Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun

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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ESP is the Law

Wow! Who knew that the law could be so fascinating? Thanks to our friends over at the Council for Contemporary Families (CCF) for highlighting a brilliant piece by Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times titled "Hiding in Plain Sight." The column analyzes Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s decision in the California same-sex marriage case back in August. Here are a few juicy nuggets:
  • One of the smartest moves by Judge Walker was his unveiling of a central hiding-in-plain-sight fact: the change in society’s expectations about what partnership in a marriage entails. “Marriage between a man and a woman was traditionally organized based on presumptions of a division of labor along gender lines” until recently, he said. “Men were seen as suited for certain types of work and women for others. Women were seen as suited to raise children and men were seen as suited to provide for the family.”
  • Evidence at the trial, he said, showed “the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles.” As a result, the judge continued, “gender is not relevant to the state in determining spouses’ obligations to each other and to their dependents,” and “gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.”
  • Judge Walker is saying basically that he is not “redefining marriage” — the charge instantly leveled by critics of the opinion. We, collectively, in California and elsewhere in today’s United States, have done the job ourselves.
Amen to that! ESP is a growing and desired lifestyle that stands firmly on the belief that men and women are created equal. And I don't mean simply equal worth as a human being, this is equal as is in equal opportunity to experience all the joys and challenges of each domain of life together - not based on roles by gender. Sure, the practicalities are not always easy to work out - but the dream is undeniable. Before we know it, the definition of marriage as a "union of equals" will be the law of this land, not just for same-sex couples but for all of us.

Gender, while still a powerful and beautiful difference between humans, is dying as a default way to structure our families. Our laws are catching up to this evolution, and our families are reaching to embrace it.


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