Buoyed by rave reviews and positive word of mouth, Lisa Cholodenko's film The Kids Are All Right is expanding into more theaters and exposing Americans to something they probably haven't seen before -- a gay married couple raising children. According to Republicans, this is something you should be deathly afraid of, since gay people marrying could bring about the end of civilization, and gay parents are inherently unfit to raise children. So Republicans wouldn't want you to see a movie like The Kids Are All Right, where Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) raise their two teenage children (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) in a way that is shockingly, disturbingly... normal.
Watch my ReThink Review of The Kids Are All Right and discussion with Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks about gay marriage, what the Bible says about divorce, and how Cenk ruined Mark Ruffalo's conversation with Pierce Brosnan below.
If the opponents of gay marriage are really motivated by the desire to protect children from living in less than optimal parenting arrangements, then they are truly (or willfully) ignoring the elephant in the room: divorce. In fact, there are few things that can potentially do more damage to a child's psychological, and even physical well-being, than divorce. Here are just a few of the shocking statistics I found at a website for marriage counseling:
Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent's marriage.
Studies in the early 1980s showed that children in repeat divorces earned lower grades, and their peers rated them as less pleasant to be around.
Teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are three times more likely to need psychological help within a given year.
Compared to children from homes disrupted by death, children from divorced homes have more psychological problems.
Following divorce, children are fifty percent more likely to develop health problems than two parent families.
Most victims of child molestation come from single-parent households or are the children of drug-ring members.
A child in a female-headed home is 10 times more likely to be beaten or murdered.
Seventy percent of long-term prison inmates grew up in broken homes.
People who come from broken homes are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than those who do not come from broken homes.
Considering the increased risks faced by the approximately 35 million children from divorced heterosexual couples, how can gay marriage opponents claim that banning gay marriage is anything close to an effective way to protect children? Instead, why not outlaw divorce? Why not force members of a divorced couple with children to marry someone else immediately? Gay marriage opponents claim that any parenting unit other than a married heterosexual couple should be barred by law, yet when millions of heterosexual couples willfully destroy that supposedly perfect unit, they say nothing.
Why are our worst criminals allowed to marry while in jail? In a practice that is more common than anyone would like to acknowledge, serial killers (especially ones who enjoy some level of fame or notoriety) are often proposed to by multiple women. Why are serial killers allowed to marry and gay people aren't?
Also, if protecting children is the paramount concern, why are there no laws preventing murderers, rapists, child molesters, or people with violent histories from getting married and having children? If a child molester is released from prison, he has to notify his neighbors and keep away from places kids gather, but there's no law stopping him from marrying and having children of his own. Why not? Are gay marriage opponents really serious about protecting children from all threats, real, potential and imagined?
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