Who's Your Daddy

My dinner with Dallin

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I don’t know Dallin Oaks. Nor do I know what position in the Mormon Church he holds. But I do know that his comments made at the last Mormon General Conference were so appalling that he should publicly apologize.

Oaks thinks my kids are victims because they have two dads. He thinks that I’m being selfish because I am a gay man and a father. Here’s what’s really bothers me about Oaks’ comments: I’ll bet he’s never spent time with a family like mine. It’s very possible he’s never even met a family with two dads or two moms.

But that hasn’t stopped him from judging gay and lesbian parents.

So here’s the deal: Mr. Oaks, I’m officially inviting you to our house for dinner.

Here’s what you’ll find, sir: two little boys who are anything but victims. No, you’ll meet two kids, who are self-confident, self-assured, smart, funny, athletic, happy and most of all, loved unconditionally.

As far as their parents being selfish? Well, Kelly can be a blanket hog. However, I don’t think that’s what you’re talking about.

I can’t imagine that you’re suggesting gay parents ignore their kids’ best interests in pursuit of their own good times.  But just in case that’s exactly what you’re implying, if you come by for dinner, I’ll let you take a peek at my calendar.

You’ll see it’s pretty full with self-indulgent extravagances like taking the boys to school, lugging Gus and his equipment to hockey practice, attending church with them, getting snacks for Niko’s Sunday school class, schlepping them to art class, doing homework with them and reading with them.

Dude, I would love to be selfish every now and then, but I just don’t have the time.

And just as I’ve had plenty of devout Mormon friends tell me you don’t speak for them,  I wouldn’t presume to speak for every gay parent in the world, but I’d wager they’d like to be selfish every now and then too.

I suppose maybe what you really meant was that Kelly and I are being selfish by becoming parents, that we put our own desires to be fathers over allowing our boys to have a mom and a dad.  Yeah, about that, why don’t you stroll over to the local state adoption agency and check out the list of kids waiting for parents? It’s supply and demand, man, and there’s a hell of a lot more supply.

Of course, I also don’t subscribe to the argument that two dads are only better than no parents at all.  Every type of family is legitimate and deserves respect.

There’s the rub, you don’t respect my family. You don’t know a thing about us, you’ve never met us, you’ve probably never even seen us interact together, but you have judged us. Actually, you have judged a lot of families you don’t know.

I don’t know a whole lot about the tenets of your faith, Mr. Oaks, but I’m pretty sure judging anyone flies in the face of them, let alone judging families you know absolutely nothing about.

So here’s my offer to you: why don’t you come to our house for dinner? Bring your wife. Bring your kids. I’ll even make homemade Greek food. It will give you all an opportunity to meet a family headed by two gay men. But be prepared, I suspect you’ll find us extraordinarily boring and astonishingly void of victims.

Oh, and to make you all more comfortable, for dessert I’ll even whip up Jell-O. But no shredded carrots in it, I draw the line at shredded carrots.

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