Since my wife and I adopted our daughter, we’ve come to know many same-sex couples who are also adoptive parents, and it is exactly as proponents of “natural marriage” fear: it is their prowess as parents, rather than as pro-creators, that turns out to be persuasive. I have come to believe that they have the right to be married because I know that I have the right to be married, and I know that they are the same as me — because I know that I have more in common with gay adoptive parents than I do with straight biological ones. In my wife and in me, the self-evident biological purpose of procreation may be broken, but by God, we earn the right to be called parents because of the effort required to raise our child apart from the sacred biological bond…and so they, our friends engaged in the same effort, the same mighty and holy labor, earn the right to be called married. People wonder why public opinion regarding same-sex marriage has shifted so quickly; although I can only answer from my own experience, I can tell you that in my case my recognition of the right of same-sex couples to marry grew directly from the arguments mustered against it, because ultimately I realized they were also mustered against my wife, against me, and against the one person all the pro-marriage protestors and pamphleteers have pledged themselves to protect:
Yesterday, two teenage Steubenville, Ohio football players were convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at a high school party. Starting from the night of the assault last August, their rape case was one of the most widely publicized in American history—largely because the assailants and their witnesses whipped out their cellphones to document the event in real time. In sentencing the boys to a minimum of one year in juvenile jail, Judge Thomas Lipps doled out some advice to their peers on how to avoid the same fate. He urged them “to have discussions about how you talk to your friends; how you record things on the social media so prevalent today; and how you conduct yourself when drinking is put upon you by your friends.”
…Unfortunately, Judge Lipps didn’t warn teenagers to reassess the attitudes that led to this sexual assault in their community, or the beliefs that inspired bystanders to side with the rapists over the victim. Instead, he told them to watch how they “record things.” It sounds like he’s advising teens to cover their tracks better, not to prevent rapes in the first place. Social media is a way of life. Rape doesn’t have to be. And the more teens joining a discussion about it on social media, the better.