Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Milwaukee's Mark Belling: Same-sex couples' decision to have children is "pure selfishness"

Media Matters picked up some wingnuttery from my favorite local boy, Mark Belling of WISN's The Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show (you can listen to the podcast of his show here)...

He was guest-hosting for Rush Limbaugh....

On the June 19 broadcast of Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated radio show, while discussing a recent custody battle stemming from a same-sex civil union in Vermont, guest host Mark Belling asked, "Can a baby have two mothers? It's a new concept for us. And I'm not sure it's an especially healthy one. First of all, it demeans the entire notion of fatherhood, implying that a father is an absolute irrelevancy, a concept that has destroyed many black families, the idea that we simply don't need have to have any male role model in the life whatsoever." Belling added that "the desire to have these kids is almost entirely premised on, 'I want to have a baby. We want to have a baby.' Not, 'Are we in the best situation to be able to raise a child?' And I think it comes down to just pure selfishness. And that's what it's all about."

In August 2006, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that two women in a same-sex civil union, Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins, were both legal parents of the child Miller had given birth to in 2002. On June 15, a Vermont family court judge dissolved their civil union, granting custody of the child to Miller and visitation rights to Jenkins. Belling suggested that the family court ruling would lead to recognition of parental rights "in a three-way relationship." He said, "[T]he larger point is, whether or not society needs to facilitate people's desires to raise children any way they feel like raising them. If we're going to sanction the parental rights of both people in a gay relationship, do we have to sanction the parental rights of a three-way relationship? Let's imagine that a woman and a man have a baby. And the woman later decides to hook up with a female partner. Do they all get rights?" He added, "[A]re we going to base every single decision on the basis of what these parents who are choosing alternative lifestyles want or are we going to start to think about what's in the best interest of the child?"

From the June 19 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

BELLING: And what happens when the relationship ends is you have a fight literally between two mothers. Can a baby have two mothers? It's a new concept for us. And I'm not sure it's an especially healthy one. First of all, it demeans the entire notion of fatherhood, implying that a father is an absolute irrelevancy, a concept that has destroyed many black families, the idea that we simply don't need to have any male role model in the life whatsoever. But more to the point, knowing the potential of what can happen when the relationship ends, and watching this particular case, I mean, there is a child here. There is a child who is going to have to decide which mother is her mother, or are they both their mothers? And the desire to have these kids is almost entirely premised on, "I want to have a baby. We want to have a baby." Not, "Are we in the best situation to be able to raise a child?" And I think it comes down to just pure selfishness. And that's what it's all about.

As for the decision to award visitation rights to the woman who didn't give birth, let's imagine the situation did not involve a couple of gays. A guy and a woman, unmarried, the woman is artificially inseminated and has a baby. It's not the biological child of her boyfriend. When they break up, does the boyfriend expect to have any kind of visitation rights? Well, what's the difference? Now, those who support gay marriage would argue that's exactly the point: It does not allow us to engage in relationships in which we can jointly be able to raise a child and have equal parental rights. Straight people have the ability to get married. If the guy wants to be able to be involved in the child's life when they split up, well, then he should have married her in the first place. Gays don't have the right to do that, so their argument goes.

But the larger point is, whether or not society needs to facilitate people's desires to raise children any way they feel like raising them. If we're going to sanction the parental rights of both people in a gay relationship, do we have to sanction the parental rights of a three-way relationship? Let's imagine that a woman and a man have a baby. And the woman later decides to hook up with a female partner. Do they all get rights? And are we going to base every single decision on the basis of what these parents who are choosing alternative lifestyles want or are we going to start to think about what's in the best interest of the child?

LINK: Limbaugh guest host Belling described same-sex couples' decision to have children as "pure selfishness"

Back in 2004, Belling got himself into a little trouble after he used the term "wetbacks" on the air. However, to his credit, I do listen to his show from time to time and I can honestly say I agree with a lot of his opinions on local issues. It when he gets into national and social issues that he becomes another talking head. Speaking of local Right-Wing radio talk show hosts, I know the son of Charlie Sykes (who is Milwaukee's #1 radio talk show host).

-Mr. Joseph

1 comment:

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