El Houssine Lahsini
El Houssine Lahsini
Morocco World News
Casablanca, May15, 2012
In a historic interview with Robin Roberts of ABC, President Barack Obama announced last Wednesday his support for same-sex marriage. To justify or probably to normalize his affirmation of gay marriage, he brought the issues of freedom, civil rights and religious marriage to the forefront. For Obama, religious marriage is to be distinguished from civil marriage. But his surprising affirmation of gay couples as parents was a relatively novel concept in America especially during a critical election year.
Obama repeatedly attributed his position to his contacts with gay couples as well as their children. He described how important it is to support those people who are committed to each other in monogamous and same-sex relationships. He then went on further to reinforce the idea that gay couples should be able to raise children together just like heterosexual couples.
Indeed, the president’s affirmation of same-sex marriage and these couples’ ability to adopt children raised vitriolic debates and reactions in both American public and social media. There are some gay individuals who reject same-sex marriage to be linked to procreation. Others maintain that gay couples’ adoption of children would result in the estrangement of children from their genetic parents and of course would result in severe psychological problems. In this vein, I quote Judith Butler (2008:112) from, Sexual Politics, Torture and Secular Time.
“In the newspapers and throughout public discourse, social psychologists argue that lesbian or gay parenting-and this would include single-mother parenting as well-threatens to undermine the very framework that a child requires in order (a) to know and understand sexual difference, and (b) to gain an orientation in the cultural world. The presumption is that if a child has no father, that child will not come to understand masculinity in the culture, and, if it is a boy child, he will have no way to embody or incorporate his own masculinity.”
She continues; “True enough gay couples would estrange those poor children from a society where masculinity is constructed through the role played by the father, the symbol of masculinity, and the mother whose role is of paramount importance in a child’s psychological and physical development. Gay couples would simply separate children from a context where they can know and understand sexual differences. To put it differently, gay couples would, even unintentionally, affects a child’s choice of his or her sexual orientation in a society where homosexuality, from a religious perspective, is a biblical sin.”
To go back to Obama’s stance amongst preachers in the church, the Rev. Patrick Wooden, for instance, in a sermon on Sunday at his church in Raleigh, N.C., said that Obama’s confirmation of same-sex marriage was “in support of sin.” and “in opposition to the biblical model of marriage.” The issue indeed is outrageous amongst churches, politicians and ministers. In fact, today’s battle and clash over homosexuality is church vs. church and minister vs. minister. Black churches, for example, openly welcome gay couples, and white churches totally stand against. In the Roman Catholic Church, homosexuality in general is a sin, but still there are some Catholic priests who secretly support and bless gay couples.
One reading of Obama’s affirmation of “same-sex marriage” is that of the election. Some would assume that the president is paving the way for winning the votes of the gay community, just as he did in the last election with the Blacks as he raised the issue of post-racial America in his campaigns, and probably will win a second term. But if this reading is valid, I would venture to say that president Obama’s stance is not that innocent and is politically, if not racially, motivated. This would be no more than a pure instrumentalization of homosexuality in America, at a time when every presidential candidate is trying to play the right card at the right time in order to win the election.