By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com February 09 2012 5:00 AM ET
Sometimes reality is the most effective rebuttal to arguments by homophobes who say children raised by same-sex parents are disadvantaged. Take 17-year-old Spencer Perry, for example.
His parents Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier are plaintiffs in the case that led to Proposition 8 being ruled unconstitutional on Tuesday. And Spencer Perry took to the podium on behalf of his three brothers during a major news conference to explain why his family deserves to be recognized by the state of California.
"When Proposition 8 doesn't allow parents like mine to marry, it isn't just defining their love as taboo or wrong, it says that our family — that my brothers, that my mothers — shouldn't belong," he argues in a video clip of the speech posted on Wednesday by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is backing the lawsuit.
The moment is reminiscent of when in Iowa in February 2011 a college student named Zach Wahls stood before a panel of lawmakers considering a constitutional amendment to overturn that state's marriage equality law. His three-minute case for marriage included a defense of his two moms and has been viewed on YouTube more than 2 million times.
And still people like Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum argue that same-sex couples shouldn't have the right to adopt because it would be akin to "robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to. You may rationalize that that isn't true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it's true."
He made that statement during a campaign stop in New Hampshire reported on by the Los Angeles Times, and Santorum even went so far as to say a father in jail would be a superior parent than two moms.
The same argument popped up again on the floor of the Washington state House on Tuesday as lawmakers debated whether to pass a marriage equality bill there. Republican Rep. Jay Rodne claimed that same-sex marriage "harms" children.
"Children who are going to be brought into this world in the context of a same-sex marriage will have their relationship with one of their biological parents forever severed by force of law," lamented Rodne, who called the marriages "progressive re-engineering."
Watch Spencer Perry's speech below. Then see a few other recent moments when kids have stood up for their gay parents on the following pages.
“My mommy’s gay but she doesn’t need any fixing,” said 8-year-old Elijah to former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann during a book signing in South Carolina in December. Bachmann has supported so-called reparative therapy for gays and lesbians.Zach Wahls stood before state lawmakers in Iowa last year to defend his parents. “In my 19 years, not once have I ever been confronted by an individual
who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple,” said
Wahls. “And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of
my parents has had zero affect on the content of my character.”