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The Self-Defeating Folly of Robert Oscar Lopez

Rob Tisinai

April 18th, 2014

Robert Oscar Lopez is a maybe-bisexual man raised by two lesbians (well, sort of: one full-time mom and one part-time). He spouts such vicious garbage that he’s finding it hard to find places in America that welcome him to speak. Or, as he put it recently, “one of the reasons that I was so available to help European allies was practical: blacklisted and driven out of the public square by a cadre of unhinged homosexual fascists.”

I always wonder what his colleagues think of this, the ones we do see on Fox and other conservative outlets. Lopez is basically implying they weren’t effective enough to be hounded out of the country. He hints at the real reason for his exile, though. In that same article he writes:

[M]any conservatives, even the ones fighting gay marriage, have viewed me as a liability and cooperated with the blackout.  Other right-wing journals wouldn’t publish me.  For a year and a half I got many queries from college students interested in having me speak, but conservatives sponsoring them deemed me too controversial.

Well, which is it? Who’s to blame for silencing him? A cadre of unhinged homosexual fascists, or many conservatives, or a conspiracy between the two (another possibility, that “many conservatives” fighting gay marriage are in fact closeted “unhinged homosexual fascists,” is provocative, but probably not what he intended). It’s funny that he can’t see his own contradiction, which might be a good signal that he was indeed stifled from within his own movement. In fact, his penchant for contradiction, paranoia, and baffling illogic makes a damn good case for his allies to shut him up.

Lopez’s only real value to their movement lies in the fierce way he denounces his upbringing, but his irrationality infects even that. Here’s how he describes it:

Between 1973 and 1990, when my beloved mother passed away, she and her female romantic partner raised me. They had separate houses but spent nearly all their weekends together, with me, in a trailer tucked discreetly in an RV park 50 minutes away from the town where we lived. As the youngest of my mother’s biological children, I was the only child who experienced childhood without my father being around.

After my mother’s partner’s children had left for college, she moved into our house in town. I lived with both of them for the brief time before my mother died at the age of 53. I was 19.

What an awful childhood. The secrecy, the isolation, the self-shunning. The fear, the constant separation from one’s friends, the inevitable sense imposed on a child that his life is somehow wrong. It’s enough to give you sympathy for this poor — oh, wait, I left off a sentence from that last paragraph.

In other words, I was the only child who experienced life under “gay parenting” as that term is understood today.

Really? This awful closeted existence is what we have in mind when we fight for marriage equality? Again: really?

And this is where we see just how damaged Robert Oscar Lopez really is: He can’t recognize basic facts of reality, and he certainly can’t reason. We see this in nearly everything he writes. For example, from his bizarre amicus brief to Virginia’s Bostic case:

In a case where one member of the same-sex couple is the child’s biological parent and the couple wants to “jointly” adopt the child, the adoption is a form of coercion. Now the child, in addition to having permanently lost the link to a biological parent of the opposite sex, must submit to the authority and control of a new parent who may or may not dispense of such power with generosity.

Somehow Lopez misses the fact that this “coercion” doesn’t just apply to same-sex adoption, but to  adoption in general (and frankly, to parenting in general, adoptive or not). And he compounds his mistake:

I have heard the scenario raised in an Irish debate – “what if a same -sex couple is raising a child but only one is the legal parent, and the other one needs to pick the child up from school?” This is typical of the scenarios flagged in same-sex parenting debates. In truth in most schools in the United States a parent can leave a note explaining that someone else is going to pick the child up from school. A legal joint adoption, however, would give the non-biological parent the right to come to school without prior notice and demand that the child leave with him, whether or not the child wants to. Far from offering “legal protection” to the child, this opens the door to child abduction and custody battles that can escalate and inflict terrible stress on the child. There is no reason to change adoption and marriage laws in order to accommodate a small number of easily avoidable instances, which we probably do not want to encourage anyway.

Again, this is not unique to same-sex adoption, but is inherent to adoption per se. Yet Lopez only wants to condemn same sex parents with it. (NOM, and Jennifer Roback Morse in particular, suffer from a variation on this blindness.)

