Imagine 'Gay Marriage Reparations'

We hear conflicting numbers about how many children are being raised in gay homes.  Sometimes it’s 40,000; sometimes it’s 14 million.  Those things are hard to peg, since sexuality is a bit of a revolving door.  Parents are coming out and going back in the closet all the time.

Over time, there is no doubt that there will be at least 100,000 citizens, probably well over 500,000, placed into same-sex homes entirely or predominantly because of the state’s response to demands for expanded marriage rights from gay lobbying organizations.

These citizens will not have chosen to be deprived of a parent of one gender and subjected to the authority of an additional guardian of the other gender – these are citizens for whom the choice will have been made by the government (a government run by an older generation), when they were infants, or not even born yet, and had no way to consent to or understand what was being done to them.

A sizable number of these citizens could come together and document losses, damages, or “pain and suffering” incurred because they were forced to grow up in a same-sex parenting home as opposed to a home with a mother and father.  (Picture how “pain and suffering” was just used by a lesbian couple to levy a $135,000 fine on Sweet Cakes by Melissa.)  If so, there will be grounds for later Congresses, Supreme Courts, and presidential administrations – ones that aren’t as cowed by the gay lobby as our current leaders – to go back and investigate how gay marriage passed, how it led to depriving children of a mother or father, and who has to pay up.

How will all of this look to people who aren’t swept up in our hype?

Let’s say in the year 2030, a group of 9,000 adults who were raised in LGBT homes sue someone – wild guess, the federal government – for reparations.  Let’s say that as a result, an investigation is opened, and everything happening in 2015 is suddenly an exhibit in a high-profile court case.

What will the investigators of 2030 find?  There are more than a few details that will not look great.

As part of the fight for gay marriage, the Human Rights Campaign got confidential tax returns from the IRS and illegally published them online, with the result of a $50,000 fine against the IRS.

Observers noted strange irregularities in the way judges were chosen to hear gay marriage cases.

A blogger tied to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation published comments that invaded the privacy of gay couples’ children with the express view of preventing them from submitting testimony to federal courts.

The Human Rights Campaign slandered a son of lesbians to over a million people to retaliate against him for publicizing the negative impact of same-sex marriage on children’s rights.

Even the doggedly pro-gay New York Times ran an article about the way law firms were hectored and threatened into denying top representation to petitioners opposed to gay marriage.  These petitioners included children of same-sex couples asking the Court to block gay marriage so children wouldn’t be denied a father and mother.

The examples above are the tiniest tip of the iceberg.  In Jephthah’s Daughters, co-editor Rivka Edelman and I provide over 500 endnotes documenting all the parties in society harmed in demonstrable ways by the same-sex marriage movement.  Our book was published in February 2015 and brought to the attention of the Supreme Court through our amicus briefs.  Mind you, these 480-plus pages of documentation include copious details of the impact of children, and they represent only what has been documented up to February 2015.

When our imaginary hero of 2030 travels back to 2015, he will not find lawmakers, judges, or a Fourth Estate that lacked substantiated warnings about the likelihood of large-scale problems resulting from gay marriage.

History is a useful teacher.

Consider this passage from an NPR article on the reparations paid to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II as a result of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 (signed February 19, 1942):

In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to compensate more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. The legislation offered a formal apology and paid out $20,000 in compensation to each surviving victim. The law won congressional approval only after a decade-long campaign by the Japanese-American community.

President Reagan signed this reparations order because 100,000 people lost property, were disrespected, and spent several years of their lives forced to live in conditions that they found appalling.

The fifty-second or fifty-third president of the United States may have to answer to well over 500,000 citizens who were permanently cut off from their own biological heritage, forced to live in sex-segregated homes for two decades or more, and then denied not only the actual inheritances they should have gotten from the excluded biological parents, but also their cultural identities.

In the case of Japanese internment, there was a war, and America had been attacked by the Japanese air force.  Children of gay parents didn’t bomb anyone, yet they were stripped of one of their parents without due process and forced to live in the homes of unrelated gay adults for eighteen years.

A great text for this: No-No Boy

John Okada’s Japanese parents were interned during World War II.  He served in the military but wrote a novel with a protagonist, Ichiro, who refuses to serve as a kind of protest encouraged by his mother.  For refusing to serve, he goes to jail and is forever called a “no-no boy.”  When he gets out, he faces a great deal of hostility, not without some pity, from the very Japanese-American community he was championing by saying “no” to the United States military.

