Imposing "Private" Homosexual Values on Everyone
Rosie O'Donnell's Oppressive Coat
By Rick Pearcey
You couldn't ask for a more earnest and sincere advocate of homosexuality and the right of homosexuals to adopt children than talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell. There she was in all her beaming confidence, sitting across from Diane Sawyer for that recent interview on a special two-hour edition of "PrimeTime Thursday."
The point of it all? ABCnews.com put it like this: "Rosie O'Donnell talks about her sexuality with Diane Sawyer -- in hopes of shining light on the issues of gay adoption and the plight of 500,000 children in America's foster care system." But for all of O'Donnell's sincerity, it's not all that certain that we should be buying what she's selling.
A few observations.
What Fit Me . . .
The place to start is Rosie's coat, as it were. Rosie used the metaphor of trying on a coat to explain why she is a homosexual. "It took me a while to understand and to figure out all the things that made me me," she said. "Where I was most comfortable, who I was, and how I was going to define my life. What coat fit me. And I found the coat that fit me." So here we have a picture of a very private decision, a very private process, at the end of which O'Donnell says she discovered that a particular coat fit her, and that coat is homosexuality.
But then she jumps from the particular to the universal, and not even Michael Jordan can jump that far. She wants the entire state of Florida to refashion its definition of family so homosexuals can adopt children. She talked about the preparation it takes to become a foster parent -- how there is so much to go through to get certified, 30 hours of training, and so on. And she said, "For the state of Florida to tell anyone who's willing, capable and able to do that, that they're unworthy is wrong."
Homosexuals have saturated America with the proposition that homosexuality is a private matter, something people ought to be left alone to decide for themselves. But now suddenly what begins privately and individually for Rosie doesn't stay there, for here she comes telling us that she wants her views to apply to everybody else. It's as if she wants to fit the state of Florida inside her coat, inside the circle of her private struggles and her private definition.
And she's adamant. If the president of the United States says that it's best for children to be adopted into homes where there is a married male and female -- well, says O'Donnell, "He's wrong." Not just a little bit wrong, not just a difference in coat size, but "really" "wrong."
And some other people are even worse than "really wrong." They're indulging in "hate-filled" rhetoric. You get the feeling that something more than coat size is at stake here, something more than one person saying she has discovered "how I was going to define my life."
Must Now Fit You . . .
And there is something more, far more. What O'Donnell is advocating is the radical redefinition of America according to the homosexual worldview.
Unfair, she might say. "I'm not asking people to accept homosexuality," she said on "PrimeTime Thursday." "All I'm saying is, don't let these children suffer without a family because of your bias." But clearly this isn't just about preventing children from suffering. For Rosie is asking us to believe that there is no normative family structure. In her interview, she said she has explained to one of her adopted sons that she is the "kind of mommy who wants another mommy."
For O'Donnell, "family" can mean lots of mommies or lots of daddies, and she wants the state of Florida to enact this view into policy and have the citizens of Florida abide by her viewpoint and support it with their taxes. To be sure, this is not asking people to become homosexual themselves, but O'Donnell does want them to accept the tenets of the homosexual worldview, and she wants Florida policy to reflect that philosophy. In the world according to Rosie, it's one size fits all, and that size is the size of Rosie's coat.
Bad Fit for Rosie . . .
There's another difficulty we should talk about. It's not just that O'Donnell is trying to enact a homosexual worldview, but also that the "coat" she wants the rest of us to wear is rather ill-fitting -- for Rosie herself and for the kids.
Rosie does seem ill at ease. For one thing, she described the adoption of one of her children with her "partner" as "when we had a child together." This is a rather curious statement for homosexuals to make; even heterosexuals don't use it when they adopt. Heterosexual procreation is the fundamental norm for human beings, and O'Donnell no doubt feels the pull of her humanity toward the norm. But she must understand that there is no linguistic solution to the fact that homosexuals cannot procreate. She may feel sadness over this, and one can sympathize, but reality doesn't bend to her theory.
