#4

8 Apr

So the burning question is what’s a normal family? Our lives have been structured around the idea that a family must consist of a mother and a father, and typically two biological children. The reason I have specifically stated two children is because (if you haven’t noticed) whenever you go somewhere like the aquarium or an amusement park they always have these ‘family fun passes’ or discounts for families which are always limited to two parents and two children (three if you’re lucky, real lucky). So where does that leave the single parent who wants to take their four children to the show? According to this parenting blog statics prove that a family “is no longer a mother, a father and their biological children living under one roof”. Today, families are diverse and it would only make sense that as our social attitudes towards marriage and kinship change, our laws should too… right?

Wrong. As Judith Butler explains in Undoing Gender, marriage is still believed to be exclusively “a heterosexual institution” and “that kinship does not work, or does not qualify as kinship, unless it assumes a recognizable family form”. So the law states that you’re not allowed to get married unless you’re heterosexual and if your family doesn’t fit the norm than you’re screwed. The problem with this logic is that any family who doesn’t match this criteria is exempt from the benefits that traditional families are entitled to.

As the gay marriage debate continues, the arguments against gay marriage continue to become irrelevant. Examples of this can be seen in the youtube videos ‘5 reasons against gay marriage‘ and ‘Top 5 reasons 2 Ban Gay Marriage‘ where arguments such as ‘gay marriage creates more gays’ and that ‘gay marriage will encourage heterosexuals to get divorced’ are mocked for being illogical. Although the acceptance of gay marriage is important, we must also be mindful of the relationships and families that continue to be overlooked because they don’t fit into the conventional two parents, two children roles.

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