Not surprisingly, the gay press has fired back at me over my comments earlier this week in my blog postÂ Nationally-Syndicated Cartoonist: It’s Better to Have Two Moms than a Mom and a Dad, in which I criticizedÂ the OPUS Father’s Day week cartoon “Davie Dinkle has two moms.”In the cartoon, which appeared in many of America’s largest newspapers last Sunday, two elementary school boys discuss a classmate who is being raised by two lesbian moms. One boy says, “Makes you wonder how he’ll do without a male role model in the house.” Right afterwards,Â theÂ drunken, idiot father angrily throws the TV out the window, yelling, “Now THAT was a pitch you @$%* moron!”
“[Cartoonist Berkeley] Breathed’s message is clear–dads are useless as role models (when they’re not outright destructive), and kids have little need or use for them.”
I also noted, “My commentary above should NOT be construed as a criticism of lesbians, lesbian moms or gays. As I’ve made clear on many occasions, I fully support the rights of gays and lesbians to live their lives as they choose. What I oppose is the idea…that kids don’t need fathers, that moms are better than dads, and that having two moms is better than having a mom and a dad.)
Now the gay press–including the prominent blogs QueertyÂ and Pam’s House Blend as well as the lesbian mothers’ blog Mombian–are firing back. They criticize me andÂ conservative religious writer Jennifer Roback Morse, who had later criticized the same cartoon in a Townhall.com column. I respect Morse and her work, but her views are obviously substantially different from mine. (To pick one example, she and I clashed a few months ago over my defense of lesbian social mothers’ custody rights in gay/lesbian divorces or civil union dissolutions–to learn more, click here.)
My belief is that while gays and lesbians as individuals are just as competent as parents as heterosexuals are, children need fathers and do benefit substantially from both the male and female parenting styles. When two gay men parent a child, I believe children lose something substantial from not having a mother, and when two women parent a child the child loses something substantial from not having a father.
I might have hoped that critics would deal with my argument directly. Instead, as almost always happens, they glide past my argument to find a more radical one–in this case, Morse’s–and then paint me with the same broad brush. When my work is discussed on feminist sites, my critics almost always cite some stupid or misogynistic thing which some other men’s issues columnist wrote–and such comments are not hard to find–andÂ link me with it.
In Cartoon Causes Controversy: Conservatives Decry ‘Anti-Daddy’ Droll, Queerty writes:
“Conservatives have their neatly pressed panties in a twist over this Opus The Penguin cartoon. The Berkeley Breathed-penned comic appeared Sunday (aka Godâ€™s Day) and provides more fuel to the ever-raging debate over gay parenting. Rather than focusing on the alleged pros and cons of queer parents, the Rightâ€™s taking a different angle–theyâ€™re accusing Breathed of denigrating daddies…Glenn Sacks squeals, ‘Breathedâ€™s message is clearâ€“dads are useless as role models (when theyâ€™re not outright destructive).'”
In other words, I’m an anti-gay conservative looking for a way to beat up on gays, and I used the OPUS cartoon as a way to do it. They have it almost exactly wrong. I’m not anti-gay, I’m not a conservative, and I don’t like to criticize gays or gay marriage. However, I do have a major problem with the idea that fathers are useless or destructive and that kids only need mothers–an idea the OPUS cartoon clearly represents.
To read more on similar issues, visit Glenn Sacks’ blog here.