditional family of mother-father-child.  The Daily Mail among many other outlets quickly posted this news.  Aging gay musician Elton John reacted with all the vindictive venom that we have come to expect from a ligbitist movement increasingly defined by its punitive drive and nothing else.

Dolce and Gabbana had already stirred trouble with their resistance to gay orthodoxy (opposing gay marriage as early as ten years ago), much in the tradition of enfants terribles like Rupert Everett and Brett Easton Ellis.  This time, though, the reference to COGs was too much for the frail nerves of Elton John:

Posting a picture of the designers – who were a couple for 23 years – on photo sharing website Instagram yesterday, Sir Elton wrote: 'How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic'.[…] 'And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children. […] 'Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.’

Remember the old adage that you know you are over the target when you are getting the most flak?  Dolce’s and Gabbana’s earlier opposition to gay marriage did not provoke the same firestorm because ligbitists aren’t that worried about people who oppose gay marriage.  The people who oppose gay marriage but never talk about gay adoption –stuffy and clueless people like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan – are like putty in the ligbitists’ hands.  All the ligbitists have to do to convert a Paul Ryan is throw him a few libertarian bones and hire a pretty co-ed claiming to be “pro-life” to peddle the false claim that letting gay people adopt children reduces the abortion rate.  The ligbitists know to remind such free-market gurus about all the perks attendant to the 300 corporations urging SCOTUS to legalize gay marriage.  It’s not like the Log Cabin Republicans are penniless urchins without any influence in Washington.

Talk about gay parenting, and it is a whole different story.

The true Achilles heel in Big Gay is what gay families do to the most vulnerable people in society – children.  While I oppose gay marriage, like fellow COG Katy Faust, I couch my opposition in a defense of children’s right to a mother and father.  My opposition to gay marriage has become stiffer because I’ve noticed how stealthily the ligbitists moved adoption and artificial reproduction “rights” into the legal arguments over gay marriage.  The most important case to be heard before the Supreme Court in April is DeBoer v. Snyder, a case in which two lesbians claim they need to be legally married so they can automatically adopt each other’s children.

Religious, natural-law, and gender-complementarity arguments are totally valid, but they simply aren’t as urgent and don’t make ligbitists as nervous. Legalizing gay marriage under the current legal climate will result in millions of children being permanently severed from their birth parents and forced into a Cinderella-like state, performing loving obedience to biological strangers who acquired them.  The methods of acquisition get creepier the more the demand for children rises and the supply of desperate orphans sinks.  (Not for nothing, but I predicted this years ago.)

And no, this is not like adoption, widows, grandparents raising children, or single mothers raising kids after being abandoned by heterosexual cads.  Read my book, Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’, if you need fifty chapters by sixteen writers who set fire to all those straw men.

While it is easy to bait the opponents of gay marriage into a predictable and easily managed dogfight about sin and Leviticus, when it comes to gay parenting, there are many objections, totally unrelated to religious dogma, to which ligbitists have no effective answer.  With the release of crucial social-science research by Paul Sullins, adding to earlier findings by Walter Schumm, Mark Regnerus, Loren Marks, and Douglas Allen, too many data from broad, randomized population samples undermine the passé canard that gay parenting produces “no differences” in children relative to intact biological families.

Then, too, there is a steady rise in COGs coming forward and speaking bluntly about the loss inflicted on them by the gay parenting regime.  Those smiling toddlers in all the photo albums were bound to grow up, rebel against their parents as all kids do, and then become educated, independent adults with the articulate sense to contest the claims of pro-ligbitist groups.

For COGs who detox from all the brainwashing, there is so much to rebel against.  Consider the regimented robots – the COGs who are actual cogs of the gay marriage machine – who regurgitate the talking points on cue:

1. First, they have outlandish sob stories that they had low self-esteem because their gay parents weren’t legally married (which is a huge insult to single mothers, stepchildren, and orphans, but whatever).  It’s never the fact that they were raised by two gay adults who knowingly forbade them to love one half of themselves (love makes a family, as long as you love the adults I tell you to love, kiddo!), or the likely reality that at least one of their gay guardians dragged them to completely age-inappropriate events like a leather convention or a semi-nude forest festival.  No, it’s because there was no marriage license involved.  Because that’s what you care about when you’re twelve.

2. Then they perform an overbearing, “anything you can do, I can do better” routine (minus Betty Hutton’s charm), which is familiar to many COGs.  You have one mission in life: You must make your parents look good!  This is accomplished by explaining that you are an Eagle Scout, impeccably heterosexual, a Harvard medical student, on a varsity swim team somewhere, or now a celebrated “gay rights advocate.”  As one fellow COG once mused to me, “have you noticed how many of us are obnoxious?”  It’s true.  Myself included – when you are raised by gay parents, there is this internalized sense of duty to be utterly presentable and the best at everything, even when you’re socially inept and most people can’t stand you or your family.  It’s no coincidence that Harvard and Yale are going to be represented in the briefs submitted by COGs on both sides of the upcoming SCOTUS case.

3. Just in case No. 1 didn’t have adequate effects, you must include a hoax demonstrating that somehow your guardians’ lack of a marriage certificate caused you bureaucratic discomfort; otherwise we lack the crucial “due process” claims of the Fourteenth Amendment.  A great example is this one: “My mom couldn’t pick me up at school because the principal allowed a space for only one mother and father under ‘parent.’”  Remember the daughter of Houston’s lesbian mayor being denied a driver’s license?  These too-good-to-be-true Hallmark moments never hold up under much scrutiny.  Anyone with a child knows that you can indicate to the school office the names of adults who can pick a child up.  You have to fill those forms out at the beginning of the year anyway.  (As for authorizing medical procedures, why do we want the biologically unrelated gay adult to be able to make a medical decision about the child without the consent of the biologically related parent?  If the gays get married after a whirlwind courtship, this means the child is now subject to unilateral decisions by someone they only met last year?)  As I slowly came to realize in the process of compiling Jephthah’s Daughters, COGs often have the experience of being coached and groomed to perform little white lies to protect their parents.

4. Some part of your story must involve deep and abiding gratitude.  It is never enough to say you love your parents (as we all did).  You must declare that if it weren’t for them importing you from an overseas orphanage, you would be starving and disease-ridden because nobody else wanted you.  If you have stories about having gone through eleven foster homes inhabited by abusive straight people before being picked by your adoring lesbian moms who love you so much they tell everyone from USA Today to the Washington Post about your “special needs” that they love you in spite of, that’s always a plus.  If your gay dads bought you from a paid surrogate, you must say how much you were wanted – after all, if you didn’t grow up with people rich enough to pay a breeding woman for her child, oh my God, you might actually grow up poor!  The horror.

Dolce and Gabbana saw through all these ruses.  This is not a small accomplishment.  We must credit them for strength of mind and spirit.  The reaction by Elton John is the typical default for gay parenting advocates: hold up the children as human shields.  The goal is to make critics feel as though they are attacking gay couples’ children when they are, in fact, criticizing gay couples for decisions that gay couples want desperately to make without being called out.

Dolce and Gabbana were not attacking Elton John’s sons when they used the word “synthetic.”  They were criticizing adults like Elton John.  And that criticism has to be stated.  Elton John knew what he was doing when he cobbled together a family with pieces from other people’s genetics. 

I called up my COG friends, and we took bets: will Dolce and Gabbana back down?  If so, how long will they last?  The backlash will be more than most mortals can bear.  I hope, for the sake of real-life COGs, they stand their ground.  Otherwise, they will become just two more people who didn’t think our human rights were worth fighting for.  Stand strong, D&G.

Robert Oscar Lopez is author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality.’