The gobsmacking continues. He recently wrote:

All during 2012 and 2013, there were signs that the gay movement – never to be conflated with gay people themselves – had become an engine of world-historical evil.

On a related, world-historical  note:

Homosexuals were deemed an oppressed people despite the flimsiest of historical grievances (even the legendary gay Holocaust involved no more than 15,000 victims, out of the twelve million people placed in Nazi concentration camps).

15,000 victims? How flimsy!

He’s well-known for comparing surrogacy to slavery, and believes he has special insight here because of “the fact that my great-great-grandmother was a Puerto Rican slave raped by a white man.” And it just goes on and on.

Lopez says in his amicus brief, “My personal life story is not the main source for my position before the Court,” but we can dismiss that because in its next section he devotes 6 pages to detailing that history — which is no surprise, since it’s the main only reason he gets invited to anti-gay venues. In any case, he’s utterly disqualified himself as a reliable analyst because in a single sentence – In other words, I was the only child who experienced life under “gay parenting” as that term is understood today – he demonstrates his complete break from reality when it comes to this issue.

Sadly, Lopez can’t recognize this even when it’s pointed out to him. Complaining about researchers he don’t consider his case representative, he tell us:

In my case, when I debated same-sex parenting, people have repeatedly suggested that my case is not applicable in any general sense, due to the fact that my mother and her partner chose to live in separate houses despite co-parenting me, and the fact that my mother died when I was still a teenager.

Actually, no. This is Regnerus all over again: Lopez is the product of a broken heterosexual home (which we know can be damaging) and promptly moved into a family structure that no one but Lopez would describe as “‘gay parenting’ as that term is understood today.” His very inability to see this is evidence enough of his analytical incompetence.  Enough, perhaps, but he still offers more.

As a spokesman, Lopez can’t even rise to the level of anonymous commenters on anti-gay websites. Recently I encountered this bit of nonsense from one such commenter, who told me:

You are contending that the lessons of compassion, nurturing, and caring can be just as fully conveyed to children by men as by women. A woman isn’t needed to explain to her teen son what things appeal to teen girls and what teen girls think like.

Similarly you are contending that fathers don’t matter. The job of teaching courage and risk-taking can be conveyed to boys equally well by women as by men. Bravery in the face of adversity; meeting challenges head on are items that can be conveyed to children just as well by women as by men.

Of course, you don’t even need to step out of traditional gender roles to see how deluded this is. I’d love to see the reaction when this claptrap about courage, risk-taking, bravery, and challenges is offered to a new mom leaving the delivery room, or to a widowed single mother. But as bad as this is, Lopez’s version is even worse:

Even if my peers’ parents were divorced, and many of them were, they still grew up seeing male and female social models. They learned, typically, how to be bold and unflinching from male figures and how to write thank-you cards and be sensitive from female figures.

Yes, thank-you cards: the core of your mother’s value as a woman.

The quote at the top of this piece and the one I just offered both come from a Lopez article at The Public Discourse, a Witherspoon Institute publication, Witherspoon being the group that financed Regernus. I can understand Lopez might post such nonsense on a personal blog, but this actually got past an editor who apparently didn’t read the anti-Lopez memo. And that’s terrific! It shows how incompetent how our opponents tend to be, no matter how well-funded or “respectable.” Recently Lopez and Bryan Fischer were discussing “why the gay agenda has been able to make the strides it has made,” and Lopez complained it’s because the anti-gay side has stifled its more radical voices (!). In reality, though, stifling these radical voice is one of our opponents’ best strategies. The irony for Lopez is that his side is losing not because his voice has been silenced, but because reasonable people have heard it too much, and it’s alienated them.

I’d like to point out one last irony. Lopez shares his childhood as a way to argue against marriage equality, but the facts of that history — the lesbian who denies her sexuality and marries the “right” gender, the collapse of that relationship, the broken home that never heals, the secrecy of her new relationship, the clandestine upbringing — these details are all hallmarks of a closeted era. It’s the future Lopez wants us to go back to. It’s the past we’re working so hard to transcend. Every aspect that Lopez reveals of his tragic upbringing, every detail, is really just another compelling argument for social and legal equality.

