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July 9, 2004

The One and Only Voice Splits

As far as I can tell from coverage to date, Maggie Gallagher has found the one adult child of same-sex parents who feels this way:

Why does she oppose same-sex marriage? "It's not something that a seal of approval should be stamped on: We shouldn't say it is a great and wonderful thing and then you have all these kids who later in life will turn around and realize they've been cheated. The adults choose to have that lifestyle and then have a kid. They are fulfilling their emotional needs -- they want to have a child -- and they are not taking into account how that's going to feel to the child; there's a clear difference between having same-sex parents and a mom and a dad." ...

A few years back, she watched "20/20" interviews with children like her. "They were asked questions like: 'Are you happy? Do you love your parents?' I don't think it's fair to ask them those questions. These are their parents. They aren't going to say they are suffering, because they don't want to make their parents feel bad."

For some reason, while I did the dishes this morning, I recalled that after-school special with Scott Baio, The Truth About Alex. A very similar film came out a few years later about another masculine jock who proved to be homosexual. I wonder, if one did a broad study, how homosexuality would rank against other issues about which the entertainment and education industries sought to indoctrinate my generation. My guess is that the environment would be number 1 by a wide margin. The next two would probably be race and homosexuality, although in what order, I honestly couldn't say.

The more my worldview shifts away from the one with which I emerged into the adult world, the more I see how the various influences on me as a child shaped my understanding of the proper ideas and positions. It would be interesting to find some way of developing a rough picture of what has happened to the politics of my generation as it has aged. It has seemed to me that there's a dramatic split, although leaning toward the conservative side, as the gloss spattered across the world begins to tarnish in the air of real life. In opposition are those who've chosen to layer propaganda on pabulum.

Could the "many worlds" feel of modern society come down to a simple matter of several indoctrinated generations growing up and either coming to believe that what they'd universally been taught was wrong or continuing along the same path of thought? Whatever the case, this is part of why I'm skeptical of claims about the inevitability of same-sex marriage when those who are currently in formation take society's reins. They're still in the machine, and just as importantly, they're still in a land of moderated responsibility.

And here, again, we see an edge of the Big Issue that is too large to describe except in pieces, where various discrete matters come into contact. For one thing, perhaps there is something related in the fact that the socialist systems of more-liberal Western nations serve to moderate the responsibility of adults by softening the consequences of decisions and failure. For another thing, we might have the opportunity to form some inkling of opinion trends in a world with drastically expanded lifetimes and the extended adolescence that would likely follow.

I'm aware that I'm drifting, here, but perhaps I've found a tangle worth sorting out while I paint, today.

Posted by Justin Katz at July 9, 2004 10:56 AM
Culture