The Supreme Court’s rulings today in the Defense of Marriage Act case and California’s Prop 8 case isn’t only good for same-sex couples who are married or want to marry, and for their kids; it’s great news for ALL kids. I think it’s good for all adults too, and is even good for my marriage, but that’s another post. Here are my reasons all kids won today:
- Children and teens who are questioning their attractions, and those who have come to self-identify as not heterosexual, will have more visible examples of people like them in committed relationships which are recognized by society as a normal form for love to take. Disney movies may still be very hetero-normative, but there will be proof in real life that “Tale as Old As Time” and “Magic Carpet Ride” can be about THEIR loves too.
- Queer and questioning children and teens will face a much-diminished loss reaction from their parents when they reveal their attractions. All parents dream of their children’s happiness; it may be deep down, but a wedding is usually somewhere in those dreams.
- Kids of same-sex couples will get fewer “where’s your mom/dad?” questions, whether or not their parents actually marry. Consciously and unconsciously we associate marriage with children, so I believe we are close to a tipping point: as soon most people personally know someone with a same-sex spouse, it will become boringly normal for a kid to be raised in a same-sex household.
- Kids in households with married same-sex parents will enjoy greater economic security; citizenship benefits will be available to immigrant spouses, health plan benefits can be claimed, military spousal benefits are available, and child-support requirements will be strengthened in the unhappy event of the dissolution of the relationship.
- When you are inspired by what you recognize as a historic moment, that’s a gift. ALL children old enough to remember this day can claim to have seen this civil rights victory. I wasn’t sure I would see this in my lifetime, and my kids know that. I hope it makes them hopeful and persistent about righting other wrongs.