Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the issues of same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples has once again riled the masses to the point that they feel the need to take to the streets and protest.
As I wrote the sentence above, I remembered the crowd that gathered to protest the Diversity March held in Yerevan in May 2012. And though those in Armenia protesting diversity (they thought it was a Pride Parade, but still) is not the same as those in France protesting same-sex marriage or adoption rights, there is an underlying thread — it’s called homophobia.
So excuse me if the organizers of this latest public display of homophobia (i.e. the Paris rally) don’t want to be seen as homophobic. Furthermore, the BBC Paris correspondent notes:
"Despite the support of the Church and political right, the organisers are keen to stress their movement is non-political and non-religious, and in no way directed against homosexuals"
“In no way directed against homosexuals”? How can it not be directed against homosexuals if you’re protesting against homosexuals’ rights to marry and adopt children? And, I’m sorry, but if you believe gay people can’t marry and adopt children but straight people can then you ARE a homophobe. It’s really as simple as that.
The more I think about this the more I understand homophobia to be an irrational fear. Phobia = fear, we all know this, but it’s funny how often you come across homophobes (in media and in real life) who don’t want to be seen as being homophobes. It’s just not cool, is it?
And the more I think about people’s irrational fears of same-sex couples adopting, the more I see it as their fear of two people of the same sex raising a child — which is different than saying “a child has to have a mother and a father”. All children — all humans on earth — have a mother and father. But not all of us are raised by both of our biological parents. For instance, how many single-parent families do you know? Or divorced or blended families? There are many different kinds of families, and you’d think we’d have realized and accepted this by now…
It’s the images of a man and woman holding the hands of one male and one female child (or the picture of a blonde woman and blonde man kissing a small blonde girl) on the signs and banners of French protestors that really irked me. I would argue that “un papa + une maman” is no longer the make-up of a typical household in France or in many other countries. Of course, I don’t have any statistics to support my claim; however, I think we can safely agree that in this day and age a family without both a mother and a father is still a family.
Former Italian MP Vladimir Luxuria (the first openly transgender Member of Parliament in Europe) in the film Suddenly, Last Winter (Improvvisamente l'inverno scorso) said it best in one of those heart-wrenching moments of the film that makes me cry even when I watch it today:
“We don’t need bigoted professors teaching us what the family is. We know what a family is. We weren’t born in a cabbage patch! We come from families! […] Two people don’t have to be of different genders to be a family. A family is a family if the woman isn’t beaten, if the child isn’t abused. In a normal family, there is listening, respect, love. We are a family!”
So what’s the real reason for protesting same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples? It’s not about preserving the sanctity of the (nuclear) familiy. I think we’ve already proven that that is no longer the case. It’s simply an irrational fear of two people of the same sex. In other words, homophobia.
So let’s call it by what it is, ok?