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05/25/2007

Mary C. condemnations: Take two

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 1-77So yesterday we showed you how Peter LaBarbera of the so-called Americans for Truth group was condemning Mary Cheney less than 24 hours after she gave birth to her son.  Well today, Matt Barber of the Concerned Women for America has weighed in with his own thoughts, and sadly, "congratulations on your new addition!" is not the sentiment he has chosen to convey.  A sample of Matt's words (in red), with our running commentary (in blue):

Ms. Cheney apparently intends to have a woman by the name of Heather Poe, whom she has identified as her lesbian “partner,” assist in the rearing of her son; but unfortunately, Ms. Poe can never replace little Samuel David’s other parent – his dad. One wonders if Ms. Cheney has ever contemplated what her childhood may have been like if she had been denied her own father.

Okay, first off, Ms. Poe is not just some woman that Mary has identified as her partner.  The two have been together for 16 YEARS!  That sort of commitment speaks for itself, especially in a world where quickie divorces and instability seem rife in heterosexual arrangements.  But Mr. Barber is right in saying Ms. Poe can never be a dad, just like she can never (without surgery) be a husband, granddad, or someone who pees standing up at a urinal (at least easily).  That's because Ms. Poe is a woman.  But that doesn't mean she can't be a wonderful, loving, capable co-parent who raises this child with great success.  As Mary is a woman whose truth draws her to other women, and Ms. Poe is the one particular female to which Mary has dedicated her life, Heather is the perfect person to share this burden and joy.

The Fox News Channel, which in the past has at least made an effort to avoid liberal bias and political correctness in its reporting, has covered the story with the PC caption: Dick Cheney’s Daughter & Lesbian Partner Give Birth to Boy. This begs the question: How is it that Ms. Cheney’s lesbian partner has “[given] birth to a boy”? It is a biological impossibility for a homosexual “couple” to conceive a child without the assistance of a third party who is a member of the opposite sex. Yes, due to infertility natural male-female couples sometimes have to employ similar assistance, but there is no comparison.

Well, we're not sure as to which Fox News report that Mr. Barber is referring, exactly, as neither of the stories they have posted online describe the event in the way he claims.  So we'll have to just take his word for it, even though we have a sneaking suspicion he's twisting the wording to suit his needs (considering not even the most liberal of press outlets chose to describe Mary's birth in the way he claims).  But if he is telling the truth, then we sort of agree -- it should not be implied that Heather gave birth to the child.  However, it should ABSOLUTELY be implied that this is the child of both Mary and Heather, just as would be the case if this was a child to be raised by Mary and an adoptive father.

As for the "biological impossibility" claim -- well, we really said all we wanted to say on this in our response to Peter yesterday.  Yes Matt, we realize that at this point in time, it still requires outside sperm to impregnate a lesbian.  But this negates nothing!  Just like the infertile heterosexual couples that require outside help to become pregnant, gay couples who have the love and desire to parent have every right to explore the available options.

Opposite sex couples who experience problems with infertility can at least conceivably have children. It is a physical impossibility for a homosexual couple to do so. In order to create the artificial scenario under which homosexuals can have a child, the natural reproductive process must still occur, but it must occur outside of the same-sex “relationship” which always excludes at least one of the “partners.” The process must take place under very artificial circumstances well outside the bounds of God’s clearly ordained family construct.

Uhm, Matt, no -- some opposite sex couples cannot, under any circumstances, have children.  It is a physical impossibility for some to do so!  While you conveniently skip past this reality in order to get back to gay demonization, we refuse to let you get off so easily.  Would you tell these straight couples for whom reproduction is an impossibility that their endeavors are "well outside the bounds of God’s clearly ordained family construct"?  Would you make them feel that God f***ed up when he made them?  Hopefully not.  But of course since you clearly view gays as immoral, lost souls who are choosing a lifestyle (and work day and night to foster this mean-spirited illusion), you feel you can just lambaste their desires to create new life, or even their will to raise children that have been given up by their biological parents.  It is nothing short of vile, Matt! 

Mary Cheney – who is in a very high profile position because of who her father is – has been blessed with a platform upon which she has the potential to accomplish so much good. Unfortunately, in this case she has chosen to use that platform in a manner which only serves to chip away at one of the principal God given cornerstones of a healthy society – the natural family.

