Obama’s Department of Justice says mommies are meaningless

I live in an affluent community.  One of the constants in this neighborhood is that, if a family can afford it, the mom retires to take care of the kids.  This is true even if the mom’s salary was comparable to the dad’s.  Often, this isn’t the mom’s preference; it’s the children’s.  Our neighborhood children adore their Dads, but their mother is the pivotal figure in their lives.  The formerly working mom in an affluent neighborhood really intends to go back to work, but it’s hard.  The children want mom to feed them, they want mom to cuddle them, they want mom to cheer on their after-school sports, and they want mom to make them better when it hurts.  They love their dads, but they want their moms.

I know that there are exceptions to what I just wrote.  I know two dads who have been their children’s primary caregivers while mom worked, and they’ve both raised spectacular kids in a very happy way.  These are successful families no matter how you define what constitutes successful parenting.

Nevertheless, you just can’t get by the mom-thing:  Mom carries the baby, gives birth to the baby, feeds the baby, and parents the baby in a different way than even the most loving dad does.  The fact that women are different from men (Viva la difference!) brings a different quality to their relationship with their children.  The fact that a rich community, one with the luxury of choice, opts for the traditional female parenting model, tells you something about the bond between mother and child.  Although intelligent, loving, willing people can come up with different relationships, Mother Nature hardwired moms to be the nurturers.

That’s what I say.  The Obama administration, in a brief supporting same-sex marriage that it submitted to the United States Supreme Court, says different:

The Justice Department presented its conclusions about parenthood in rebutting an argument made by proponents of Proposition 8 that the traditional two-parent family, led by both a mother and a father, was the ideal place, determined even by nature itself, to raise a child.

The Obama administration argues this is not true. It argues that children need neither a father nor a mother and that having two fathers or two mothers is just as good as having one of each.

“The [California] Voter Guide arguably offered a distinct but related child-rearing justification for Proposition 8: ‘the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father,’” said the administration’s brief submitted to the court by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.

“As an initial matter, no sound basis exists for concluding that same-sex couples who have committed to marriage are anything other than fully capable of responsible parenting and child-rearing,” the Department of Justice told the court. “To the contrary, many leading medical, psychological, and social-welfare organizations have issued policy statements opposing restrictions on gay and lesbian parenting based on their conclusion, supported by numerous scientific studies, that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.”

“The weight of the scientific literature strongly supports the view that same-sex parents are just as capable as opposite-sex parents,” says the administration.

To support this argument, one of the documents the administration cites is a “policy statement” by the American Psychological Association. This statement claims that some studies indicate same-sex parents might be “superior” to mother-and-father families, but then concedes there is little actual data on the results of raising children in two-father households.

“Members of gay and lesbian couples with children have been found to divide the work involved in childcare evenly, and to be satisfied with their relationships with their partners,” says this APA policy statement the administration cited to the court. “The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers’ and gay fathers’ parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

“Studies of other aspects of personal development (including personality, self-concept, and conduct) similarly reveal few differences between children of lesbian mothers and children of heterosexual parents,” says the APA policy statement. “However, few data regarding these concerns are available for children of gay fathers.”

The Obama administration further argues that because California law already permits domestic partnerships in which same-sex couples are allowed all the “incidents” of marriage–including the right to adopt children and be foster parents–that Proposition 8 only denies same-sex couples the use of the word “marriage” and does not change the status of child-rearing in the state.

“Moreover, as the court of appeals determined, ‘Proposition 8 had absolutely no effect on the ability of same-sex couples to become parents or the manner in which children are raised in California,’” says the administration. “As explained, California law, both before and after Proposition 8, grants registered domestic partners the same parental rights and benefits accorded to married couples. And Proposition 8 does not alter California’s adoption, fostering, or presumed-parentage laws, which ‘continue to apply equally to same-sex couples.’

“In light of California’s conferral of full rights of parenting and child-rearing on same-sex couples, Proposition 8’s denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry bears no cognizable relation, let alone a substantial one, to any interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing (however defined),” says the administration. “Indeed, because a substantial number of California children are raised in households headed by same-sex couples.”

Children can absolutely survive without mothers.  In the pre-modern era, the risks of childbirth saw enormous numbers of children orphaned.  Children are resilient.  They’ll survive a parents’ death; they’ll survive both parents’ deaths; they’ll survive good foster homes and bad; and they’ll survive in a two-father family, a two-mother family, or a non-traditional family where dad stays home.  But to pretend that a stable two-parent home with a loving mother providing a feminine role model and a loving father providing a masculine role model is unnecessary and passe is something that could only happen in a post-post-deconstructionist world, one in which a boy can announce that he is a girl and, voila!, that makes it so.

We 21st century first worlders have an enormous arrogance, one that sees us thinking that we can successfully ignore our biology and human nature as a whole.  Just a few examples show how wrong that hubris is.  We think that we control the entire earth’s atmosphere, rather than just have the ability to pollute or keep clean our immediate internment; we think that we can control disease, only to see our antibiotics become ineffective, with viruses such as AIDS sneaking past our “civilized” defenses, and traditional scourges such as TB coming back in new and ever more virulent form; we think that we have reached an apex of civility that overrides the cruel animal in us, only to witness unspeakable atrocities in every corner of the world, in every decade of every century; and we think that we can use our superior abilities, not just to constrain biology, but to ignore it entirely.

Please understand that I do not intend to say here that non-traditional households cannot succeed and that they are unable to create a loving, nurturing environment for children.  I’m just saying that, if history has taught us anything, it’s that it’s utterly foolish to pretend that Mother Nature doesn’t usually get the last word — making it quite wrong and dangerously foolish to create public policy based upon the pretense that Nature doesn’t exist.

