Sunday, 09 Jan 2011 08:45 PM
In what seems to be a diplomatic effort at extreme political correctness and a nod to gay rights groups, the Obama administration is removing the words “mother” and “father” from U.S. passport applications and replacing them with “gender neutral” terminology. Mom and dad will now be referred to rather coldly as “parent one” and “parent two.”
Conservative Christian groups are outraged over the decision.
“Only in the topsy-turvy world of left-wing political correctness could it be considered an ‘improvement’ for a birth-related document to provide less information about the circumstances of that birth,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wrote in a statement to Fox News Radio. “This is clearly designed to advance the causes of same-sex ‘marriage’ and homosexual parenting without statutory authority, and violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act.”
“The words in the old form were ‘mother’ and ‘father,’” Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, confirmed Fox News. "They are now ‘parent one’ and ‘parent two.’"
A statement on the State Department website noted: “These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.” The statement didn't note if it was for child applications only.
The new passport applications, not yet available to the public, will be available online soon. Sprague told Fox the decision to remove the traditional parenting names was not an act of political correctness.
“We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago,” she said.
Gay rights groups are applauding the decision.
“Changing the term mother and father to the more global term of parent allows many different types of families to be able to go and apply for a passport for their child without feeling like the government doesn’t recognize their family,” said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council.
Her organization lobbied the government for several years to remove the words from passport applications.
“Our government needs to recognize that the family structure is changing,” Chrisler said. “The best thing that we can do is support people who are raising kids in loving, stable families.”
The new gender-neutral passport application will be rolled out in February.