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30 Days: Same Sex Parenting

by Paul Goebel, posted Jun 24th 2008 11:02PM

The Patrick Family(S03E04) Usually the teasers for 30 Days are pretty innocuous. They give an idea about what the topic is and show some reactions from both sides. This week, however, I had the feeling I was going to be pissed.

The part that stuck out the most was the sound byte of Kati saying, "It confirms the option of becoming gay." A person who would let that comment come out of their mouth is clearly uneducated on a great many things and I hoped that we'd get to see some redeeming qualities in her.

I had to laugh when Spurlock said Kati was going from Leave it to Beaver to My Two Dads. I've seen both of those shows many times and while the Beav can certainly be classified as a kid from a "typical American home," I never got the idea that Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan played gay lovers. I guess I need to rent that show on DVD.

When we meet Kati, she seems reasonable and starts off by making what sounds like a valid point. She believes that two parents of the same sex are ill-equipped to give their child the life lessons that can only be provided by two different sexes. Now, I'm sure we'll get plenty of comments from experts, and I welcome them, but since I am nothing close to an expert, I have to concede that she may have a point. I have never met a boy raised by two men, but I can picture him growing up with an inordinate amount of insensitivity to women and their specific issues. So far Kati seems harmless.

Dennis and Thomas come across like superheroes. Not only did they adopt four boys who started out as foster kids, but their son Josh has special needs and couldn't even speak when he came to live with them. All lionizing aside, I am forced to admit that I could never do what they do. I only have two kids and while I've known them all their lives, there are still days when I want to drop them a Goodwill bin. That, of course, says more about me than it does them, but I'm sure you get the point.

The tensions begin after dinner on the first night. While it's clear that Kati is a sweet person and a loving mother, she is very vocal about her religion and how it informs her opinions on many things. Obviously, she interprets the Bible to say that homosexuality is wrong and that's something I can live with. She has a right to her beliefs, as do we all, but she seems to have a respect for the beliefs of others. The first red flag comes when she is asked if she believes that growing up in foster care without a permanent home is preferable to a same-sex household. To paraphrase her answer, she says yes. I assume that's because she believes that the "immoral" influence does more damage than the lack of a stable home. Again, while I think this is a fairly ludicrous way of thinking, I don't fault her for her beliefs.

It's at Kati's lunch with a pair of lesbian parents and their daughter that she first shows her ignorance. First of all, Kati is under the impression that being gay is a choice. I know that there are probably people reading this review who agree with her, but you are wrong. Being gay is no more a choice than being black, Jewish or female. The only choice homosexuals have is whether or not to lie to themselves and/or their loved ones about who they are. Let me reiterate, in case I am being unclear, if you believe that homosexuality is a choice, you are free to believe that, but you are wrong.

The best part of the conversation comes when the daughter of the lesbian couple shows Kati the flaw in her logic. She explains that her Mom grew up in a Catholic family with two different sex parents and she ended up being gay. So how does it make sense that a same-sex household can make you more inclined to be a homosexual? The answer is, it doesn't and the fact that Kati sits there silently affirms that.

What becomes very clear at this point is that Kati is very controlling. I applaud her for stepping into such an unfamiliar situation. But it's clear that she needs to learn that there are too many things in the universe that she can not control if she is going to be a happy person and a successful parent.

As always, Spurlock makes an effort to show a reasonable argument against same-sex marriage. Sadly, the effort is a complete failure. The sad story of the woman raised by her single gay father only goes to affirm the fact that no child should be raised by an inappropriate douchebag. Are we to believe that if her father had brought home women and discussed his sexual activities with them in front of his daughter that she would have grown up issue-free?

I was really pleased to see the tension breaker Spurlock included when he took a visit to the sperm bank. Not only did it remind us that having and raising children is a very lucrative business for a lot of people but the conversation he had about sperm donation made me laugh out loud.

The scene around the fire made me really sad. Not just because I felt sorry for Kati but because, as we saw last week with George the hunter, when people are being attacked, they will never concede to another point of view. Josh's relatives (The Pancakes?) stood there with their arms crossed and made accusations when they should have been trying to build some understanding on both parts. What gets me is that this family that has admittedly failed at raising their own son has the nerve to tell Kati what's best for kids. I hope those smores covered up the taste of irony in their mouths.

