Next time self-righteous religious groups attack gay parents or adoption by same-sex families consider this:
** In San Francisco, Lashaun Harris is on trial in the murder of her three kids, whom she allegedly threw into the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay in October. Harris believed that God wanted her children as a sacrifice, police said.
** In Houston, a new trial has been ordered for Andrea Yates, a suburban housewife who has admitted to drowning her five children -- ages 7 years to six months -- to save them from Satan.
** In McKinney, Texas, Dena Schlosser was tried for a second time and found not guilty by reason of insanity (after a first jury deadlocked) in the killing of her 10-month-old daughter, Maggie, on orders from God.
** In Tyler, Texas, Deanna Laney was found insane after she crushed the skulls of her three children; she believed she was given instructions, like Abraham, from God.
Obviously, these crazy people do not reflect the vast majority of loving parents of faith. I only point this out to pose two questions: 1) Why are right ring religious fanatics singling out loving same-sex families for scorn and ridicule?
2) Can you imagine the uproar Neo-Puritan groups would have made if a lesbian couple had crushed the skulls of their three children? They would surely have blamed it on their sexual orientation, not the fact the women were insane. There would have been calls to ban same-sex adoption in all 50 states.
There is clearly a double standard that has to end. Why must gay people defend their basic fitness for parenting when it is clear that sexual orientation has nothing to do with, say, whether or not a parent throws a child into San Francisco Bay?
My four years with the LAPD Forensic Photo Unit, and just tracking criminal cases like the ones you listed-shouldn't make it hard to conclude what's going on. Heterosexuality and fecundity are not virtues. They are conincidences.
And the government, when it comes to straight folks, respect the privacy of straight folks, and the primacy of government allowing them to plan or not, how and when and with whom an adult straight person will lay down and procreate with.
And since there is no government interference-the risks are innumerable. Religious doctrine has no respect for gender or individuality. Religious doctrine expects women to bear children regardless of their physical, mental or financial ability to do so. Religious doctrine abandons and stigmatizes women who cannot or choose not to bear children. And ultimately will abandon the woman and child who are out of wedlock. The MEN who contribute to this, are not so stigmatized or socially abandoned. But it's straight, heterosexual and predominantly religious men who have made up all the rules, enforce those rules selectively.
Domestic violence and homophobia are at their root....sexism. Extreme misogyny. Soon, SCOTUS will entirely be gray haired men....all over again. Whose support of tradition will mean men like THEM will get all the breaks, AGAIN. It only took a generation to go backwards.
BTW....the crime stats are clear and valid. Gay and lesbian parent violation of their own children is literally one in a million. However, heterosexual violation of their own children is virtually beyond counting. From crushing poverty, filthy conditions, homelessness, drugs and sexual exploitation, violence...it's a broad gamut. Some of it not counted by the government at all.
The polygamous Warren Jeffs is still at large. What took the state of Utah so long?
posted by Regan, at
6/01/2006 12:03 PM
The three women you named from Texas all share at least one thing: fundamentalist Christianity. They each went to a church that taught that women are temptresses and Jezebels who are essentially evil and lead men astray.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Andrea Yates's doctor wanted to put her on anti-depressents for post-partum depression but her preacher and husband wouldn't allow it. Her preacher teaches that mental discorders are actually demon possession and he alone has the power to exorcise those demons. It all sounds bizarre and medieval, but it's modern fundamentalist Christianity being practiced in the United States today. Obviously, most women who go to these churches don't kill their children, but they are very dangerous places for someone who is already unstable.
posted by Sam, at
6/01/2006 12:22 PM
Maybe God whispered to these demented moms that their tots were going to grow up to be gay.
posted by Anonymous, at
6/01/2006 12:30 PM
It is just a tad bit unnerving that 3 out of your 4 examples are from the State of Texas.
Assuming this "making their boys eat feces" tale really happened, and isn't a figment of some fundamentalist's diseased imagination (coprophagia has long been a standard anti-gay canard by fundies), I think Wayne's point was the double standards involved.
Nobody I know ever claimed that a woman like Andrea Yates was an unfit mother simply because she was heterosexual. On the other hand, in proceedings such as custody hearings, gays are automatically assumed to be unfit parents irrespective of the merits of their case, and no matter what sort of scum the heterosexual parent might be.
To use a long-running gag in an old "Saturday Night Live" skit with the late John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd; when a heterosexual mom murders her child, it's another case of (yawn) child abuse; when a lesbian mom murders her child, it's a "gay-related death". Aieeee!
posted by Anonymous, at
6/12/2006 12:01 PM