Mary Cheney's womb is only on a platform because you social conservatives have had the gall to place it on such!  She has not asked for her road to motherhood to be analyzed, debated, and decried by you kids; you all foisted her placenta-nourished undertakings into the spotlight!  And then you have the audacity to imply that by living the life that is natural to her, she is chipping away at the "natural family"?  It simply blows the mind that you and your evangelical pals actually feel you have the right to act in such a way.  You paint the picture that God has given us a world in which only fertile, heterosexual pairs truly exist.  You completely overlook the actual reality of the world, and instead define "natural" as only that which your own narrow world view deems acceptable. 

The truth is that whoever created this world  gave us people of all different stripes.  We were given medical technology.  We were given heterosexual parents who don't want or can't raise their children.  We were given free thinkers and conformists.  We were given varied desires and capacities for love.  THAT is the natural world.  There is room for everyone in our spectrum of normalcy.  There is not, however, room for the sort of narrow views that try and deny a whole group of people their share of the Earth!

Mary Cheney: Giving Birth to Controversy [CWA]

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Your thoughts

You know what, NG -- screw that! You have written me four different messages now to say that by acknowledging that at this point in time, it does require outside sperm to impregnate a lesbian, I have "allowed [myself] to accept [Barber's] talking point that HP, not being the male in the relationship, can't be a legitimate parent." Nothing could be further from the truth! The entire post is DEFENDING Mary, Heather, and baby!!!!! The whole gist of the post is that the reality of how the baby was conceived does not negate Heather's role as a parent.

For the life of me, I can't see where you're coming from. Do you want me to pretend that in the year 2007, we have the options of creating children that share both partners' DNA?! Trust me -- I wish and hope more than anyone that we will reach that day. But by saying "Yes Matt, BUT..." I am not "accepting his talking point."

And I also don't understand why you think you can email me about this, but I am not supposed to respond to your claims (which have really upset me) on this, my forum.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 25, 2007 2:23:10 PM

There is technology available (sort of) to allow two women to conceive a baby girl (can't be a boy, as there's nowhere to get the Y chromosome from...).

This quote from a news article of 07May07:

'Scientists said last week they have created sperm from bone marrow cells in men and can probably do it with women, too. Technically, this could lead to female-female conception or making babies without males.

For those contemplating a world without men, drinkers down the pub were not worried: "They are still going to need us to reverse the car out of the garage."'

I'm finding it hard to find all the old google news articles for it, since it was a couple of weeks ago and there's a *lot* of random news pages about fertility and sperm creation... but I'm sure that if you really want to know, you can find it...

Of course, this is much like the technology of cloning - there are ethical implications (mostly to do with how healthy the baby ends up being when it's born, I think - remember Dolly the Sheep?), and it's likely to be a few years before this is available for sterile men - let alone for women.

I don't know if there is any similar study going on for how to make an egg with male dna... though I would imagine it's only a matter of time...

As for "talking points"... I don't honestly see how accepting that Ms Poe is not biologically related to the child is accepting a talking point. It's a scientifically verifiable truth. Jeremy then goes on to explain how it is an unimportant truth compared to the love and commitment they share together and for their newborn son, and also how saying that they should not raise a son because they required help to conceive is an insult to all those loving families with one sterile partner out there... both of which are far more important truths.

Posted by: Anon | May 25, 2007 7:49:47 PM

I find it ridiculous that conservatives have decided to continually point out that the baby will not have a father. You'd think that if that is their strongest argument, they would be choosing to battle single mothers (no matter their sexual orientation) around the nation, too.

Posted by: Rebecca | May 26, 2007 10:04:58 AM

It's not a bubble baby! You think from the bleatings of people like Matt Barber, that these women didn't know any men whatsoever, or lived in a bubble completely isolated from males.

I know white parents who have adopted black babies, and so on. And a hue and cry that these children are deprived of black parents is ridiculous. It's not like parents whose color differs from their child's, don't know any other people the same color as their child.

There is no profound deprivation here. Dick Cheney is a man, so is Mary's brother in law, and I'm sure she has male friends.
There are plenty of kids from straight parents, mother father combos who have sent up the cry 'why have I been deprived of GOOD parents?'.

At least this littly guy is born into a family of privilege. Who is educated and socially powerful.
There are worse things than having two mommies like Mary and Heather.
Or Rosie and Kelly...

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | May 26, 2007 7:31:26 PM

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