Thursday, March 18, 2010

SocImages: Portraying Lesbian Parents

Melanie Leon and Vanessa Alenier are partners (life, not business) who are seeking to jointly adopt a child in Florida. The state bans such adoptions, and Leon/Alenier are filing suit to overturn the ban.

They look terrifying, I know.

This is the picture the Family Research Council "accidentally" used in an advertisement against the decision (which was in favor of Alenier/Leon). After being confronted by a blogger on the Orlando Sentinel, John Stemberger offered his "sincerest apologies" to the couple.

Hat tip to SocImages for the link. They comment that:

I think the use of the photo on the left to represent scary lesbians is fascinating. This isn’t just about homophobia. Being lesbian per se isn’t sufficient. The use of the photo on the left, rather than the one on the right, combines a lot of stereotypes and prejudices about body size, gender, attractiveness, social class, and sexual orientation in an effort to stigmatize gays and lesbians as inappropriate parents.

In any case, the issues at hand are whether or not a prospective couple will be good parents and offer a stable home and whether or not same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt kids. Fear-mongering, whether it is an "accident" or not, does not serve the debate no matter which side you fall under.

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