The novel took the name No-No Boy to direct readers’ attention to Ichiro’s act of resistance against state action.

No-No Boy should not be forgotten when we weigh the varied feedback about gay parenting from children raised in gay homes.  The children affiliated with COLAGE and PFLAG say they loved the way they grew up.  The children affiliated with the International Children’s Rights Institute say gay parenting violates the child’s inalienable rights.

COLAGE’s and PFLAG’s poster children are well-spoken and probably good-hearted people.  Bless them.  But if you read John Okada’s No-No Boy, you will find that most Japanese-Americans whose families were interned opted to serve in the United States military.  These happy Japanese-Americans were actually exceedingly harsh, even cruel, to the Japanese-Americans who defied the government and tried to resist internment.  There are always some people – often a seeming majority – among an aggrieved group who say they have no grievances; they usually say the complainers are crazy, bitter, wrong, or un-American.

In 2030, you won’t have to worry about PFLAG’s wunderkinder.  It’s the others you will have to worry about, because there will be a lot of them, and like the Japanese-Americans who came around to contesting what Roosevelt did to them, they will be organized and demanding to be repaid for what was taken from them: gender diversity, gender equality at home, their heritage, their legacy, their identity.

Whatever the numbers of kids being raised in gay homes might be right now, with the rise of gay marriage, there was a rise in kids being raised by gay couples.  Those responsible for gay marriage will be responsible for thousands upon thousands of individual children who would not have been raised by same-sex couples were it not for actions taken by the government.

To get more nuance on this issue, read the briefs submitted to the Supreme Court by (1) me and B.N. Klein, (2) Heather Barwick and Katy Faust, and (3) Denise Shick and Dawn Stefanowicz.  You’ll get an earful, but it’s worth it.  There are some self-evident differences that inhere in same-sex parenting homes.  All children raised by gay couples were severed from one of their natural parents for reasons not logically matching the best interests of the child.  While this is true for children conceived by genetic donors and raised in heterosexual homes, only the children raised by gay couples were forced by the state to live in segregated domestic spaces.

“Separate but equal” has gone through its ups and downs but hasn’t weathered history very well.  Separate train cars for black people made sense when Plessy v. Ferguson was decided in 1896, as long as the cars were “equal.”  That didn’t fly sixty years later.  Mistakes in judgment are not rare in history.  Compare that to the notion that some kids will be raised in male-male homes and others in male-female homes – which is fine to subsidize because although children are separated from one adult gender, it’s all equal, because the president is a fan of the idea, and the psychiatrists say so.

What reason do we have to mistrust presidents or psychiatrists?  Presidents have done things like sign orders to intern Japanese-Americans, and psychiatrists did noteworthy things like define homosexuality as a mental disorder and deny the existence of PTSD.

After having claimed they were “born this way” and equating sexual orientation to race in order to claim marriage as a civil right, can the gay lobby claim that sex and race are completely unlike each other when it comes to segregation?

It used to be about love, but now it’s about the kids.

Two years ago, when Edie Windsor’s love for her lesbian partner was vindicated because Justice Kennedy’s decision affirmed gay marriage, the issue was taxes.  At that recent stage, gay activists could honestly say marriage didn’t impinge on anyone else’s rights, including children’s.

This year, much of the Supreme Court’s decision about gay marriage will hinge on the case of Ms. April DeBoer of Michigan.  She and her lesbian partner adopted children individually but claim that the state of Michigan needs to issue them a marriage license so that each can become a legal parents of her partner’s children.

The DeBoer v. Snyder case insists that children should be subject to the parental authority of gay adults who are sleeping with one of their parents, rather than the authority of their father and mother.  In many adoption cases likely to be affected by this scenario, the birth parents decided to surrender custody to an individual without knowing or agreeing to the fact that the individual would get into a gay relationship and then place the child under the gay lover’s power, too.  Should DeBoer end with a gay SCOTUS victory, birth parents will be given cold comfort if the children they consign to adoption end up playing Cinderella to gay stepparents.

But on an even more basic level, if the Supreme Court sides with Ms. DeBoer, they will be giving gay adults the right to force children to grow up without something that the vast majority of their peers have: a mother and father.  On top of that will be added the problem of denying citizens their heritage.  If this ends in a reparations trial decades down the line, we can’t say there weren’t ample warning signs of what was to come.

Robert Oscar Lopez is president of the International Children’s Rights Institute and co-editor of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family Equality.