Republican platform proposal demeans non-biological families, belies "family values"

Commentaries on either party’s platform are welcome here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

As an adult, I accept that not everyone is going to share my views on all things. Part of living in a democracy means that we come together to discuss our individual perspectives and try to find means of compromise that allow us to move forward together.

But I have my limits.

Behold, an amendment to the Republican national platform, addressing—of all things—no-fault divorce:

“We believe children have a natural right to be raised in an intact biological family. While brokenness can befall children in a myriad ways [sic], we acknowledge that children are made to be loved by both natural parents united in marriage.”

As an adoptee, I find this language viscerally offensive, bordering on the obscene.

Notice that “brokenness” does not refer to the family itself or to the marriage, but to the children. This says there was a whole, intact version of myself that will never find proper expression because I am broken. It says that no matter how much I might believe my parents love me, it’s not quite the “real” love that non-adopted children enjoy, that I was “made to” enjoy but never will.

“But hey, at least it’s not your fault! This kind of thing just befalls people!”

In my entire life, I have never felt anything less than pride in the circumstances of my birth/adoption and gratitude for the life my parents have tried to build for me. I resent anyone with the gall to redefine that for me.

Let’s be very clear. This amendment is not about no-fault divorce; it’s not (only) a thinly-veiled attack on same-sex couples and their children. This is an attempt to delegitimize the familyhood of every woman, man, and child whose family does not conform to a single, narrow definition put forth by small, close-minded hypocrites. Whether the result of fear, hubris, or plain small-mindedness, it is an indefensible position, which, by its nature, demeans those it claims to protect and twists the language of family to make the world a meaner, colder place.

The leaders of a party which still, hilariously, claims to stand for “family values” have failed to recognize that if your values are dependent on biology, they weren’t values to begin with. At best, that’s instinct, though that itself sells short the millions of non-biological parents whose parental instincts are as strong as anyone else’s. A family’s value does not arise from some genetic similarity; it lives in the love that its members have for one another. Its value is reaffirmed every day that its members find strength and hope and peace in the arms of their mother(s) and father(s), sisters and brothers, spouses and partners and sons and daughters and uncles and aunties and grannies and granddads and pop-pops and nanas and …

I’m not loved because I have a “real” family; I have a real family because I am loved.

  • Very well said

    In their frenzy to make sure no one thinks they don’t hate gay people, Republicans have managed to alienate and offend pretty much everyone in the world. It sounds like your parents raised you well; it’s a pity whoever wrote and voted on that platform plank didn’t get the same upbringing from their “intact” family.

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