Comments

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Lord_Byron
April 18th, 2014 | LINK

“this opens the door to child abduction and custody battles that can escalate and inflict terrible stress on the child. ”

As you said Rob everything he complains about is not unique to same-sex couples, but the fact that he brought up child abduction when we have the case of Isabella Miller-Jenkins is just insulting.

Neil
April 18th, 2014 | LINK

Lopez is fairly typical of the more concerted opposition to gay rights. He brings the anecdote of a closeted past to characterise an essence of gayness. In this view there is nothing socially constructed in how we live our lives. Lesbians will somehow always tend to marry men, divorce them, move to a secluded location and conduct their subsequent homosexual relationship with a partner outside the home.

Listening to the likes of Tony Perkins and Matt Barber, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d watched William Friedkin’s 1980 film, Cruising, and mistaken it for a nature documentary.

The more we are persecuted (in historical examples or in other countries today), the more we seem to be a separate group manifesting abnormal conduct and a supposed threat to the good order of society. And so Lopez clings to a personal example from a previous generation rather than engage with his contemporary social environment, all the while treating 15.000 victims of the Holocaust as a minor matter. The historical grievance of illegality is, in the mind of Lopez, some “flimsy” apology for an eternal reality of inherent evil at the core of lesbians and gay men.

Yes, it’s a losing argument.

JCF
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

True cases of “gay parenting”, for argument’s sake, can only occur in the context of ***marriage equality*** [Preferably, where the child is born/adopted into a married couple]

But until then . . . there’s Zach Wahls. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSQQK2Vuf9Q

Paul Douglas
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

Lopez is simply a loser. A really pathetic individual.

StraightGrandmother
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

In his American Thinker piece he complains deeply about being squeezed out by conservatives. I thought that was great news! What ROL wants is a soapbox, he has found out that if he hates on gays some people pet and praise him. His need for attention and approval is way beyond normal it’s in my opinion manic.

He is NOT stupid Rob, ROL knows that whatever he says about gay parents adopting is equally true for straight parents who adopt, he knows that. The fact that he makes his anti gay claims anyway when it is illogical shows you that he will literally say anything if it brings HIM attention. ROL desperately needs to have that spotlight on him. That desperation on the one hand is sad, much the way we pity someone really ill, but on the other hand dangerous.

Ben in Oakland
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

Two things.

I don’t have the reference any more, but I remember reading nearly 35 years ago that the number of gay victims was 250,000, according to the Lutheran church in Vienna.

Also, Lopez is not only the product of a Regnerus home, but he is also the proud sponsor of a Regnerus family– a man who had one time had a homosexual relationship, and is now married to a woman and has children.

I suggest we petition the government to remove this “person’s” children from the home immediately. we have proof that he is not fit to raise children.

Steve
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

He wasn’t even raised part-time by lesbians. I recall that he said that his mother only saw her girlfriend on the weekends or something like that. But then his life story keeps changing all the time.

Steve
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

Ok, just saw that you actually quoted that part.

Still, most of the time he was basically raised by a single mother. This wasn’t much different from anyone being raised in a single parent home who spends time at a friend’s house now and then. But he probably rants against that too.

Kubrick's Rube
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

Lopez makes being a parent sound like the worst thing you can do to a child. If you follow his logic through to the end- that adoptive parents, by gaining the same rights as birth parents, are denying the child’s civil rights because of the control over the child that this grants them- then isn’t he kind of suggesting that parenting inherently denies a child’s civil rights? I know, he’d say that one of the rights children have is to a mother and father, but that’s irrelevant in his examples of coercive parenting, ungenerous parenting, and possible kidnapping; those all apply equally to any one with parental rights, gay or straight, birth or adoptive. Lopez, whether he realizes it or not, presents all parental rights as a necessary evil that should be as limited as possible.

