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Adopting Indecency

A sentence from a recent New York Times Magazine profile clings to the mind, like lint.  The profile is of Scott Brown, whose sudden ascent to the U.S. Senate fascinated America a few months back.  In 2001, the story relates, when a colleague of Brown’s, a lesbian state senator in Massachusetts, “announced that she and her partner had decided to have children, [Brown] said that such an arrangement was ‘not normal.’  (He later apologized.)”

Two points shriek for attention: Brown’s deployment of the word normal in a context—the moral/philosophical—in which it is nearly out of use these days, and his abandonment of the term once the room temperature soared too high.

It’s not normal anymore to talk about normal.  Yet, in so speaking, Scott Brown was 1,000 percent right.  It really, truly, honestly is not normal for two people of the same sex to undertake the vital and holy estate of parenthood.  That Informed Opinion brought him around to an apology shows just how tough things have become for the acceptance and living out of propositions once deemed clear, plain, and unassailable.

Growing acceptance of the right of “gays” and lesbians to adopt children is great stuff, we read and hear.  Adopting reinforces, supposedly, the relationships of homosexual couples: showcasing their innate caringness, not to mention their basic human...

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