At the end of the thirty days, it was clear that there would be no happy ending and yet, this episode was my favorite of all three seasons. I really liked the point Kati made about how everyone in America should be able to respect each other while expressing their individual beliefs. The best part was how Kati was able to see the value in really examining how people with opposing viewpoints live. Even though she won't change her beliefs, at least she won't be talking "through her hat" anymore. How great would it be if we could all do that?

Do you believe people are born gay?
Yes481 (82.6%)
No101 (17.4%)

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remy martin

Kati,

There were two interesting questions that the episode raised, that you didn't or were not able to answer (or that ended up on the editing room floor). I think they are important and would like to understand your thoughts here...

1. Given that there is a shortage of parents willing to adopt (especially older children) do you think a foster child is better off staying in foster care, or being adopted by gay parents?

2. What do you believe is the harm that can come to an adopted child who is placed with gay parents?

Thanks in advance...

July 02 2008 at 3:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MarcDom7

Seekup, then something else that is unnatural would be birth control. Do you denounce condoms or "the pill"?

I was not equating clothes with sex. I was simply going off of someone saying that something isn't natural for humans, and I pointed another unnatural thing.

How about another one, then? Much of the food we eat (especially in the U.S.) is unnatural. And food is a pleasure, a gift from God, if you will. Why would we support chemically created food?

July 01 2008 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jason


I would not take what Kati has to say about anything too seriously since she is a part of a religion that believes in magic underwear and poligamy. She is an ignorant bible beater who thinks that an imaginary man in the sky talks to her.

June 30 2008 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jason's comment
MarcDom7

LDS does not believe in polygamy. It has been banned from their religion since the late 19th century.

June 30 2008 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jason

I would not take what Kati has to say about anything too seriously since she is a part of a religion that believes in magic underwear and poligamy. She is an ignorant bible beater who thinks that an imaginary man in the sky talks to her.

June 30 2008 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
seekup


"homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

June 30 2008 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to seekup's comment
MarcDom7

Hey, you know what's not natural for humans? Wearing clothes. Hush, now.

June 30 2008 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
seekup

To respond that clothing is unnatural, you are only placing sex on the same level of cloth-which it is not. Sex is beautiful-proceeding with procreation-a gift to give one another fully, and to distort it through such homosexual acts, is to totally destruct its purpose and meaning-nonetheless degrade oneself and the other person involved- contrary to what parenthood/family is-to maintain ordered love.
To use such a powerful act in such a disordered way-is to close the doors to love- to shut doors to reality-to truth of who and what we are as humans.......

July 01 2008 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mikasa

Kati,
I am so sad that you share my daughter's name. I have rarely had to deal with someone so ignorant and unwilling to consider that YOU ARE HOPELESSLY WRONG on the subject of gay marriage and adoption. You think this because your church tells you so? please! The LDS also believed that blacks were inferior and could not rise up the ranks of the church. If they were wrong about that, do you ever stop to consider that they can be wrong about gay marriage/adoption? And it was so sad about your judging the fact that gays have sex with each other so they shouldn't be parents. The thought of your rotund self getting it on with your husband grosses me out too, and I'm not picketing your door (and i am straight).

Let's try to think about the fact you're barren--did God punish you? should you be ALLOWED to be a parent?

If you are going to go after other people's rights to be parents, remember you are in a glass house.

June 28 2008 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
not important

ok i dont believe that Kati went about this the right way. i understand that she was expressing her views but she insulted every single person on this show! they let her into their homes and share their ideals. she goes willingly to an orginization and acts all hurt and betrayed and acts likes shes the victim. how does this even affect her? she gets so angry and is mean to the people on the show. she agreed to do this and she actes so betrayed and her answer is the only right answer. if the couples were hurting people or something then i would understand her concern but they are just being themselves. i agree that some homes may be worse than others but if the couples go through all these problems just to have a child do you think that the home will be as bad? yes i understand that the children may grow up gay but they may not. the same with and man and a woman being married, their child might still be gay. i think that kati was very judgemental and really had no right to act quite the way that she did. i also see that she felt very surronded and scared and her ideas were being questioned but it occurs to me that maybe thats the way gays feel all the time. forgive me if i upset anyone, please dont yell at me, im just stating my opinion

June 27 2008 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

I love that this ep has generated so much discussion. Hopefully it's the real Kati involved on the boards here reading these comments, and knowing that this subject certainly brings out fervent believers on both sides of this issue. I have to say, it took Kati serious guts to step outside of her comfort zone to participate in this - it's more than the vast majority of us do. I find it hard, even though I ardently disagree with her position, to just write her off. How many ardent liberals take time to watch Fox News? How many die hard conservatives listen for a few minutes to Air America?

