Friday, September 14, 2007

Staying in the bedroom

Apparently, according to an article in the NY Times today (, third graders in Evesham Townships, NJ are stupid. Or really, really smart. Either way, officials there believe that it's not appropriate for them to see a video on family diversity called, "That's a Family!" because one of the kids has two dads. As in, his dads are gay. Gasp!

This is one of those moments when I'm again reminded how annoyed I get at the phrase "what goes on in the bedroom between two people is their private business" (or something to that effect), a statement many well-meaning people use to show how not homophobic they are.

Here's the thing with that phrase though, and I think what's wrong with parents deeming this video inappropriate for third graders (but may be ok when they're in fifth grade, according to one parent): gay relationships aren't just about what goes on in the bedroom any more than straight relationships are. You never have a heterosexual couple try to enter a community and people saying that what goes on in the bedroom is private business, and yet that's what people think of homosexual couples. It's all about sex, not love, or deciding who takes out the garbage or whether or not to buy a new car.

Touting this video as inappropriate for 8-year-olds makes it seem like by teaching about gay parents, they're teaching about gay sex. They're not. And most 8-year-olds I know aren't going to go there any more than they're going to go there with the straight parents.

What it seems this video is trying to say (and I'm guessing, since I haven't seen it), is that families are different in many ways. They look different, some are big and some are small, some are quiet and some are loud. But here's what's quoted from a kid with two dads in the video: "It’s really cool have to two gay dads, because they brought us into a home, and they adopted us, and they love us." They love us.

Families should be about love, people. Of course, not all of them are, and that's a shame. But when you have a family that loves each other, that should be celebrated. No matter how that family's made up. And unfortunately, many of the third graders in Evesham Township, NJ will not get that lesson.

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