Bristol Palin Not Pleased That Obama’s Stance On Gay Marriage Was Informed By His Kids
Generally speaking, parenting has a tendency to change perspectives. For every mother who swore up and down to deny Disney products, take up cloth diapers, and stick to breastfeeding, the actuality of raising a child can notably compromise previously held positions. But as children get older, childrearing practices aren’t the only place a child can have influence, as Obama cited his own daughters Sasha and Malia when announcing his support for same-sex marriage. And while some may find the sentiment quite sweet, Bristol Palin has suggested that children should not inform their parents views on the tradition of marriage.
In his sit-down interview with ABC, the president affirmed his position on same-sex marriage and offered this aside:
â€œItâ€™s interesting, some of this is also generational,â€ the president continued. â€œYou know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same-sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation, that they believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and weâ€™re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldnâ€™t dawn on them that somehow their friendsâ€™ parents would be treated differently. It doesnâ€™t make sense to them and, frankly, thatâ€™s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.â€
The young mother took to her blog to criticize Obama “hail[ing] to chiefs Malia and Sasha Obama,” adding that:
” I guess we can be glad that Malia and Sasha arenâ€™t younger, or perhaps todayâ€™s press conference might have been about appointing Dora the Explorer as Attorney General because of her success in stopping Swiper the Fox.”
Bristol explains that given the roots of traditional marriage — religious ones that unite one man and one woman — Obama should know better than to accept any sort of influence from his girls:
While itâ€™s great to listen to your kidsâ€™ ideas, thereâ€™s also a time when dads simply need to be dads.Â In this case, it wouldâ€™ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, thatâ€™s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage.Â Or that â€“ as great as her friends may be â€“ we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home.Â Ideally, fathers help shape their kidsâ€™ worldview.
While I can’t discern much from Bristol’s “simply need to be dads” comment, her assertion that child “do better” in traditionally-sexed homes actually doesn’t square with some studies looking at the impacts of same-sex parents. Lesbians actually raise children just as well as the straights with no greater risk of depression, anxiety, or behavioral problems. In fact, should lesbian families divorce, their split is more likely to be amicable than that of straight parents, ultimately benefiting the children more.
The only problems researchers were able to glean from being raised by same-sex parents is the constant social criticism and bullying that comes from having gay parents. Criticism that is often sustained through attitudes like Bristol’s, that same-sex families are innately doing a disservice to their children simply by raising them.
Obama probably gave same-sex more consideration than his daughters’ dinner time stories of their friend’s parents. But considering that this debate often does get boiled down into what is deemed best for the children, citing the experiences and commentary of actual children carries appropriate context.