Not the Gold Standard but the rainbow one

Ah, Utah, your mountains are beautiful but your politics are truly bizarre.

In arguing the current challenge to amendment 3 which bans same sex marriage,  the state attorneys said case law requires that the judge use a rational-basis standard to determine if Utah’s law promotes a legitimate government interest in supporting responsible procreation and the “gold standard” of two biological parents for child rearing, which they said was the primary purpose behind the ban on same-sex marriages.

Gold standard?  Utah is a state that says it values families and children.  It also has terribly underfunded and poorly performing schools and one of the highest suicide rates in the country for teens and young adults.  I won’t even talk about STD’s and teenage pregnancies, porn addiction rates, drug addiction rates, or the high profile and horrible cases of child abuse and neglect that keep surfacing.

Is the gold standard really about straight couples marrying very young and having lots of kids?  The LDS culture here encourages that. Families with eight or even ten children are not uncommon.  Women are defined by being mothers and more is clearly seen as better.  That doesn’t seem like “responsible procreation” to me.  Almost every week, a young child is run over in their driveway and killed , often by a relative.  Unsupervised children find the family guns and shoot each other or themselves. Realistically, no one can watch ten kids and keep them safe, not these days.  No one can really care for ten children and do justice to the difficult job of being a parent.

If Utah families are the gold standard for raising children, it is a pretty tarnished one.

Responsible procreation is having children that you really want.  It is having the resources and abilities to be able to care for them so that they can grow up to be healthy, happy, responsible people who will contribute something positive to the world.

Same gender couples who have decided to have children are much more likely than straight couples to have given parenting a lot of thought before they create a family.   It also takes a lot of effort and expense for a gay couple to have a child, most commonly through artificial insemination, surrogacy, or adoption. Accidental pregnancies just don’t happen.  Home studies are also required for adoption.  The gay parents I know are, in fact, some of the best around.  I also know some awesome single parents as well as straight couples who have adopted children.  Kids in those families suffer not because of their family structure but because people tell them their family is somehow not “real” or “not as good .”

The state attorneys and those they represent should take a long hike in those lovely  mountains.  They can look for gold, but they just might see a rainbow instead.

We could then adopt a rainbow standard of children being raised by a parent or parents who will love and care for them.


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