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Schultz: How stupid do they think we are?

Published: Friday, Aug. 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

I feel like a 12-year-old trying to explain why Muffy is no longer dating Binky, but here goes:

National Right to Life has broken up with Cleveland Right to Life because Cleveland Right to Life wants to amend its mission statement to ban same-sex marriage – in Ohio, mind you, where same-sex marriage is already banned.

Think of it as the “So there!” initiative – in case any gay people in Ohio missed the 2004 “We mean it!” voter referendum that stripped them of rights they never had.

Welcome to my little patch of Wackadoodle Land.

National Right to Life says it’s focused on eliminating a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. After all, there’s only so much energy in a day, and we womenfolk have been a handful ever since we got the right to vote.

Trying to take away women’s legal rights in 2013 is exhausting work. Embarrassing, too, when your loudest spokesman is the former and possibly future Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

There’s a new YouTube video of Santorum making the rounds. This time, he accuses liberals of making it hard for conservatives to shower in Texas.

“What the pro-choice movement does is they just don’t focus on their little issue,” he said. “They focus on everything they do and every aspect of their lives. They make it uncomfortable for students who come to Austin to shower at a Young Men’s Christian Association, YMCA, gym, because they live it. They’re passionate. They’re willing to do and say uncomfortable things in mixed company. They’re willing to make the sacrifice at their business because they care enough.”

Then he went on to talk about the American Revolution.

I am reminded of a male reader’s letter during last year’s Republican presidential primaries. “I do not understand,” he wrote, “how a lady who can be so sweet to her puppy can be so mean to Rick Santorum.”

Oh, yes, you do.

What Santorum failed to mention – but the Austin Y later explained in a statement – was that the young men showed up for showers wearing T-shirts telegraphing their support for legislation outlawing most abortions. The Y director asked them not to return because the organization tries to offer a partisan-free environment.

“So,” you might ask, “what does same-sex marriage have to do with abortion rights?”

Silly you, having a point. You never are going to fit in with this crowd.

Cleveland Right to Life President Molly Smith explained the anti-gay agenda this way to The Plain Dealer: “How can you be for the child if you are not for the family?”

Fascinating question in light of the largest study of children with same-sex parents, by the University of Melbourne, which showed they do as well as – and sometimes better than – children raised by heterosexuals.

Lead researcher Dr. Simon Crouch said that’s because gay families deal with more challenges (hello-o-o-o, Cleveland Right to Life), which makes their children more resilient.

“Because of the situation that same-sex families find themselves in, they are generally more willing to communicate and approach the issues that any child may face at school, like teasing or bullying,” he told a reporter.

Experience has taught me to expect a few emails insisting this study doesn’t count because it’s about foreigners.

They’re Australians. Home of Ugg boots. You don’t get more American than that.

Cleveland Right to Life board member Jerry C. Cirino told The Plain Dealer that he, too, supported the same-sex marriage ban: “We know it is not only important to protect the rights of a child to be born. ... We should also care about the child after they are born.”

Again, no explanation as to how same-sex parents hurt children.

Nevertheless, let’s look on the bright side. Finally, Cleveland Right to Life claims to be in the business of looking out for the children they insist women must bear. Surely, those press releases are on the way calling for universal health care, affordable day care and a living wage for all working parents.

How stupid do they think we are?

Again, I’m reminded of that male reader. I responded to his initial email by explaining that we women are complicated creatures capable of holding more than one thought in our heads. We can love puppies and oppose men who think they should control our bodies.

The reader was unimpressed. “Well,” he wrote, “now you just sound like my wife.”

Well, yes. We’re everywhere.

• Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and an essayist for Parade magazine. She is the author of two books, including “...and His Lovely Wife,” which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate.

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