- The Washington Times - Monday, January 10, 2011

The Obama administration’s war on traditional values is picking up steam. Just three days before Christmas, the State Department buried an announcement that “mother” and “father” were being banished from the bureaucratic lexicon. In their place, politically correct terms intended to appeal to the vanity of homosexual activists will be inserted.

Application forms for documents such as passports will use “parent one” and “parent two” or “parent A” and “parent B” instead of supposedly obsolete concepts like mother and father. After all, the latter words acknowledge the fact that nature requires the pairing of a man and a woman to produce a child. The vocabulary developed over the millennia doesn’t work with the unnatural situations of great concern to the left. Homosexual activists are made uncomfortable by the verbal reminders that when two men or two women adopt a child, it’s a highly artificial circumstance.

Obama administration officials are all in favor of breaking down the distinctions between men and women and any role they might play in society. This was made apparent in June when Foggy Bottom unveiled “transgender” passports to help those who are confused about whether they are male or female. Leftists equate fringe issues like this with racial equality, using the lofty rhetoric of the civil rights struggle to describe their motives. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, for example, took credit for the new policies at a June 22 event celebrating “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Month” saying, “I know that when you’re in the midst of a great movement of change it seems like it is glacial, but any fair assessment, from my perspective … is that it is extraordinary what has happened in such a short period of time.”

Yet the bureaucracy was hard at work laying the groundwork for the latest modifications in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration. For example, a State Department form that once allowed parents to declare, “I am the natural father/mother of the following children” was modified to allow someone to declare instead, “I am the biological parent of” a child. The other mother or father is then referred to as “the other biological parent.”


Such a change makes little sense, even on the purported grounds of sensitivity. If there are strange circumstances where someone is offended by being designated as either a father or mother, it’s also the case that limiting the possibilities to just two parents can be offensive. If father and mother are not male and female, there’s no logical reason to stop at “parent one” and “parent two.” Divorcing language from the natural relationship invites the accommodation of a plurality of parents, as in a commune. Logical or not, such State Department activism isn’t surprising given that Mrs. Clinton openly believes it takes a village to raise a child.

These changes weaken society by chipping away at its foundations. The new Congress needs to use its oversight authority to rein in unelected bureaucrats and reassert the values that made America great.