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  • barbtheevilgenius

    I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since becoming pregnant with my first daughter. I wouldn’t trade all the time I’ve been able to spend with my daughters for anything. Not only was I right there during their most formative years, but I’m also available as soon as they get home from school if they had a bad day, or even if they had a great day. And we get to talk, a lot, about anything and everything.
    It absolutely amazes me how much of a difference there is between the way that my husband and I parent. But even more surprising is the dysfunction I see in my daughters’ high school and middle school friends. My teens have their share of angst, drama and general adolescent issues. But some of these kids seem to be seriously hurting. And too often there is only one parent involved, or a parent and a stepparent, said stepparent not really caring about the kid that much.
    There may be some arrogant types that think we can control biology. I think the real leaders among those saying biology doesn’t matter are doing it so they can use the State to replace Mommy and Daddy.

  • jj

    Any conclusion from any department that has anything to with Holder is automatically suspect.  And, the people voted proposition 8 down!  I am goddamed if I can see a basis, rooted anywhere other than in a barrel of BS, for the expressed will of several million folks to be overturned by a bunch of retired ambulance-chasers in ball gowns.  Even if they were wearing Dior they don’t get to do that.  The state constitution is pretty simple: it allows for putting questions before the people, and what they say goes.  A constitution is, at heart, nothing more than what the majority of the people say it is.
    I think you have a far bigger constitutional question here than you do parenting issue.

  • 11B40

    On the one hand, once you have convinced yourself that homosexuality is not a serious sexual dysfunction, you’re over the roller coaster’s hump and the gravity of deception takes hold.  To expect otherwise, is to expect to be able to tell a solitary lie. 
    On the other hand, growing up in a (Bronx) Irish Catholic home revealed a couple of interesting cultural proclivities. One was the “Irish Party” which basically referred to the menfolk gathering in the living room and the women in the kitchen. While there were certainly vagaries in this regard, women and children seemed to have more freedom of movement than the men, there was an underlying purposefulness.  Children had to find the needed adoration in the warmths of the kitchen and were expected to be virtually silent observers in the living room. Women were allowed, under the guise of refreshment replacement to present themselves in the living room on occasion but with acknowledgment only and little or no expectation of similar adoration. This cultural proclivity became apparent to me around the time of my First Holy Communion when I got the telepathic message from my father that it was time for me to spend more time among the menfolk and less among the various warmths of the the kitchen and the ladies. Years later, this was reinforced during a dinnertime discussion between my mother and my father about my getting a 22 calibre rifle for my birthday. My mother’s position was that a firearm was something that should be involved in the rearing of a child. My father’s position was that he wasn’t raising a child, he was raising a man.
    I have little faith in these modern “advancements” of child rearing.  While they may have their successes, and certainly times have changed, the greater probabilities of success still lie with the traditional ways. I don’t know if those who push their modern ways are unknowing, unwise, or conspiratorial, but they certainly have accepted a higher level of risk to our society and culture by following their course. 
    And in these days, I can’t help but wonder how our Muslim brothers and sisters are raising their children.

  • Libby

    Sadly, feminists have a lot of responsibility for the DOJ’s line of thinking. They’ve worked for decades to destroy the traditional family structure (too patriarchal!), delegitimize the unique role of women as mothers, and for women to perceive pregnancy as a disease (or punishment) that is cured through abortion.

  • Beth

    11B40–love your story of women in the kitchen, men in the living room.  German descent here and the same happened to me growing up, except the kids were delegated to the basement!  BUT…. I would sit on the top step, listening to my dad, his father, brothers and the older nephews talking, arguing, shouting about politics, unions, the church(gee, only a little whiskey involved!).  Absolutely the best part of the week–Sunday afternoons at Grandma and Grandpas house.  And it was best because I knew that the men in the house were discussing, talking about, taking care of the world–the stuff that went on outside of the women’s control; and my mom, grandma, aunties and older female cousins were talking and discussing many of the same issues, sorting out how best to comment later; yet also discussing the kids, cooking and frankly how to raise the kids in the new, changing world we were entering. 
    The balance men and women provide each other make a truly FULL life–all bases get covered. 

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    My very first memory is of seeing grown-ups cry after JFK was assassinated.  Not a very nice memory.  My second memory is of me leaving the building after a morning in preschool (so I must have been 3 or 4).  The preschool was at the bottom of a driveway.  I was at the bottom and my mom was at the top, smiling at me as I ran into her arms.  I love my dad, but I don’t have those memories of him.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    If they ever do find the gay gene, that will merely end up with the Left’s eugenicists aborting those with the gene.
    They will, of course, blame it on Right wing fundamentalism. And cry out for more money, more power, more support as a result.

  • MacG

    “The fact that women are different from men”  Heretic!  Or is that Hisetic?

  • edge of the sandbox

    In my SF Bay Area suburb everyone is a feminist, and all families that can afford it have women staying home with kids.  It’s kids’ choice, it’s mother’s choice and it’s the dad’s choice — usually, although I know A few dads who are unwilling to support mothers of their children [that they aren’t married to].  Stay at home dads are an exception to the rule.
    That children don’t need a mom and a dad contradicts century-worth of findings of sociological research.  I suspect that the studies that show that gay parenting is just as good are BS.  Lesbian moms that I know usually have a chip on their shoulder.  Some of them are nice, but they are out to prove that they are like the best parents ever.  At the same time they are quite… mmm…. counter-cultural in their approach to child-rearing.  But that’s just what I came across.
    One thing to keep in mind is that the lesbians who are having children while involved with other lesbians are usually pretty well-off financially, and they made their babies with top quality sperm.  So there is some sort of selection going on.