Gender: the parent claptrap

The US State Department has been hard at work in updating its bureaucratic forms deemed necessary to Americans traveling abroad – while at the same time attempting to introduce some social engineering. On December 22nd, in the midst of the Christmas celebrations, a short “media note” was issued concerning improved security features that were being introduced by State in February for the existing form “Consular Report of Birth Abroad Certificate” (CRBA). Astonishingly, the note carried this final paragraph:

Applications for U.S. passports and the redesigned CRBA will also use the title of “parent” as opposed to “mother” and “father.” These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.

Vigilant viewers of vital information spotted this revolutionary revelation and an explosion of publicity followed. Defenders of the traditional family objected strongly to this redefinition of parenthood to the exclusion of mothers and fathers while the homosexual rights proponents hailed the gender neutrality of the decision that supports their redefinition of marriage.

Once again, the US government under the current administration has revealed the golden calf that they worship. This move was yet another attempt at a cultural shift that the majority of Americans do not favor. This time the strong voices of true mothers and fathers rang out, achieving partial success. The issue generated enough furor that the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, claiming she was not aware of the “details” of said changes, rendered a Solomonic decision of sorts. On January 11th the State Department announced that the forthcoming forms would carry the designation “mother or parent 1” and “father or parent 2.” The “solution” is still degrading to mothers and fathers together in unity as true parents.

As the State Department indicated, the family is being forced into many definitions, not just one, to accommodate the fanciful forms of household formations. Yet, the word “family” was given such importance that it was enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in Article 16 (3): “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.”

Permitting new definitions of the family is not “natural” and undermines its fundamental position within society. A living arrangement that does not consist of married mother and father, children, and possibly other blood relatives, is not a family. Children should not be farmed, as some claimants to artificial parenthood insist on doing -- by shopping for “eggs” and “sperm”, as though they were farm commodities. A child cannot have “two mommies” because only one will have given birth to that child. The “nature” of the child is to have a biological mother and father for its existence and the same two individuals securely present for its nourishment, education and proper moral upbringing.

Whatever living arrangements certain individuals choose for their households they should not be given the privilege to usurp and undermine concepts rooted in the natural law. Indeed, the State Department proposal appears to violate federal law by undermining the Defense of Marriage Act which basically upholds the natural law of one man, one woman, and one marriage.

Whether governments or civil society organizations promote the changing concepts of life itself, they are only reaping a harvest of shame in violation of the natural law. The family in nature remains one and immutable and thus cannot be re-engineered to reflect the fads, fashions or fetishes of the time.

That the State Department has gone as far as it has is doubly detrimental since it represents foreign affairs and thus the face of the United States vis-à-vis the rest of the world. Moreover, the State Department’s initially proposed changes would appear to be contrary to governmental responsibility to protect the family – in violation of the UN Human Rights definition of family – as well as a disservice to society.

The surreptitious manner in which this change was initially introduced makes one wonder for the future under what rock one might find other fundamental changes to normalcy in the interests of diversity.

Vincenzina Santoro is an international economist. She represents the American Family Association of New York at the United Nations.


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