Gay Dads, Synthetic Children and Plastic Tomatoes?
Over the past week I’ve been told that my children are synthetic and my marriage is a plastic tomato. By now everyone has likely followed the uproar over the disparaging comments made by Dolce and Gabbana towards families of LGBTs. Citing their Catholic beliefs, Dolce and Gabbana believe that LGBT persons have sham marriages and synthetic children purchased via catalog. (The “synthetic children” line actually applies to any parent who has used assisted reproduction, regardless of sexual orientation.)
While that little storm was blowing in the media, the father of my daughter’s best friend forwarded me a blog post written by the Rev. Joseph Illo of Star of the Sea Parish in San Francisco. In his rambling piece, Illo describes same-sex marriage as “plastic tomatoes” in comparison to the ripe, juicy, healthful real tomatoes of opposite-sex marriage.
Here are people who will claim that children dying from horrific diseases, mutilated in war zones or orphaned by natural disasters are all part of God’s plan. Sure, it’s all tragic but hey! It’s His will and His plan and yada yada. Who are we to question?
But God doesn’t approve of a child having same-sex parents or any parent, gay or straight, using assisted reproduction to create life? That’s just too extreme to consider part of His Plan but a child’s suffering makes sense?
I don’t believe in God but for the sake of argument I will play the part of believer now. Here is a spin on God’s will that is every bit as legitimate as those who use His will to explain away the world’s suffering:
My daughters are clearly on this planet due to God wanting them here. They have four parents, my husband and I and their two moms. My husband is from Ohio, one mom is from the San Francisco Bay Area, the other mom emigrated here from Hong Kong as a 5 year old, and I’m from Jersey. God had to work hard to maneuver us all into place. First he moved J.R. to New York where we met, and then he moved the two of us to San Francisco. He brought one of the moms over from a whole other country, and then steered both of them into the same profession (which required expensive college educations, mind you) so that they would end up first working together and then eventually becoming a couple. Surely the logistics required for all of that alone is a divine feat!
But wait, there’s more! The moms and we dads ran in different circles. We’d have never met if it weren’t for God creating a short-lived group called Prospective Queer Parents, whose monthly meetings created opportunities for wannabe moms and dads to meet. It only took attending two of these meetings before we met the woman who would become the biological mother of our daughters. That’s it; two meetings for a match. And PQP didn’t last too long afterwards, so obviously it was created just for us and then discarded when no longer needed. Those other wannabe parents? Whatever. It’s like when God helps one football team win and the other team lose. We are the champions! Yay!
Fast forward almost two years to when we started the insemination process for daughter No. 1. It took only three at-home DIY attempts to score a touchdown (conception)! That was it. There are opposite-sex couples fumbling the ball trying the old-fashioned way and yet we easily scored with a plastic syringe. And daughter No. 2 took only two passes to connect! Hail Mary! God was clearly rooting for my little fellas as they made their way across the goal line.
Aside: I don’t follow sports but with God being given credit for so many football victories, the football metaphors just seem appropriate.
Synthetic children and plastic tomatoes they say? God doesn’t approve they say? Whatever! With the long-term planning and complex logistics required to bring these little lives into the world, it is most certainly God’s will and God’s plan that our family exists. It’s almost enough to make me a believer! Can I get an amen up in here?