Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kids' Thoughts on Same Sex Marriage

This fantastic story comes from Steve Singiser's posting at Daily Kos. It details a story that took place with his eight year-old son.

My four year-old daughter is absorbed by a Disney cartoon on her seatback DVD player, while my seven year-old son fidgets in the back seat. I have lunch duty with my kids, because my wife is on a deadline, and needed to go into the firm on Saturday to tie up some loose ends. I am listening to a college football game on the radio when my son interrupts the play-by-play from the backseat:

"Hey, Dad, how are we going to vote on Proposition 8?"
Aside from the plural "we", which I found kind of cute, this was not the question I was hoping for. Discussions on marriage with a second grader is not my idea of a fun conversation, "traditional" or same sex.

"Why do you ask, buddy?"
"Well, Dad. I have been thinking about it. And I talked about it
with some friends at school. And I think we ought to vote "yes."
Ruh-roh.

This comes, to say the least, as a shock. I am pretty well to the left-of-center politically, and my wife, if anything, is to my left. So, hearing my elementary school-aged son coming out as a proponent of marriage discrimination was a bit of an eye-opener.

I need to get to the bottom of this...

"Really, bud. Well, why do you think that?"

"Well, Dad, that would make
it illegal for a boy to marry a boy, and a girl to marry a girl, right?"

"Yes, Cody, that's what Proposition 8 would do."

"Well, I think
that it should be illegal."

This is where the speculation sets in. Has his teacher been pushing this? Is one of his buddies the product of a very conservative home, and they have pushed the issue with their kids? Who knows?

"Hey, Cody, why do you think it ought to be illegal?"

"Because, Dad, I don't want to marry a boy. I want to marry a girl. You know,
like Kate or somebody."

I start breathing again. He thinks "same sex marriage" is somehow a mandatory thing, and that Prop 8 is the thin line between marriage the way he has always understood it, and some bizarre new world where only boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls.

"No...buddy. It is not like that. Prop 8 makes it illegal for boys to marry
boys, or girls to marry girls, if they want to. It won't change who you get to
marry."

Silence from the backseat. Wheels, quite clearly, are turning.

"Oh...well...that's okay then. Besides, why should I care who someone else
marries??!!"

Kids get it.

To read this entire story, click here.

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