Calling something what it isn't doesn't change what it is. We see something similar in the way she refers to her relationship with her "partner." The norm for humanity is that of a male-female relationship in marriage, and Rosie no doubt feels the pull of her humanity toward that kind of relationship too. But by definition she can never enjoy that richness of experience as a homosexual. So again, she resorts to a linguistic device to ease her sense of a lack of fulfillment. She refers to her "partnership" as being one that is "loving," a "life commitment," and so on. But, as in the previous case with her reference to "when we had a child together," the language disguises, instead of describes.
Rosie also uses the word "calling" to describe her mission for homosexual adoption to help the children of Florida. But "calling" in its high and noble connotation speaks of a divine mission from God, and Rosie allows no god but herself to define her identity. Rosie may derive psychological comfort by using such high-flown language to describe what she is doing, but she has given no basis for the belief that God has given her a mandate.
Bad Fit for Kids . . . .
If Rosie's language betrays discomfort with her homosexuality, there's also reason to think homosexual adoption is a bad fit for the foster kids of Florida and elsewhere who need to be placed in good homes. Homosexual activists have touted studies purporting to support the notion that kids in homosexual households fare just as well as their heterosexually raised counterparts.
But a recent examination of these studies shows that "much of the research fails to meet acceptable standards for psychological research; it is compromised by methodological flaws driven by political agendas instead of an objective search for truth," says researcher Timothy J. Dailey. "Openly lesbian researchers sometimes conduct research with an interest in portraying homosexual parenting in a positive light," Dailey concludes in "Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk," published by the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.
The data Dailey has assembled should give pause to people who think homosexual adoption is a viable solution. The indicators of the harmful effects of a homosexual lifestyle are well documented. Dailey examines many studies on homosexual living and finds serious concerns about heightened promiscuity, a significant increase in the risk of incest, the unhealthy aspects of even "monogamous" homosexual relationships, and higher levels of violence, mental-health problems and drug abuse.
Such "families" also appear to foster sexual confusion among kids. Dailey notes that a study in "Developmental Psychology" found that "12 percent of the children of lesbians became active lesbians themselves, a rate which is at least four times the base rate of lesbianism in the adult female population." This suggests that homosexual households could be seen as a recruitment tool for bringing more people in a life of homosexuality -- and that they tend to produce that effect whether they intend to or not. (It also, incidentally, challenges the notion that homosexuals are "born that way.")
The data are clear: Homosexuality and homosexual households put kids at risk in many ways. The better solution is the one President Bush sets forth: Kids need a real mom and a real dad in a real marriage.
Sociologist David Popenoe notes the difference that having a mom and a dad makes. "Through their play, as well as in their other child-rearing activities," he writes in Life Without Father, "fathers tend to stress competition, challenges, initiative, risk taking and independence. Mothers in their care-taking roles, in contrast, stress emotional security and personal safety." Moreover, "while mothers provide an important flexibility and sympathy in their discipline, fathers provide ultimate predictability and consistency. Both these dimensions are critical," Popenoe concludes, for "efficient, balanced, and humane" child-rearing.
No one is saying heterosexual families are perfect or problem free. And no one is saying that homosexuality, any more than any other sin, is so depraved that its practice excludes one from the human race. That would be false and cruel. But why add to the imperfections of life by placing foster kids in groupings that are fundamentally and structurally flawed? Why deny kids, by law, the fundamental diversity of male and female, of mothers and fathers, they need to grow into healthy individuals and parents themselves? This would be equally cruel.
There is a norm for family, a structure for love. These basics may not fit inside Rosie's coat, but her children need them nevertheless, and no amount of commitment, confidence and skills in parenting can make up for their loss.
Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report. This article also appears at Gopher's Den (published by The MacLaurin Institute) and Boundless (published by Focus on the Family). Published April 4, 2002.