Obama celebrates gay dads on Father’s Day
Jul 2, 2010

WASHINGTON (BP)—Mother’s Day and Father’s Day might spark thoughts of the traditional family, but President Obama has commemorated both holidays this year by applauding homosexual parenting—a first for a president.

Obama’s Father’s Day proclamation included words that both liberals and conservatives liked—for instance, referencing how “government cannot fill” the role of an absent father—but also included this sentence: “Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian.” His Mother’s Day proclamation in May included nearly identical language and talked about how “nurturing families” can involve “two mothers.”

Presidents have issued Mother’s Day and Father’s Day proclamations before, but it’s the first time that a proclamation gave a nod to same-sex parenting. The proclamations are but the latest step Obama has taken to appease one of his most committed political bases. He was scheduled to host homosexual groups at the White House Tuesday evening in a “gay pride” event. On Wednesday, his Labor Department is expected to broaden the interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act to include same-sex families.

Bob Stith, the Southern Baptist Convention’s national strategist for gender issues, said much of Obama’s Father’s Day proclamation was “right on target” and included words “our families desperately need to hear and heed.”

“It is unfortunate that he then muddied the water by drifting into political correctness,” said Stith, a representative of the SBC’s Task Force on Ministry to Homosexuals. “The real question is not whether a child can be lovingly nurtured in a variety of situations. Many single parents have unwillingly found themselves in that situation and have worked valiantly to provide the best environment for their children.

“The issue,” Stith said, “is what is optimal for our children and whether we should as a society actively encourage anything less than the very best situations for the children.”

Society, Stith said, is “paying a high price” for the breakdown of the family, and it is “abundantly clear” that children on average do best with a mother and a father.

“We should never sacrifice our children’s futures on the altar of political correctness,” Stith said. “Our focus should not be on redefining the family but on rebuilding the foundations of the family. For the sake of our children we must stop trying to convince ourselves that we can experiment with alternate definitions of the family. The optimum situation for children is a healthy father and a healthy mother.”

Studies show that children, on average, do better when raised by a mother and a father. The nonpartisan research organization Child Trends released a study in 2002 that concluded, “An extensive body of research tells us that children do best when they grow up with both biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.... Thus, it is not simply the presence of two parents, as some have assumed, but the presence of two biological parents that seem to support child development.”

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