I don't watch Modern Family, the primetime sitcom depicting "non-traditional" (e.g., same-sex, interracial and inter-generational) couples. Still, I'm struck by how fast family realities change and how slowly laws and societal perceptions about what's "right" reflect those changes.
As AMC's Mad Men effectively dramatizes (in its subversion of 1950s norms), the conservative ideal of "the American Family" is, and has been, an oppressive, non-functional fantasy. Is this cause for alarm, as Republicans and the religious right suggest?
Children know family when they see it. The idea that "traditional" families are the only source of healthy children and a happy holiday and that Mom bears ultimate responsibility for both is as much a fantasy as Santa Claus.