GOP Lawmaker: Only Gender Norms Can Define A Family

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), who ThinkProgress determined to be the most anti-gay member of the House, wrote an op-ed today in The Washington Times reiterating his opposition to same-sex marriage. In his column, he explains that same-sex marriage will “further the destruction of the family,” because same-sex couples and their children aren’t even families at all:

President Obama and I have very different notions of what a family is. For liberals, the family can apparently be everything from “Heather Has Two Mommies” to “Daddy’s Roommate” to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “It Takes a Village.” In the opinion of electoral majorities in Kansas and 40 other states, however, that does not a family make. […]

Redefining marriage to remove parents of both sexes from the equation would further the destruction of the family, the most fundamental building block of society. If that definition is changed by the court, the purpose of marriage devolves to mere recognition of an emotional union. In so doing, the children of America will be shortchanged — and the will of the American people would be once again short-circuited by black robes in Washington.

Huelskamp cites “overwhelming social science evidence” that claims opposite-sex parents are better than same-sex parents, even though the actual consensus among social scientists supports same-sex parenting. To his credit, he honestly admits his belief in antiquated gender norms, suggesting “there are differing parenting styles between men and women and that children deserve both.” Of course, in doing so he relies on claims about “fatherlessness,” an argument that relies on research about single mothers to fraudulently draw conclusions about same-sex parents.

With same-sex couples raising children across the country, including 22 percent of couples in his home state of Kansas, it’s unclear what Huelskamp would call these households if not “families,” assuming he even acknowledges their existence.