Yesterday, Jim Burroway pointed out that professional anti-gay activists had quickly sezied on the arrest of Frank Lombard and begun “using this horrific crime as ‘proof’ that all gay people are unfit to be parents.”
This sort of thing is to be expected from the likes of Paul Cameron, but I have to admit that I am a little surprised to see it also being made by Maggie Gallagher in this column saying that she has a deep suspicion “of men who want to get close to children while depriving them of mothers”:
Adoptions are government acts. What did his fellow social workers who approved this adoption know? What did they overlook? What questions didn’t they ask because, well, he was “in the club” — one of them?
Adoption is the way we strip a child of his or her natural protection — his mom and dad — and the government steps in to give this baby a new and better father or mother. Preferably both, I say. But I’m old-fashioned.
I have a bias in favor of mothers. I have a suspicion (let me be frank — I’m not proud, but it’s true) of men who want to get close to children while depriving them of mothers. Yes, let me be politically incorrect: On the whole I would prefer two mothers to none at all for a child.
How do children do who are raised by only fathers? Not that well, actually — on average, I hasten to add.
Maybe gender doesn’t matter at all. But maybe it does. Are we allowed to ask? To wonder?
Yes, I know, women fail babies too. But I would be happier if children were not deliberately deprived of mothers by other adults in their lives.
Gallagher proceeds to tie the issue to Michael Jackson, while seemingly fully aware that her questions are bound to generate controversy but vowing not to be silenced:
I’m old-fashioned. Biased, even, but I already admitted that. I think fathers are immensely important to children — unless and until the fathers indicate they do not want a mother in their child’s life. Then I revert to an old-fashioned, even primitive, instinct: Babies ought to have mothers.
Will anyone run this column? Are we allowed to ask the question, “How in the world did this happen?” Could it be that the social work profession, committed to gay rights and family diversity, did not look very hard at Frank Lombard — did not look beyond class and race and orientation to see if anything was amiss?
I do not know what went wrong in this instance. I do know that we should not let fear of homophobia prevent us from at least acknowledging the facts and asking questions.