Regan DuCasse
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

There comes a point when people like Lopez are never going to be honest about what kind of people care about the things they have to say.
He takes a lot for granted. He’s not consistent in telling the truth. He’s mainly consistent in being all over the place.
He expects to get paid, but he’s not worth much. He’s not very attractive or charismatic. Which is true of a lot of the more prominent anti gay people who we hear about.
And refuses to see it.
Better to use the excuse that he’s ‘controversial’ or the subject of much censorship.
The reality is, he’s not being silenced. He’s being IGNORED.
There’s a difference.

Jon Trouten
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

As a gay parent who became a gay parent through foster care and adoption, I would hesitate to focus too much on what factors lead to “true cases of ‘gay parenting.’”

I know lots of gay parents. Some are gay married. Some are single. Some are partnered, but not officially married. Some gay couples have broken up and re-partnered. Some of our families come from surrogacy. Some come from adoption. Some of those adoptions were private infant adoptions while others were adopted at later ages through foster care. I know a few gay/lesbian pairings who have worked out co-parenting arrangements. And then, of course, there are those who became parents through prior heterosexual relationships (married or not) and then came out afterwards.

It’d be hard for me to figure out which ones of these families include true gay parents vs. not-so-true gay parents.

The biggest factor that I’ve noticed regarding success vs. less success with our families? It’s the closet. It can be a terrible thing when we introduce shame of our family to our kids.

Steve
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

Not just adoptive parents. Step-parents too. One parent dies and the other remarries. According to Lopez they are forcing the child to accept the new spouse as parent. Even if they don’t want to. The horror!

Bose in St. Peter MN
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

On top of his irrational arguments, Lopez’ self-made victimization over the lack of a manly-man in his childhood makes it hard for many to sympathize with him. I’m far from alone in having felt my dad’s absence as a kid, and yet it also became hugely instructive over time. I figured out that, in my case, my dad was never destined to have the capacity for a functional relationship with me, so having him closer or more involved wasn’t going to make me a better or more confident guy. But I could have been just as disconnected if I’d had a present, active dad who was desperate for me to play football or steer clear of photography and making music.

He’d like me to believe that it’s a gaping, never-healing deficit to have found the role models I did and become the person I am, because I did so without a dad who was very available and much like me. Reasonable people know that parent-child relationships just aren’t that simple.

His whining about being blacklisted misses the larger point — his comical pitch to those who would hire him. “Bring me on as a pro-family, anti-gay advocate, and I’ll show you how a good Christian (bisexual, erotica-writing) son disparages his mom after she died young and can no longer defend herself.”

Robert
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

He is a desperately unhappy man. He has my pity. My husband and two sons have my love. There is nothing in my life more precious to me than marriage, home and family, and I make that clear every day of my life. I hope that he someday heals the shame that binds him, and learns to love without fear.

Richard Rush
April 19th, 2014 | LINK

Once again we see, as we are seeing more often, terms such as homosexual fascists, homofascists, and gaystapo.

One reason is that those terms help to keep gullible people from realizing that our real power comes from our straight allies (including Christian allies), because, at less than 5% of the population, we have little to no power by ourselves.

A second reason is to throw people off the track from realizing the close links between Christianity and twentieth-century fascism, and also the realization that The Christian fascists Are Growing Stronger.

As Sinclair Lewis said, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”

Regan DuCasse
April 20th, 2014 | LINK

@ JON TROUTEN:
That is entirely how heterosexuals become parents.
Biologically, step parenting, fostering and adoption.
There is virtually little difference in how heterosexuals and gays both are parents.
Therefore, as said, one’s orientation and gender aren’t the point.
The shame of the closet is more of the problem among families.

As also stated by Bose, simply having a father isn’t a guarantee it’s going to be quality relationship whether he’s there or not.
Being a good parent is not now, nor ever was a GROUP talent, but an individual one.
The sooner the anti gay are damn honest about that, the better.

Minz
April 21st, 2014 | LINK

Brought to us by the same people who brought us Regenerus’ incredibly flawed study. They’re not idiots, they’re malicious and sneaky.

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