By DAVID KITCHEN
The debate about gay marriage is in an interesting place these days. The extremists in the Republican Party continue to insist that legalizing the act will somehow tear our country apart. But outside of that radical thinking, the progress made regarding gay marriage, and its acceptance in general, has been heartening.
And that’s exactly why I took strong issue with what Rupert Everett, the openly gay actor with a history of critical commentary regarding gays, was recently quoted as saying. From his simple opinion that “children need a father and a mother,” to his infuriatingly dismissive and insulting judgment that “I can’t think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads,” Everett has shown himself to be something of a self-hating homosexual.
More importantly, though, he’s hurting a cause that he should be helping, regardless of how he feels about parenthood. I often get upset when people on “our side” don’t seem to understand the relevance or importance of the debate. I’m particularly troubled when such a person is perceived as taking the opposing side. Clearly he has no interest in being a parent.
Mr. Everett, as a man who is looking forward to the day when I get to hold my own baby in my arms, I would respectfully like to invite you to shut up, at least until you can prove that you’re not as misguided as you sound.
Just because you may not care to be a father does not mean that I don’t want to, or am incapable of doing so with another man. Your comments are a setback to an already-fragile cause. Is it difficult to accept that you’re furthering the cause of people who want to shove you back in the closet, and not allow you to live the life you’re currently living anymore?
That’s what happens when you make flippant, uneducated comments. Why would you bother bringing it up in the first place? You don’t have children, nor are you expecting to.
Beyond our differing desires regarding parenthood (and besides the fact you seem to dislike being gay), there’s also this: You’re flat-out wrong. The facts aren’t on your side.
There is no evidence to support that children from a same-sex household are at any significant disadvantage than their peers raised in heterosexual households. If there was clear evidence to prove that it’s a detriment to children, or that they were being placed at risk in any way, those who oppose gay marriage would quote those facts daily.
Although your decision to speak against your community provided you an opportunity to separate from us, you failed miserably in your chance to dignify yourself. This makes you as inaccurate as you are irrelevant. (I’ll be honest, the fact that I’m even taking the time to write about it bothers me.) As a community, we should be beyond the point of debating whether gay marriage is “morally acceptable.”
But when someone says something idiotic in order to make headlines, the only appropriate response is to come back with a “simple-as-a-Palin” retort to put them in their place. Really, Rupert: It’s a shame.
David Kitchen, a Phoenix native, is
captain of the Live Free Be Strong
team in this year’s Smart Ride