Wednesday, April 29, 2009

30 Days Isn't Enough

Pam's House Blend  had this episode of 30 Days posted on their website:

It's a full 42 minute episode from the series.  It pits a Mormon mom against a Gay couple with 4 children.   I'd love to say that Morgan Spurlock gives a balanced presentation of both sides, but I can't.  Not only has he chosen someone who literally can't challenge her church's beliefs without risking being ostracized from her family and church, but the "experts" he puts on present highly slanted views and, in the case of Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council,  quote biased and discredited studies. He may think he's providing equal voice to both sides but it doesn't really look like it. A girl who speaks about being jointly raised by her lesbian Mom and her straight Dad in two households describes them as equally normal homes.  Unfortunately, her fairly laid back account is contrasted by a woman who talks about being raised by a gay Dad.  By all accounts, her Dad sounded like an awful parent and her much more sensationalized story completely overshadows the teen's.

We see much more of Katie, the Mormon's, story than that of the two dads.  She has to go out and interact with various LGBT groups.  At one point she even has to place flyers for an organization advocating second parent rights.  While under constant strain and exposure to the "other side" this woman retreats further and further into her belief system.  She complains of feeling attacked constantly. Though I suppose the whole point was to challenge her beliefs by forced exposure to LGBT society, it didn't work. All it did was show the rigidity of her side.

I suppose it's the best we can expect from an hour of TV.  To truly present both sides would have taken much longer.  There are things that are hinted at that I think would've gone a long way towards providing a more balanced picture.  One of the couples' adopted children, all of whom were in foster care first, still has contact with his birth family. Indeed their passionate defense of the couple was amazing and at the same time a missed opportunity. Here is the mom/dad family that Katie preferred and we've given no indication of why they gave up their parental rights. This would have provided an example of when the so-called "right" kind of family didn't work and provided proof of why this kid, at least, is better off with a same-sex couple.

I encourage you to watch it and make up your own mind about how well it presents the question of same-sex parenting.

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