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I was looking for a read for an airplane ride. Yes, I had high hopes of actually reading on this trip versus entertaining the munchkin on a recent cross-country flight. I was armed and ready with entertainment for the kiddo: snacks, books, stickers, coloring book, and - when all else failed - the portable DVD player. Things went amazingly smoothly and I ended up digging into a book I snagged during a recent visit to my library. The book? "My Two Moms," by Zach Wahls.
Haven't heard of Zach Wahls? Check this out.
Zach Wahls is 20 years old. He scored in the ninety-ninth perentile on the ACT. He is an Eagle Scout. He is actively involved in his church and community. Zach was a high-achieving kid and now is an adult out doing good work in society. He is the kind of kid I'd definitely be proud to call my own.
What is different about Zach? He happens to have two moms. His testimony in January 2011 in front of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee went viral and Zach has become a poster child for equality in marriage.
I loved reading Zach's story. I actually have several friends who are committed in same sex partnerships, wishing to be recognized as a legally married couple.
Just like me, my friends are lovely ladies who are longing to have a family or who are already actively raising children. I watch their posts on Facebook and through other social media and they are sharing most of the same parenting struggles my spouse and I are.
What they aren't sharing is the equal rights my spouse and I have. Reading Zach's story, my heart dropped when one of his mom's (not his biological parent) tried to dictate medical care and was denied the ability to do so because of her lack of legal rights. Unfortunately, the inequality doesn't end there.
Does it really matter if a child has TWO moms or TWO dads?
It is true, men and women are different. In marriage and in parenthood, men and women bring different things to the table.
Do children need both men and women in their lives as primary caregivers? Will they not be successful without both?
It's pretty clear where I stand. I believe children need LOVE in their lives. I've seen men who are not manly at all. I've seen women who could conquer any "manly" chore more efficiently than any man ever could. I believe what truly makes a difference in a child's life is involvement, being present. I believe that a person's sexual choices with another adult have little or no impact on their child's growth and development (unless, of course, a sexual choice is impacting a child's safety).
What do you believe?
If you're not sure, check out Zach's story. It's worth a read and consideration.
Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child developme...Read More