In honor of Mother's Day, President Obama issued a proclamation celebrating "those who are the first to welcome us into the world."
He continued, "Performing the most important work there is, mothers — biological, foster, or adoptive — are our first role models and earliest motivators. They balance enormous responsibilities and shape who we become as adults, their lessons guiding us throughout life. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, mothers have always moved our Nation forward and remained steadfast in their pursuit of a better and brighter future for their children."
This echoed his 2015 proclamation, in which he said, "Whether married or single, LGBT or straight, biological, adoptive, or foster, mothers are the bedrocks of our lives and the foundation of our society."
To be sure, the president had some beautiful things to say about mothers, and I applaud those expressions of appreciation and celebration. And, without a doubt, there are single moms, adoptive moms, and lesbian moms who are deeply devoted to their kids and are doing their utmost to be the best parents they can be.
Many of their kids must surely have expressed their appreciation to them on Mother's Day.
That being said, when a woman chooses to have a baby out of wedlock — I emphasize the word "chooses" — and to raise that child without a husband/father in the household, is that the best choice that can be made? Is that the best role model she can be? Doesn't her very choice deprive that little one of the nurture that only a dad can bring? Doesn't her choice deprive that child of growing up with the example of mother-father love and interaction?
Obviously, there are single moms who are fabulous moms — heroic moms, sacrificial moms, courageous moms, incredible moms — but when they choose to be single moms because they want a child but they don't want marriage, they do their child a disservice.
Perhaps the president's statement regarding marital status was too broadly worded?
He also referenced lesbian moms, and here too, we can acknowledge that there are also fabulous lesbian moms, women who would give their lives for their children, women who are as devoted to their kids as any straight moms in the world.
An older student of mine told me about one of her co-workers, a man who grew up in a broken, heterosexual home, was given up for adoption, and was then raised by two lesbians, whom he credited with helping getting his life in order. He said he owed them everything, and I don't doubt his sentiments.
What is still so sad, though, is that kids raised in a lesbian home will not be able to celebrate Father's Day, and this by the choice of the moms. (I am not saying they chose their sexual orientation; I am saying they chose to raise a child or children together, without a man.)
This reminds me of the story of a young woman I met who was in a drug rehab program. She and her two sisters were raised by two lesbians, and all three of the girls came out as lesbians as they grew up. While she talked freely about her great love for her moms, she also shared how they did not like men, conveying a very negative attitude about males to their daughters.
This is hardly an isolated case, and once again, while recognizing the devotion of these women to their kids, we cannot downplay the destructive effect of their hostile attitude towards men along with the gaping hole left by the absence of a father.
But this pales in comparison to the confusion caused by gender identity issues, in which a child's mother becomes the father.
Consider the real life story of a former beauty queen who had her breasts cut off but left her reproductive organs intact, then underwent hormonal treatment to grow facial hair, then, after changing her identity to that of a man, married a woman who was unable to have children, then got artificially inseminated and had a baby.
So, in this case, the baby has an anonymous father, a biological mother who functions as the father, and a "mother" who has no biological connection to the child.
On Mother's Day, who does the child thank, its real mother, who is presumably called "Daddy," or the woman, who is not the child's mother?
Is this the kind of role model that President Obama is commending, where the mother is Daddy?
I've read of other cases in which a woman gave birth to her child as a single mother and then transitioned into a man, thereby becoming both the biological mother and the functioning father. Is this to be commended? (Note that the child began experiencing gender identity confusion at a very young age. Is this a surprise, especially when both the mother and her partner are women who identify as men?)
And what of the recent cases in which a woman, while undergoing hormone therapy to become a man, found out she was pregnant, generating headlines like, "Henry Steinn, 19, became pregnant via his boyfriend Thorir Leo Petursso"? (For the record, Hallmark is also celebrating transwoman moms this Mother's Day.)
I don't doubt that there are men who now identify as women who are functioning as moms and are deeply devoted to the children they are raising, but the truth is that they can never be biological women, and many would argue that there is a greater likelihood that their own kids will experience some type of gender confusion as well.
All in all, it's a real shame that our president, rather than just making a positive statement about the importance of our mothers, chose to politicize the moment, putting his radical social agenda above the sacredness of motherhood.
Mr. President, is this the best you could do?