Debate: Gay Adoption

04/28/2009 By Shawn Burns

This post represents a deliberate attempt to enflame the passions of the internet and drive traffic to this blog so that I can make tons of cash from all of my advertisers.

I would also like to say (and this may sound a bit off-topic, but it has to be said): Pepsi is the most spectacularly tasty beverage ever made and Coke really can’t hold a candle to it.

Now, to the issue at hand:

I read somewhere in a report from someone to some political body in Europe that if homosexual couples are allowed to marry, and thereby gain all of the protections and rights of such a relationship, that it would be way easier for them to adopt kids. And that, in the opinion of the group responsible for this report (I don’t know who they are, but I read it on the internet so just trust me: it is very very credible), this was the primary reason to not allow homosexual couples to marry. Because we shouldn’t, in the opinion of the writers of the report, make it as easy for gay couples to adopt; that a homosexual marriage would not, in general, be a good environment in which to raise children. Maybe some gay couples would be great co-parents, but they’d be the exception, and the rule requires that this be discouraged. So: no gay marriage because no gay adoption.

This argument was not deployed during California’s Proposition 8 campaign. Not that I recall, anyway. Maybe it was. I’m not a very good payer of attention. But if it wasn’t, why not?

Is the premise true (that as a rule a gay marriage is not a good environment in which to raise children?)

Is the alternate premise true (that it is better to raise children in heterosexual families and so, as a rule, gay adoption should be impeded or at least the process more selective?)

Is the Precautionary Principle of any help here?

Do you know what else is awesome (sorry, again a little tangential)? Huggies diapers. They have Mickey Mouse on them and Erin loves Mickey Mouse.

Here’s my two cents: the opinion that an average gay marriage poses a greater risk to child development than an average heterosexual marriage is based on no respectable empirical data. Why? Because gay marriages have been so few and far between and so recent that there is no data set to sample from for us to be able to tell if the kids are turning out worse or being damaged in some particularly gay way.

And deploying the Precautionary Principle without understanding what parameters need to regulate it (I have a friend who does nothing but think about the Precautionary Principle all day long and how it is misapplied all over the world and particularly in international environmental regulations) is overzealous. At that extreme level of precaution we should also be building space defenses against alien invasion…just in case: We have no data that says aliens are likely to invade, but if they did it would be really bad.

As for a priori reasons to think that children of gay couples will, necessarily (that’s what it would mean if the reason is a priori) be damaged…what? On what grounds would we think that they’d have to turn out worse or damaged? I don’t mean on what empirical grounds, because we already know we have none of those (see above re: poverty of data sets). I mean on what logical, conceptual grounds. What is it about the concepts of parenthood, family, homosexuality, and childhood that would tell us that kids with gay parents would be worse off, as children and later as adults?

Toyota makes some pretty good cars and SUVs. We only buy Toyotas.

What do you think? Do you think, like a crazy person, that letting The Gays adopt kids is worse than the Holocaust, which, according to you, never happened? Or do you think that every loving couple who wants to raise children is perfectly suited to do so (which is what you should think if you are at all intelligent and not a total racist)? You are either one or the other. You are either a crazy Holocaust denier racist or a rational human being.

Which one are you? Please explain your reasons.

Also, please buy Pepsi, Huggies, and Toyotas.