Two days ago, President Obama addressed the issue of working families at his Working Families Summit in Washington D.C. At the Summit, Obama repeatedly called for policies that would make it easier for both fathers and mothers to work while raising their children, drawing attention to the importance of the family in our society and calling family “the bedrock of our lives.” However, something implicit (either intentionally or unintentionally) in Obama’s speech was support of the traditional family structure. Obama’s image of the working family that he spoke of at the Summit involved one mother and one father. He advocated for paid maternity and paternity leave. He described both parents attempting to move their work schedules around to come home and be with their children. This language appears supportive of the traditional family structure of one mother and one father, both equally important and necessary in the development of the child. If President Obama believes that these pro-family policies are needed so that both parents can be involved with their children, then these beliefs are contradictory to his outright support of adoption by homosexual partners and same-sex marriage, in which either the mother or the father is technically absent from the family structure. As we asked before, we ask it again, “Which parent isn't necessary? The mom or the dad?”
Obama’s language at the Working Families Summit revealed that the traditional family structure with one father and one mother makes so much sense, even President Obama can’t deny its effectiveness and its importance to our society. The policies for which he was advocating yesterday make it clear that he believes that both the father and the mother are needed for successful families. The question is, when will his policies reflect his Summit language?
Admin's note: This post was written by Natalie Wyman, one of our 2014 summer college interns.