...tolero...

21/04/2008

The Belgian federal government recently launched a campaign and blog aimed at young people between the ages of 15 and 18 to raise awareness about their attitude to gay people. Research has shown that 43.5 of Flemish male teens have a negative and intolerant attitude to the LGBT community, compared with 23.5 of Flemish female teens.

Actie Gezin, a christian association, with supporters among the Christian-Democrat fractions, which are once again part of the government coalition, reacted rather forcefully with a letter-writing campaign. Said association campaigns in favour of traditional family values and is worried that the campaign slogan is not aimed at bringing about equal opportunities for gays.

Personally I didn't quite get at what point the statements that '1 in 33 gay men has the HIV virus' and that 'serial monogamous heterosexual relationships promote HIV' were related in a cause-consequence kind of way, but according to the little people at Action Famille, this campaign is promoting free sex and sexual debauchery (their words, not mine).

I can understand how people would object to the use of the word 'fuck', but let's be realistic here: every teen uses this word freely throughout the day.

While perusing this association's site, I came upon a document which outlined their opposition to gay adoption of any kind, and by extension gay people raising children...
Some of the cherser statements:

- the natural and traditional family is the best place for a child to develop harmoniously
- children in lesbian families are forced to be raised without a father
- children of lesbian parents have more psychological issues according to studies
- homosexual relationships per definition are unstabler
- love alone is not sufficient; the joint love of a mother and father offer the best chances of development and happiness to a child.
- adoption should be reserved to heterosexual couples only
etc.

Well, pardon me, while I go barf in a corner. As a lesbian, I am naturally predisposed to arguing that the two-women family model works perfectly well. But more importantly, and based on the reactions of people in general, I am inclined to say the same. How many times have we been told, 'look at your munchkin, what are you worrying about, does she look unhappy? You are such good parents. Stop worrying'.

Earlier this week, I ended up chatting with another mum of a classmate. Recently divorced from her husband, who was an alcoholic, she was worried about the impact on her child's behaviour and development. The little boy in question is now under observation by the school psychologist, and there are obviously some issues. A little confused boy, as I witnessed first-hand that afternoon.

I don't know what the answer is. But the prejudiced views of this association, which refuse to even take into account the fact that LGBT couples are capable of raising happy, well-balanced children, let alone raise children, in this day and age, seems so 'bigoted', for lack of a better word. The reactions on newspaper discussion forums, however, prove that they are not alone and that there is still a lot of ground to be covered. In the meantime, the young Christian-Democrats have reacted, saying that any association which promotes a lack of tolerance, based on race, sexuality, etc. tarnishes the reputation of the party. Ah, Belgium, it never ceases to surprise me...

4 messages:

Piglet said...

It's a lie that children in lesbian relationships have more psychological issues. All reliable, scientific studies have shown that there is no difference between kids raised in same sex vs opposite sex families. Some have even shown that lesbians are more "there" for their kids than fathers are.
Filling a pamphlet with lies is easy.

zirelda said...

It is bull. But I don't think it's confined to Belgium. Single divorced parents have the same problem really.

Nice to meet you. I like your blog.

deboo said...

The bull is depressing. But, we have to start somewhere. We try very hard to be active in our community. Everyone knows our girls have 2 moms, from birth. We hold positions on the boards of two PTAs (Parent Teacher Assoc), elementary and middle school.

We try to be an example. We don't shout from the roof-tops. We don't hide. We're as visible as any parent and any family in our community.

That is how the lies get changed to truths. Through each and every one of us, out there.

Lula de Montes said...

@Piglet: publishing it seems to be even easier.

@Zirelda: thank you! And you're right!

@deboo: too true. I am always surprised though how accommodating people are.

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