Most commonly, a major shift in the culture occurs over a considerable period of time, with incremental steps building towards fundamental change. Other shifts come with lightening speed, riding the crest of cultural change and building momentum with swift measures.
The rapid success of the homosexual movement amounts to something of a cultural Blitzkrieg. As the society changes its view of homosexuality, the fundamental institutions of marriage and family are also being unavoidably rearranged. A radical alteration in a culture’s moral framework inevitably transforms the most basic institutions of social structure.
Recent evidence of such a fundamental rearrangement was announced by New Yorker magazine in its November 3, 2003 cover story on the “Gay Baby Boom.” The cover featured a male homosexual couple holding two, presumably adopted children. The cover promised an article that would explain, “How kids are shaking up gay life in the city.”
The article, “Gay with Children,” by David Usborne begins with this declaration: “Even ten years ago, the only certain thing about a gay couple’s future was that it wouldn’t include children. But gays and lesbians are now becoming parents in record numbers, and its changing how they think about themselves–and each other.”
Usborne takes us to the Bleecker Street playground in Greenwich Village. This playground in the West Village area “may not be representative of all city playgrounds, but it arguably the epicenter of a seismic change in gay New York, as a growing number of same-sex couples have been plunging into parenthood.”
With or without gay marriage, these homosexual couples, made up of homosexual men and lesbians, are adopting or producing children at a rate that has captured media attention.
Of course, these children cannot be produced by normal reproductive means, which requires heterosexual union. Usborne explains: Typically, “the men are either adopting or hiring surrogate mothers, the women buying donor sperm and being inseminated or adopting.”
According to the article, this is becoming so common in New York that residents are no longer shocked or surprised. David Schutte and partner Rob Levy have adopted Ethan, now five years old. “You cannot overestimate the savviness of New Yorkers,” remarked Schutte. “Gay or straight they get it immediately. Women come up to us and say, ‘Oh, did you guys adopt?'” The New York article is primarily concerned with the changes children are bringing to the gay lifestyle. Rob Levy remarked that Ethan has become the “mascot” of their neighborhood.
The cover story in New York magazine comes over a decade after the emergence of another major cultural symbol, the children’s book Heather Has Two Mommies. Written by Leslea Newman, Heather Has Two Mommies emerged as a colorful and controversial signal of a cultural revolution. The idea of gay adoption and the innovation of lesbian couples having children by artificial insemination was still considered exotic at that quaint time–but no more.
Newman wrote her book, intending to help children parented by gay couples to come to terms with their family status. As she later explained, “a woman stopped me on the street and asked me to write a book about a family like hers: two happy dykes and their daughter. I fulfilled the woman’s request with a book about little Heather, who has two elbows, two earlobes, two kneecaps, and two mommies.”
Indeed, Heather’s two mommies, Mama Jane and Mama Kate, decided that Jane would become a mother. Mama Kate is a doctor, while Mama Jane is a carpenter. At age three, the book tells us that Heather’s mommies “take turns taking care of her.” She plays with both mothers and they do many fun things together.
After joining a playgroup, Heather discovers that some of the other children have daddies. “I don’t have a daddy,” reports Heather. “She’d never thought about it before. Did everyone except Heather have a daddy? Heather feels sad and begins to cry.” Mama Kate and Mama Jane comfort Heather with the assurance that “Not everyone has a daddy.” As the children begin to relate their various families’ structure, Stacy proudly reports, “I don’t have any mommies. I have two daddies.” Other children draw pictures of various family structures, ranging from heterosexual families to every conceivable homosexual alternative.
At the end of the story, Heather rejoices in her two lesbian mothers and gives them each kisses. “Mama Jane takes Heather’s right hand and Mama Kate takes Heather’s left hand and then Heather and Mama Kate and Mama Jane … all go home.”
The publisher of Heather Has Two Mommies also released Daddy’s Roommate and Daddy’s Wedding, written and illustrated by Michael Willhoite. In the first story, a young boy named Nick experiences the divorce of this parents and deals with his father’s newly chosen homosexual lifestyle. Daddy moves in with Frank, and Mom explains that “being gay is just one more kind of love.”
In the second story Nick comes to terms with the fact that Daddy and Frank plan to get “married.” Nick is understandably confused. “Can men get married to each other?,” he asks. It’s a “commitment ceremony” Frank explains. “That’s like a wedding.”
In this picture of postmodern bliss, Nick’s mommy and her new husband share the nuptial joy of Daddy and Frank as they plan their ceremony. Mommy even declares, “It sounds like a lot of fun. Nothing’s better then a wedding in June.”
In due time, Nick becomes best man for his father’s homosexual wedding. At the event, “Reverend Powell,” a woman minister, allows the two men to share vows they have written for each other. Daniel, Nick’s daddy, turns to Frank and says, “I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with you”. Frank then assured Daniel of his love and promised to take care of him “in sickness and in health.” The capstone of the ceremony is when Frank turns to Nick and reminds, “and we already have a son to share.” It’s all very progressive, you understand.
These books for children are lavishly illustrated and look just like the children’s literature you would expect to find at your local trade bookstore. The message is packaged so that children will see themselves, and their “families” as a normal and natural part of the culture.
Taking stock of the present moment, one can only reflect with amazement that the arrangement depicted in Heather Has Two Mommies, Daddy’s Roommate, and Daddy’s Wedding are now becoming commonplace in America’s urban centers and beyond. Relationships and arrangements that were considered bizzare just a decade ago have now moved, thanks to the culture of political correctness, to the confused mainstream of American society. Major newspapers like The New York Times now accept gay unions along with wedding announcements.
A remarkable feature of the Usborne article is the frankness with which he discusses the awkwardness of the whole concept of gay parenting. He explains that many older gay couples find the idea of gay parenthood to be repulsive and unsettling. Some gay couples are breaking up over the idea, with one partner wanting to have children and the other resistant.
Furthermore, the article is also honest about the unnatural technologies and arrangements necessary for gay couples to “have” children. One male couple whose experience is traced in the article found an egg donor in Indiana described as “smart and athletic.” Her eggs were then frozen until the two men could find a surrogate mother. They eventually found a woman outside Chicago and implanted two viable embryos in her womb. One was carried to term; the fate of the other is not discussed. Lesbians Amy Zimmerman and Tonya Wexler, on the other hand, chose a sperm bank in California. They later had the sperm cryogenically frozen and shipped to New York. “They dip into the supply when ever they need it.”
Unintentionally, this article serves as an eloquent testimony to the moral and physical rebellion that lies at the center of homosexuality, calls for homosexual marriage, and demands for recognition for homosexual “families.” The use of donated embryos, surrogate mothers, and sperm banks–all chosen with concern for preferred genetic traits, is proof positive that we have entered a Brave New World of inverted morality.
The New York magazine cover story is a significant sign of the times. What comes next?
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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