My same-sex parents, a proud secret

Story highlights

  • Sienna R. Craig grew up with a father whose life partner was a man
  • She didn't confide this fact to her schoolmates but did stick up for same-sex parents
  • Craig found the climate 25 years ago hostile to same-sex parents and their children
  • Craig says things have changed, but not enough, considering anti-gay sentiment in Sochi
Gay people should be allowed to be parents -- Pro or Con.
It was 1989. I was 15, a junior at a public high school in Southern California and the newly appointed editor of my school newspaper. Our advisor challenged the staff with a call for public debates of controversial issues on our opinion pages.
I argued the pro position. In a move I now associate with the path I've taken as an anthropologist -- a trade that specializes in making the strange familiar and the familiar strange -- I invoked cross-cultural models of child-rearing. But mostly, my argument hinged on love.
If two people of the same sex loved each other, were secure in their relationship and wanted to have a family, what made them any less "fit" as parents than a heterosexual couple? Indeed, one might even say that given the societal pressures and challenges they must be prepared to face, a same-sex couple might even be better role models than two people who had had an easier path to parenthood.
Fast forward to today: If public opinion polls on the question of same-sex marriage are any indication of how the majority of Americans have come to see the issue, we have a great deal to celebrate. Even so, the fact that eight U.S. states have very similar policies to Russia's ban on gay 'propaganda' reminds us that we still have a long way to go before the truth of our personhood rather than our sexual orientation becomes the basis on which we are judged -- as partners, as parents, as human beings.
Sienna Craig
Arguing against gay parenthood was a fellow overachiever, a young man from a conservative and deeply Christian Korean family. He penned passionately for his position, invoking passages from the Bible, and spoke of all that was "normal" and "good" about heterosexual monogamy.
He argued for setting a proper example for children, with vague references to the moral and psychological confusion that could result from two men or two women raising a family. He may have even referenced the Diagno