That said, I think fundamental to being American is a respect for the Constitution. My memory of history is hazy, but I'm under the impression that all of us are equal and all entitled to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Gay/straight, black/white, rich/poor, are we not all considered equally under the law (in theory, anyway)? If this is the case, how can homosexuals be denied the same rights as heterosexuals? I am struggling to find a good reason to deny homosexuals the same rights. Sure, recent changes to CA law is not how we've traditionally looked at marriage in this country, but even as late as this year, it was illegal in some parts of the US to marry someone that wasn't the same race - which would seem to invalidate the "tradition" argument. From a practical standpoint, is there any evidence that homosexual households do "damage" to children disproportionately compared to heterosexual households?

For someone like Kati, who has had a set of experiences in her life and now sees the times and culturally acceptable mores changing right before her, it must be scary.

June 26 2008 at 3:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chris's comment
Kati

Thank you. It is me. I read these blogs to help get a feel for who is out there. It is fascinating. Had the 30 days people known about LDS people and the level of committment to God, perhaps they would have chosen another. I know a lot of people who really have changed their mind on this subject as a result of just talking about it, and seeing the show. These are not my church friends, of course. My point is that for me and other members of my faith, this is a moral point. We are defending something we think GOd put in place. We think that God expects us to do this. If I did not speak, I would be shirking my duty to defend my lifelong, heartfelt knowledge of the truth. (I know everyone has their own idea of truth). The show showed me all emotional all the time. I was there a long time, and I held it together a lot. But being calm and rational makes for boring tv. HEhe. Tom, Dennis and I were almost always polite, calm and rational, which is why you see me freaking out to other people I hardly know. They all had axes to grind, and they felt comfortable unleashing on me. They have had years to deal with this subject, I had like a week or two. Plus, I had no idea what would come up on any given day. How exactly can you reasearch that? I was on the fly, and I did pretty good, considering. I respond to people who speak clearly and who seem to respect me and my decision to do the show. I don't care what the people say about me. IN the last few years, I have figured out that I am a good person, and the only ones I have to answer to are God and my husband. If I am ok with them, and myself, everything else is gravy. Cheers friend.

July 02 2008 at 2:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
StillBash

I thought so too but being jewish is no choice.

"Jewish" is also a race. Trust me. I am german. I know why we put them in the gas chambers. It wasn't their choice to go there and they definitely had no choice to renounce their heritage. It wasn't a question of faith.

June 25 2008 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
king

its completely ridiculous how people with religious views on homosexuality as being negative are regarded as evil/immoral and that all homosexuals, regardless of the type of individuals they are, are regarded as angelic beings.

not picking on either community ("religious" or "liberal") but blanket statements are for jackasses.

June 25 2008 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to king's comment
UnionStayshyn

"regardless of the type of individuals they are, are regarded as angelic beings."

Sorry king, when we were talking about individuals? See, I don't think most people who are anti-gay are "evil/immoral" but they do seem to lack the capacity for reason (see your own comments and that of agnew above). Worse still they also seem to believe that what two adults choose to do with each other is their business. And much worse still, in the case explored by this episode, they believe a child is better off with some hypothetical 'male/female' parents than the ones that actually accepted the responsibility for this child's well-being.

So, king, if you're going to characterize, "evil/immoral" as lacking reason and logic, lacking empathy and compassion, and lacking the good sense to mind their own business than that's up to you. I just see it as people who fear difference and instead of trying to understand it respond with anger. Quite a natural response really. You see it in the animal kingdom all the time and even rears its ugly head quite often in the history of humankind.

June 25 2008 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
UnionStayshyn

"regardless of the type of individuals they are, are regarded as angelic beings."

Sorry king, when we were talking about individuals? See, I don't think most people who are anti-gay are "evil/immoral" but they do seem to lack the capacity for reason (see your own comments and that of agnew above). Worse still they also seem to believe that what two adults choose to do with each other is their business. And much worse still, in the case explored by this episode, they believe a child is better off with some hypothetical 'male/female' parents than the ones that actually accepted the responsibility for this child's well-being.

So, king, if you're going to characterize, "evil/immoral" as lacking reason and logic, lacking empathy and compassion, and lacking the good sense to mind their own business than that's up to you. I just see it as people who fear difference and instead of trying to understand it respond with anger. Quite a natural response really. You see it in the animal kingdom all the time and even rears its ugly head quite often in the history of humankind.

June 25 2008 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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