U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes is accusing the State Department of conducting an assault on "traditional American family relationships" by changing how citizens can refer to their parentage on passport applications.
Forbes is upset that passport forms that now require applicants to provide information about their mother and father will change so that applicants are asked to list two people as "mother/father/parent."
The change would allow applicants to list a mother and father, two mothers, or two fathers.
Initially, the State Department announced in December that it was going to nix the titles "mother" and "father" altogether and simply require applicants to provide information for two parents.
When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton heard about it, she insisted that the designations of mother and father be included, said John Echard, a State Department spokesman.
That led to the new "mother/father/parent" labels, which are set to be used on new applications starting March 1.
"It's a change that relates to today's parents," Echard said.
But Forbes said that change isn't sufficient.
This week he filed a bill, HR635, that would require the forms retain only the "father" and "mother" categories.
The Chesapeake Republican said it will only be a matter of time before the mother and father designation are set aside entirely.
"It's a bridge too far to say we need to do away with our whole nomenclature of mother and father," Forbes said. "I do not believe there is any other country in the world that does that."
His bill would "require all federal agencies, contractors, and government-sponsored enterprises to use the words 'mother' and 'father' when describing parents in all official documents and forms," according to a statement by his office.
"Symbolism is important and this legislation seeks to preserve the sacred relationship mothers and fathers share with their children," Forbes said. "These subtle, but nonetheless significant, changes undermine the traditional American family relationships that have served as the bedrock of our nation since its inception."
James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, a gay rights advocacy group, said he was happy to hear about the passport changes and strongly disagrees with Forbes.
"This passport change is doing nothing more than recognize the families that already exist in this nation," he said.
It must be nice to have a life so perfect that acknowledging someone else's same-sex relationship is a personal threat to you.