Monday, October 15, 2012

an open letter to the lds church

first an intro:
While this blog will not be focused on my experience with the LDS Church, there are times where the LDS Church focuses on something vital to my life.  I will often address these issues as they arise, such as now.


now the letter:
Dear LDS Church:


I'm writing in the hopes that you might better understand why many of us think that the portion of Dallin H. Oaks's recent talk, "Protect the Children," addressing same sex parenting contradicts the overall message of his address to love and care for our most precious resources (referring specifically to Weston Clark's opinion posted on The Salt Lake Tribune's website).

Our biggest problem is not only his assumption but his specific call to assume (as evident in the word "should") that children of homosexual parents are victims.

I can understand why Oaks would jump from cohabitating heterosexual parents to homosexual parents. Where's the evidence of the latter's commitment to each other?

As Oaks explained (and as is documents by academic studies), a significant factor in a child's development is stability.

It is unfair, however, to equate cohabitating couples who chose not to commit to each other with homosexual couples who simply can't document their commitment legally.

It's a rather significant leap from one to the other.  The leap is especially detrimental since it specifically jumps over what studies have found to be a very positive factor in a child's development (again: stability).

A much more adequate assumption about gay parenting could be made by looking at adoption agencies. It's an adoption agency's duty to assess the home, parents, and children both before and after the adoption. These agencies may not be publishing academic articles, but their readiness to cater to gay couples seems like at least a solid foundation for an assumption that children raised by gay parents are hardly victimized or at a disadvantage.

Unfortunately, Oaks's words are antagonistic toward agencies and legislation which would provide legal stability (again, a positive factor in a child's development) to gay couples -- as well as legislation which would allow gay couples to adopt.

For example, my partner and I are looking into our options for adoption. Because of the hostile atmosphere (perpetuated by words such as Oaks) purporting our home as 'disadvantageous' merely because we are both male, we have to rule out certain states and countries. As we've been looking through photolistings, we've found that this excludes a significant portion of children who would benefit immensely from our skill sets -- many of them older kids who, because of their age, may never be adopted.

Such children waiting to be adopted are at a horrible disadvantage (talk about instability!), and children in these specific states and countries have fewer options for stability because of the unsubstantiated assumptions perpetuated by Oaks.

This is why many feel it's appropriate to claim that these assumptions (which aren't just his personal feelings but feelings that he preaches one "should" assume) are contrary to the overall message of his talk.  They can logically be shown (not merely 'assumed') to victimize children.

And because Oaks's assumptions are unsound* (whether knowingly or ignorantly) and a more logically sound assumption can be made concerning the stability and quality of homosexual parenting, we claim that his antagonistic behavior is... well... bullying, using his clout to push his unfounded assumptions on those who have promised to follow his counsel (i.e. his "shoulds" and "should nots") despite empirical evidences.

* technically speaking I can at least make a case for the 'false cause', 'slippery slop', 'burden of proof', 'begging the question', 'straw man', 'special pleading', and 'genetic' logical fallacies in his argument against same sex parenting.

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