It shouldn’t be surprising, but although (or, indeed, because) I disagree with pretty much everything proposed or demanded by any of the political lobby groups who without conscious irony put “Family” in their name, I consider myself “pro-family”.
I love my family. I like it when people form a family, or join an existing family. I like the things families do, from raising kids to looking after the elderly to supporting each other to building meaningful lifelong relationships. I like legislation that makes it easier for committed people to form families (like marriage equality), and family law that ameliorates the negative effects of destructive families by ensuring that no-one is abused by or trapped unhappily in one, and instead can escape if necessary to become part of a more positive family. Policies that help disadvantaged families, and assist workers to have more time to spend with theirs. Ones that help those seeking to start their own families overcome medical problems preventing it. Programs that help reunite families.
Families are awesome.
I support family values like love, and commitment, and care, and support, and forgiveness, and tolerance.
And I bet that, unless you’re a psychotic misanthrope, you’re probably pro-family and love these family values too.
So let’s defend those concepts and those words from those who would use them to fight against actual families. Who would, through repeated misrepresentation, redefine them to mean “anti-family”.
Imagine a world in which the word “family” became a code-word for bigotry and discrimination, just because we silently let it happen. Because we let the anti-family brigade make us ashamed of it. Let them make us cringe whenever we heard the word used in public discourse, because we knew what would come next would be poisonous bile.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Be open about your support for families. Be clear that “pro-family” actually means being pro-families, not a code for nastiness. Make it a word to enjoy, not one to fear.
UPDATE: You know, we should start an Australian Family Lobby, at, say, australianfamilies.org, to lobby for real family values (in contrast to the bullshit ones the Australian Family Association keeps pushing). The word “family” needs to be wrested back from those people.
Suggestions for main policy points welcome in the comments.
UPDATE #2: A post about reclaiming various American right-wing talking points.