A 6-day-old baby girl in Michigan was refused treatment by a pediatrician because her parents are lesbians. There are so many things wrong with that statement, it makes my brain hurt. When I first read this story, I couldn’t believe it. Really? I mean, really?
It continues to baffle me that people still find homosexuality so morally offensive. Gay, straight, female, black, we should all have equal rights — it’s that simple. I’m straight, and I think my daughter is too (judging by her crush on almost every Disney prince), but that doesn’t stop me from chiming in whenever I get the chance. “You know, you don’t always have to marry Prince Eric,” I tell her. “You’re allowed to fall in love with Ariel if you want.” She doesn’t totally get my point, but I will never stop reminding her that it is okay for girls to love girls and boys to love boys.
Living in a progressive Brooklyn neighborhood, it’s easy to forget that there is still so much prejudice in the world. Nobody blinked an eye at the gay couple in my newborn prep class, or the lesbians at baby yoga. My local supermarket is a distributor for the free ‘Gay Parenting’ magazine. It’s okay to be different. It’s great, in fact.
Sexual orientation is nobody’s business and it should be legal to love and marry whomever you choose, but, in this case, that’s not even the point. After my rage subsided on behalf of the really adorable Michigan couple, I still couldn’t get this story out of my head. Outrage for discrimination aside, this doctor — this professional who specializes in the needs and wellbeing of children — REFUSED TO TREAT A BABY. It’s worth saying in all caps because in my head I am screaming. On what planet is it okay to discriminate against a baby?
Okay, calm down. Calm down. Just for arguments sake, let’s try to rationalize it. Put aside the facts and your personal feelings about same-sex couples. Imagine these are swastika-tattooed clan members bringing their baby in for a checkup. Or convicted murderers. Or Jack Johnson fans. If the victim were somebody you disagreed with morally or simply didn’t like, could you see it from the pediatrician’s side? It shouldn’t take you long to realise, NO, that doesn’t change anything. Of course racists are horrible, and don’t even get me started on Jack Johnson, but that has absolutely nothing to do with a baby. Nothing. No matter how you look at it, it’s not about the parents. It’s about the baby. An innocent, six-day-old baby.
It is infuriating that anyone, much less a doctor, would take her narrow-minded beliefs out on a baby. It is more than infuriating, though. This story makes me sad and confused. I never thought to ask my pediatrician if she supported gay rights, but does she? I don’t know if she’s a democrat, or a christian, or a member of the NRA, but none of those things should affect the job she does. Unfortunately, it affected this Michigan pediatrician. After praying long and hard, she apparently felt so strongly that she chose to humiliate and belittle the new mums. By sharing her petty, bigoted views, she disrupted their happy-family-mojo, distracting them from the extraordinary first moments of parenthood.
I feel for them, and I wish none of us had to raise our children in an intolerant world. But, forget about the hippocratic oath and the dead-wrong decision this pediatrician made. The truth is, these mamas dodged a bullet. Who wants someone like that caring for their child? Not me.