Fleming_10-1989
Perspective

A Prayer for My Daughters

In recent months both San Francisco and New York have been the scene of triumphs for the homosexual rights movement's efforts to legitimate single-sex liaisons. . . . Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, appearing on The McLaughlin Group, summed up the cases as evidence that in the 1980's the American people were redefining the family. The American people? I wonder.

There is no doubt that the family is being redefined by Newsweek, Time, and the network of social service agencies, judges, and media managers who tell us who's who and what's what, but I am not at all sure that either as a nation or as individuals, the American people have spoken. In small town and suburban America, alternate lifestyle means a passion for lacrosse instead of hockey, and when two men get together without women it is usually to catch fish or get drunk—preferably both—in peace and quiet.

But while I think it is too early to take alarm over the altered definition of family—people, after all, are going to do what they're going to do, with or without spousal privileges—it's a bad sign that we can feel free even to talk about these matters in public. Worse, if we talk about them freely in an old-fashioned spirit of contempt for perversity, we may find ourselves at the wrong end of a local minority rights ordinance. Even Rockford, Illinois (where Chronicles is published),...

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