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Rupert Everett Can’t Think of Anything Worse Than Gay Dads

Rupert Everett Can’t Think of Anything Worse Than Gay Dads

Openly gay actor Rupert Everett has proved that he is disturbingly ignorant when it comes to same-sex parenting, saying he cannot think of “anything worse” than being the child of two gay men.

Said Everett in an interview with The Sunday Times:

“I can’t think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads. Some people might not agree with that. Fine! That’s just my opinion.

“I’m not speaking on behalf of the gay community. In fact, I don’t feel like I’m part of any ‘community’. The only community I belong to is humanity and we’ve got too many children on the planet, so it’s good not to have more.”

In 2009, Everett, blaming his lack of acting work on coming out at a relatively early point in his career, advised young actors to stay in the closet, drawing criticism from LGBT rights groups who pointed out that down that path lay only the self-perpetuating cycle of closeted silence that has for years plagued young LGBT actors.

That Everett says now that he is not speaking on behalf of the gay community is marked, and that he has not understood the damage his ill-informed opinion could do is, though not out of character, more than unfortunate.

Studies have shown that there is little to no difference in the well-being of children raised by same-sex parents; several studies have confirmed there is no detrimental effect in being raised by same-sex parents, and a handful of studies have even shown there may be a slight benefit in having lesbian parents — though this isn’t due to the parents’ gender but the manner in which they tend to parent.

Despite this, religious conservative groups and individuals have continually maintained the heterosexuals parents are not only better, but that heterosexual (married) couples are the only ones who can raise a healthy child. It is little surprise, then, that religious conservative news sites have seized on Everett’s words and attempted to spin them as proof that there are some gay people who support the so-called “traditional” view.

Take a look at the way the Christian Post has framed the story:

The opinion goes along with the traditional view that children need both a mother and father figure in order to achieve a happier and healthier life.

“Children want a mother and a father,” Andrea Lafferty, President of the Traditional Values Coalition, told The Christian Post in an interview earlier this year. “Gender makes a very big difference.”

[...]

“Two men might each be a good father, but neither can be a mom,” the National Organization for Marriage, an organization in support of traditional marriage, said in a statement on its website. “The ideal for children is the love of their own mom and dad. No same-sex couple can provide that.”

Everett has, with his latest statements, risked greatly harming a group of people to which he is often ascribed, even if he does not think of himself as part of the gay community. When Everett, even indirectly, feeds into such unsupported notions about gay parents, he creates ammunition for anti-gay forces. And the effect is not limited to Everett’s English base. Indeed, his statements have made headlines in America and as far away as New Zealand, one under the title “Children Need a Mother and a Father.”

In the interest of freedom of speech, it would be unjust to deny Everett the right to voice his opinions. He can say what he would like just as we are free to criticize with impunity.

Yet, given that Everett refuses the label “gay,” he should at least make sure he has an informed insight on gay parenting. And, if he really is concerned with humanity, he might consider thinking about the impact of his words before he exercises his right to aggressive ignorance, both on the community at large and the children of gay parents who might hear and then feel further stigmatized.

 

Related Reading:

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to vishdish.

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156 comments

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5:08AM PDT on May 18, 2013

My daughter is getting married to a lovely woman and they are both raising a baby girl together,*from a previous relationship of my daughter's.*
They are wonderful parents and their baby girl is happy and well cared for. They are a beautiful family, pity Rupert Everett can't see the three of them together, he would soon change his mind about gays raising children.

5:34AM PDT on May 17, 2013

Poor Rupert.

8:09PM PDT on May 15, 2013

I still admire Everett's acting ability, but I just lost a lot of respect for him as a person. Unfortunate.

9:28AM PDT on May 15, 2013

Well, he can have his opinion, but I have seen gay parents who are better parents than some of the straight parents I have seen. But then the gay parents are way in the minority numerically. But I have seen parents who smoked so much their house was smelled from 60 -70 ft away, I have seen fathers who have abandoned their children, and they were straight!

10:19AM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

Unlikely Elton John said anything of the kind given that his spouse and he adopted a boy in 2010.

11:33AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Elton John state something similar a few years back? If so, is this some British (gay and famous) view being portrayed? I know some Brits that don't harbour these medieval views and I'm positive Everett is kinda solo in his approach to gay parenting. I agree that he caters to the anti-gay maffia and that he does more harm then good with his "star" status. Can't say I ever was a fan of his and this doesn't bring me closer to become one.
Can't leave without sending a message to NOM: Your organization only exists because you're against something you don't like. You don't offer any models for existing straight marriages, only to point out that they are the only ones that should be allowed. How about the fact that about 50% of all straight marriages end in divorce? Instead, why don't you put your efforts into helping people stay in their marriages (unless the reasons for divorce are other than lack of communication and similar) and also realize that the traditional marriage you support really had more to do with enhancing power and wealth than connecting to persons in love?

6:18PM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Internalized homophobia is deep and stubborn. Who a man or woman loves or who they have sex with has nothing to do with their character or the quality of their parenting. I feel sad for Rupert. A loving dad is a great gift.

12:33PM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Of course he does Janet. Under our system of Democracy even complete, blithering idiots have the right to say what they want.

3:39AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Good on him! He has every right to express his opinion.

12:01AM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

he's squandering his fame

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