Last year, over 400,000 people in Slovakia signed the petition that called for the "Protection of Family" referendum, with the ultimate goal to ban same-sex marriage and same-sex adoptions. The population of Slovakia is just under five and a half million. That is a very simple math and a very sad equation. The referendum is set for February 7th.
Alliance For Family, the organization behind the petition, chose a clever approach. They use the well-being of children as their focal point. They say: "Look at those selfish, arrogant, self-centered, perverted adults that only think about their own financial profit. Of course, as soon as they are married they will claim they should also have the right to have children. We are here to defend those poor children. We can't allow social experiments like these - we can't experiment on children."
They are double-clever, because they also state that their goal is to strengthen family values in a traditional setting. Yes - they knew people would argue that the "traditional" family as we know it includes an alcoholic mother and an abusive father and that uncle that offers your toddler beer in a sippy cup."We are here to help!" they cry.
The most popular argument supporters of the ban use is this: "Studies have proved that it is damaging for a child to grow up in the same-sex marriage. No two fathers can replace a mother, and no two mothers can replace a father." Obviously, you can't ignore science. There are studies! It is rather interesting then that those studies have actually concluded the exact opposite. Not only have they shown that the children of same-sex couples fare just as well as the ones of "traditional" couples, they have also shown that their health and well-being is above average. However, the studies flagged the issue of these children experiencing some form of stigma due to their parents' sexual orientation, impacting their mental and emotional well-being in the future.
Let me repeat this - the ONE problem that these kids face is that other people bully them because they don't like that their parents are homosexual. So if the kids of same-sex couples suffer, the only reason behind it is that a large part of the population can't handle two penises or two vaginas sharing the same bedroom.
Oh no, the homophobic says, this is about the male and female example that every human being needs. Mother's gentle embrace, Father's firm hand, and if Mother works as a car mechanic and Father works as a tailor, then for heaven's sake, shouldn't we ban them from having children too?
It's about tradition, the homophobic goes on. Traditional family is only the one of a man and a woman. It was meant to be and it should stay like that forever. Some throw God in it, some talk about morals. Traditions should be valued and nothing should ever change. Especially if church says so. Inquisition was wonderful, right? But let's not just pick on catholic church - burning women alive with their deceased husbands was such a splendid idea! Why did we stop? And how about eunuchs? What's up with that, don't we need them anymore? Are you sure? And to bring it back to Slovakia - what about the lovely village of Valaska where they eat dogs? Such a beautiful tradition!
"At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past." Or, you know, half a million.
All in all, it's nothing but a witch hunt. Traditional family doesn't exist. It never has. There are opposite-sex couples that stayed together for their whole lives, loved their children and taught them that everyone has equal rights. I am pretty sure I could find at least ten of those. Then there are opposite-sex couples that abuse their partners and/or children, cheat, hate, scam, hit, disrespect, or just ignore. Guess what - there are numerous studies on this subject and they all say the same thing. Long-term effects of domestic violence include emotional and psychological trauma, higher risk of alcohol/drug abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, juvenile delinquency and adult criminality. But let's blame it on gays and lesbians.
"Do you know why homosexual couples are better parents than heterosexual? Because they can't just get pregnant on a drunk night out. If they are capable to jump through all the hoops they are required to in order to become parents, then they obviously have their sh*t together."
There is nothing wrong with two men or two women falling in love, marrying and raising children. The only thing that is wrong is prejudice and small minds.
Why am I even bothering writing all this? Surely, those who agree don't need to see it and those who disagree won't be swayed.
I am writing this for those who think that same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption should be fine, but don't feel courageous enough to get involved in the fight.
So what? Yes, I think it would be all right, but it's not really my problem. My parents, my siblings, my coworkers, my aunts and uncles (even that one who never had a girlfriend and the whole family thinks he is gay) - they all think that homosexuality is a sin. They think it's a disease. They think it's just a new trend. They all think it's disgusting. I am not going to stand up to them. I am not going to be the laughing stock. It's not my problem.
I am not here taking a stand so that I can fuel the controversy. I am not here taking a stand so that I can be divisive. I am here taking a stand so that those people who know me might feel less alone in their own belief. I don't care what my parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and friends think. I can take their disagreement over this. You can, too.
I have two children. We read a lot. We teach them about people who changed the world. Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earheart, Albert Einstein, Jackie Robinson. They all have one thing in common. They could have just kept quiet. But they didn't.
Think about it.
Don't keep quiet.
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Jackie Robinson