Michael P. Ackley has worked more than three decades as a journalist, the majority of that time at the Sacramento Union. His experience includes reporting, editing and writing commentary. He retired from teaching journalism for California State University at Hayward.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
California state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, has introduced Senate Bill 1476, which would amend the state’s Family Code Section 4052.5 to permit more than two persons to be a child’s “parents.” No kidding!
Given the character of California’s Democrat-dominated state Legislature – and with Democrat Jerry Brown in the governor’s office – the bill is likely to become law, leading to the following possible, even likely, scenario:
The scene: Family Court in the State of California
The cast: A judge and petitioners: Bob, Everett, Kandi, Billi, Bobbi and Rex
The date: July 2014
The issue: Addition of a new parent to petitioners’ household
The judge: We are here convened to consider, under the provisions of Family Code Section 4052.5, the addition of another parent to the family unit herein identified as the “Felicitous Five,” residing – well, let’s just say “residing in San Francisco.”
As you know, Section 4052.5 provides that “a child may have a parent and child relationship with more than 2 parents.” Today, Bob, Everett, Kandi, Billi and Bobbi are petitioning this court to add Rex as an additional parent, for the good of their child, Flower, who is … Where is Flower today?
Bob: In state-funded daycare, Your Honor.
The judge: Thank, you. Then let us proceed. As you know, under California law it is within my discretion to approve the addition of parents to a family unit, above and beyond the child’s biological gene contributors. The parental combine in question today already has three additional parents, and we are here to consider addition of a fourth, Rex.
It is my duty to examine Rex and determine if he meets California’s new standards for parentage. Let me begin with a very simple question: Rex, do you love the child, Flower?
Bob: That’s an emphatic “yes,” your honor.
The judge: Thank you, Bob. And, Rex, how would you feel about any threat to Flower’s wellbeing?
Bob: That means …
The judge: No translation is necessary. His meaning was quite clear.
Bob: Thank you, Your Honor. Everett, Kandi, Billi, Bobbi and I all agree that Rex would be an excellent parent. He loves Flower and would lay down his life for her. Further, he’s a German shepherd, closely related to the wolf, and everybody knows, wolves have been known to parent human children.
The judge: Quite so. But Flower already has five human parents. Why does she need another, uh, guardian?
Bob: Well, your honor, as you know, parenting is quite demanding, and for the past couple of years, we haven’t been able to get away for the Burning Man festival. We haven’t even been regulars at the drum circle. Rex is the answer to our problem.
The judge: Humph! As you probably know, the law gives me the authority to allocate custody and visitation among the parents based on the best interest of the child, including stability for the child. Further, I am charged with granting custody where the child will have “a wholesome and stable environment.”
But the law specifies that custody should go to a “person or persons.” Do you believe Rex, a dog, is a person?
Bob, Everett, Kandi, Billi, Bobbi: Yes! Yes!
The judge: Very well then. Examining the stability and moral wholesomeness of all gathered here, I hereby award custody to Rex – and only Rex. (He bangs the gavel.) Court is adjourned!
Rex: (triumphantly) Owwoooooooo!
Well, why not?
I’ve known German shepherds that were better persons than many parents – or most legislators. Let’s give Rex a chance.
Meanwhile, we await explication of the curious psychology of San Francisco, which sent Mark Leno to the Legislature, where he is responsible for the introduction of a variety of perverse and perverted bills, including the one – now law – mandating that California schools delve into the sexuality of historical figures.
Of course, he only wants positive historical figures thus analyzed, and only those of non-heterosexual persuasion. His law says nothing about pointing out the homosexuality of Hitler’s Brown Shirts or mass murderers like John Wayne Gacy.