In honor of gay marriage now being legal in California, I present to you a conversation I had yesterday with my 5 year old:
5yo: Hey mom? Do men marry men sometimes?
me: Yes, sometimes they do.
5yo: Well then can they combine their 2 sperm cells and make a baby?
me: No, you need sperm and an egg to make a baby, so you need a man and a woman.
5yo: Well how do they have a baby then?
me: Well, sometimes they adopt a baby who grew in someone else’s tummy, just like we adopted Sam. Remember, there are a lot of different ways that babies join families.
5yo: Well, I’m not going to marry a man. I’m going to marry Saffron so she can grow a baby in her tummy.
5yo: And then when I go to astronaut school, she can stay home and take care of him! And his name will be Henry. Like the neighbor’s dog in Jack and Annie.
me: I thought you said Saffron was going to be an architect?
5yo: She can do that job later.
Despite the fact that I may be raising a mini chauvinist, at least he’s open minded about the marriage issue. (He later came up with: “Well, girls can marry girls, then, and then you’d have two moms!”) OK, but you’re thinking “stop blogging about your kids already — what does this have to do with libraries?” Simply this: a lot of kids in his generation are growing up thinking of things like gay marriage and adoption and multiethnic families as natural, just another way to do things. This should be a wakeup call for librarians to continue standing on our principles in terms of the way that we provide services to all.
I feel the same way about librarians who refuse to work Harry Potter parties, who won’t purchase materials on homosexuality (or witchcraft, or what the heck, even “intelligent design”) — or who block MySpace — as I do about pharmacists who refuse to dispense contraception: You’re in the wrong profession, folks.