Friday, June 08, 2007

Stop trashing fathers...

Andrew Sullivan examines Mitt Romney's statements about same sex partnership, and advises him, "going around trashing mothers is not the best politics. Especially when the next generation is so over this crap. And especially when one of those moms is the daughter of the vice-president."

Of course, Romney has no plans to start "trashing mothers" in general, nor does the "Christianist base" expect him to. What social conservatives desire is cultural acknowledgement that, in general, the best arrangment for raising children is a mother and father who are living together?

Will there be exceptions to this? Absolutely. Do they deserve our support and assistance? Yes. Does that mandate pretending that these arrangements are the ideal and treating them as such? I really don't think so. Is failing to do so tantamount to "trashing mothers?" Clearly not.

Because the message that goes out isn't just what a great mothers Mary Cheney and her partner are. The message that goes out is that fathers are unncecessary. Again, that doesn't mean that every father is a good father, or that anyone raised without a father is doomed. Just that fatherhood involvement is something that should be encouraged, and that treating arrangements like Mary Cheneys as equivalent moves us in the opposite direction.

Now, my post title is tongue and cheek. Obviously, Sullivan is not intending to trash fathers; he wants equality for committed same sex couples. I get that. I wish he would somehow indicate that he gets that those opposed aren't out to "trash mothers," either.