Gay Marriage

This past Sunday, a gentleman by the name of David Blankenhorn, an identified liberal Democrat, had his commentary published in the LA Times: Protecting Marriage to Protect Children: you can read the full piece at: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-blankenhorn19-2008sep19,0,2093869.story

As a Boomer (as I believe is he), also a Democrat (albeit a somewhat conservative one…), and someone with a professional background working with highly at-risk children and youth, I have formulated my thoughts on his thoughts (yes, I know….too much thinking…what can I say, that’s what we Dem’s do…).  Here they are.

I would like to help Mr. Blankenhorn with a few of his “facts”:

§    “Marriage is the “primary license to have children” –
this fits very nicely with homosexual unions, as many have children…biologically…

§    “Marriage unites the three  core dimensions of parenthood – biological, social and legal” –
see above for biological, social was resolved in the last century, and I believe it is the legal category that pro-gay marriage legislation is attempting to fix

§    “People wed primarily to reproduce” –
this motive for marriage ended after we ‘won the West’ and no longer needed to populate small towns…

§    “Children have the right…to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into the world…” –
as a Guardian ad Litem and a mental health professional who has worked for over a decade with homeless/runaway youth in two of this
country’s major cities, I have seen more unfit biological parents (heterosexual, by the way) than there are pork barrel projects in Washington,
and it is precisely an emphasis on the “right of the biological parents” vs. the best interest of the child that anyone associated with child
protection will agree stands in the way of getting children moved out of foster care and into stable, permanent homes: which speaks directly to
your assertion that they are indeed “society’s most voiceless and vulnerable group.”

§    “Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him.” –
see bullet #1, and add to it that many homosexual unions include one or the other partner’s biological child with access to the other biological
parent, no different than in a heterosexual divorce situation

§    “Losing that right will not be a consequence of something…tragic (such as divorce, unexpected pregnancy…)…On the contrary…those
unions…will be explained to everyone as something wonderful (that) has happened!” –
you’re comparing break-ups and unplanned reproduction to a union of two people – apples and oranges – sly…but didn’t get by me…

§    “Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those couples as well as the children being raised in those homes.” –
hey…make up your mind…and it doesn’t “almost” benefit those children, it does so absolutely

§    “But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation…undermines the gift of birthright…that is marriage’s most
distinctive contribution to human society.” –
it would seem, given all the above, that you’ve actually done a fine job of proving that marriage, regardless of who with whom, is a key
component to the things needed most for the raising of healthy children; stability; access to parents who treasure them; and legal recognition
so they can reap all the benefits therein.

I hope this helps you in future, and oh, by the way, thanks for actually making a fine case for the importance of gay marriage particularly when it comes to the well-being of the children involved!

7 Tips for Getting Your Boomer Mojo On!

Peace signThese are seven easy things we can do to reinvigorate our Boomerness – combining what made us great back in the day, with what makes us great now – for SUPERGREATNESS! (add the echo for full effect):

  1. We started the “caring about the environment” movement – and we are needed again.  We kinda got lost on this front, and have actually over the last 20 years lead the way for ultra-consumption and environmental carelessness just so we could feel  important/valuable (the 2-3 homes, the BMW, the power-boat, all the trappings of looking successful that are environmental killers..!).  So, to get going on this one, pick just one thing – make it a big one – to change from environmentally hazardous to “clean and green”.  By big, I mean trade that gas-guzzling car for one that gets at least 1/3 greater mileage (a standard “luxury” vehicle gets about 17 city/22 highway at best – a really fun to drive and surprisingly ample Honda Civic Coupe gets 30 city and anywhere from 35-45 highway depending on manual or automatic); trade that way too big vacation home for a much smaller but still lovely town-house or condo.
  2. We were the first generation to rebel against a “trumped up war” – and of course history has shown the Vietnam conflict to have been just that.  This step is not about war per se, but staying on top of what your elected officials are doing, why they’re doing it, and not letting them get away with bad behavior, poor decisions, and shoddy leadership simply because they can count on us not paying attention….or worse yet, not caring.  Get reconnected to your belief in what’s right, and hold accountable those who decide what happens in your life – START PAYING ATTENTION.
  3. Which leads to the obvious next step….VOTING….  We spent lots of time in our youth “dropping out” as a form of rebellion, and we’re still doing it…but in the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons.  It doesn’t work when it comes to electing those people who will vastly influence our lives for years to come.  Someone will be voted in – by not making your voice heard, someone else’s will be – it’s that simple.  So goofus down the street is choosing your Senator for you.  Not a pretty picture.  And if you need further convincing, the extreme closeness of so many elections literally shows that every single vote can make the difference between a win or loss.  OK, you hate all the candidates?  Another excuse – pick the lesser of to weevils – better a half-wit than Beelzebub.  P.S. – we’re being completely out Boomered by our kids…
  4. Back to “dropping out” – here’s where it is the right strategy, therefore tip #4.  The time to NOT do things for a huge impact is when you “vote with your wallet”!  Don’t buy from places that are known for poor human resource practices, for exploiting third world labor or natural resources (Chevron ravaging people’s farms without providing them compensation for their loss of income) without actually providing a benefit to that country or it’s people (very different from just paying “low wages” by US standards…), don’t buy from huge conglomerates when you have a local merchant struggling to survive, and don’t buy items that aren’t environmentally friendly (whenever possible).  Now that’s dropping out smartly!
  5. Contrary to popular belief from the Boomer myths swirling around, the extraordinary changes we created were not from our Pollyanna-like optimism.  In fact, it was from our pessimism and lack of faith in everything from “the man” to all the accepted institutions (like marriage, big business, and anything that required shoes…).  So, let’s use that pessimism that still lives within us!  Actually, now it’s more a healthy cynicism and an unwillingness to just believe everything we hear/see without getting all the facts behind it.  So that’s tip #5 – refuse to “do what you’re told” whether it’s by a doctor or the media.  Stay in charge of all you think, believe, and therefore act upon.
  6. We Boomers were famous for insisting people “tell it like it is!”  And we stopped doing just that.  We keep “should’ing all over ourselves and everyone else.  In fact, should shouldn’t be in the dictionary.  It’s a conditional verb, which begs the question, “conditional on what??”  Well, that’s the thing.  Conditional on whether you/they “will” or “won’t” – “can” or “can’t” – so, just say what you really mean!  When you say “should” you set everyone up for a lose-lose – your expectations are not clear, they can’t possibly live up to something that’s not well defined…and everyone’s unhappy.  When you stop should’ing, you at last know where you really stand – and you are much more powerful!
  7. Think “and/both” not “either/or”.  #6 notwithstanding, you will be much better able to find solutions to problems when you don’t back yourself into a fabricated corner.  You can have screwed up your new eating habits (notice I didn’t say the “d” word) and get back on it tomorrow.  Your spouse can be clueless about your favorite whatever and still love you immensely.  Bottom line, when you get in the habit of seeing all the options not just the ones in black and white, you’ll be oh so much happier – and accomplished.