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Drafting Children into the Culture War

Here’s a nicely done little video by two gay dads and their two adoptive children. It’s part of what they call their “Gay Family Values” video series and they’ve made so that those who don’t know a gay family can learn how normal and wonderful a gay family can be. And that they are just like any other family. It features their beautiful daughter Selena singing a sweet song about how much she loves and enjoys having two dads. Who would expect anything different? Her little voice will grab your heart.


But it is not just a song from a precious little girl telling us about how much she loves her family, a song you want every little girl to be able to sing. It’s a sharply crafted social statement to influence the public debate on the nature of family, drafted to explain to us how special it is for Selena and her brother to “have two fathers, two real fathers.” For her — if we are to believe the song comes straight from her heart in her own words — her family is special for the very reason that she has two fathers. And she also wants us to know that, as her song says, “if they ever have to, they both can be my mom.” They do sound like two very special and talented fathers, even if they’ve positioned Selena to the front of the culture war as a gay-family apologist.

But Selena’s song — or actually her two dads’ production and posting of it — raises some interesting questions.

If their family is just like any other family — a normal day-in, day-out family just like yours — then why is their series called “Gay Family Values” and not just “Family Values”? You see, while they want us to see them as a normal family, they don’t want us to see them as just like any other family. And they are quite proud of that. That’s the whole point of the video.

They are a “gay” family with two real fathers who can also be Selena’s moms. (In another video, she does wonder why she doesn’t have a mom like other kids.) It’s just that no one else should call them different, because that would be taken as a statement of judgment, rather than just a mere observation.

If their family and situation is normal, then why make the video? No two families are entirely the same. Imagine the television family, the Waltons, making a similar video with youngest daughter Elizabeth singing to us, “Sure we have lots of kids. My mom and dad work at home and our grandparents live right here with us. And if they ever have to, they can be our mom and dad too.” Or the one of the Douglas family from My Three Sons. Or the Partridge family. Or the Brady family. Or Opie from the Andy Griffith Show.

When a family has to explain that they are just like any other family, it is a strong sign they are not. And those who feel compelled to explain probably don’t even believe it.

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