"I Know of No Better Parents"

Earlier this morning, Josh talked about three opinion pieces that appeared over the weekend. There's a fourth one I wanted to share myself.

In the Sunday Journal Sentinel Shirley A. Wiegand, a professor at Marquette University Law School, tells the story of her nephew, also named Josh. When Josh was two he watched his mother die suddenly and unexpectedly, and when he was eight he stood by as his father passed on as well.

Wiegand's story, however, is one of hope, not tragedy. She continues, "That little boy--my nephew--is now several inches taller than me, runs high school track and regularly brings home straight A's"

She attributes her nephew's amazing resilience and success to the love and nurturing provided by her sister and her sister's partner.
They ensured that he said goodbye to his father before burial preparations began, and they immediately cleared an extra bedroom in their home. From the night his father died, Josh became a member of their household.

Now, seven years later, I wonder how they did it. My sister is an accountant and comptroller for a string of appliance stores in the Fox River Valley. Her partner, a published author and poet, teaches at a university.

She teaches part-time, just enough to qualify for health insurance. She cannot benefit from my sister's insurance though they've been a couple for 25 years.

Most of the time, though, my sister's partner stays at home and cares for Josh. She cooks, does laundry, drives a car pool and quietly performs the duties of stay-at-home moms. Her writing has suffered.

Both my sister and her partner spend hours every week attending Josh's track meets and basketball games, driving him to and from his part-time job at a local restaurant, taking him and his friends to video arcades and making sure that he does his homework every night.

Wiegand finishes by by drawing a pretty clear conclusion:

Reflecting on all they've done, I keep asking why the good citizens of Wisconsin would ever feel threatened by their relationship. I know of no better parents.

Seems to me the least we can do is grant them some sort of legal recognition as a loving, devoted couple.

As we reported earlier today, this story appears on the same pages as one by a ban supporter who argues that granting legal recognition to this family would be "profane." Profane!

My bet is that most readers of the Journal Sentinel think otherwise.

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