Gay Marriage: Equality, Discrimination And the Difference Between Acceptance and Tolerance

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As another country looks to be the next to legalize gay marriage, Christian news reported on the debate from that country, France, as protesters stood outside of court buildings, opposition spoke to CBN news about why they do not believe such legislation should become law there. Much of the pushback surrounding the recognition of same sex marriage centers around the fact doing so would also allow gay French couples to adopt children as well; something they believe would be harmful for the children in question and erode traditional thinking on family. Those looking unfavorably at this governmental measure were spurred on by a top official’s comment about using the youth to change people’s mind on the topic, saying that amounts to social revolution. Unsurprisingly, Christian news and programing supports the resistance against same sex relationships marveling that even the atheists came together with those of faith, including some gays, who avidly decry their government bringing up the law on the grounds of what it will do to children raised in such a home, where it, moral standings, will go from here, one prominent Christian preacher asking is it just about marriage or is it about the elimination of god, the erosion of the family? Independent of the last two things, many can say yes it is about so much more than marriage, supporters, gay rights advocates, along with gay and lesbian individuals, would say it’s about recognition being able to introduce their same sex partner as their wife or husband, to be able to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples in having their commitment to the other person recognized both legally and socially. However even if you do not agree with gay marriage either because of the potential impact to children relevant in this case, for religious reasons, or the feeling it’s just not natural; outside the debate on defining, redefining marriage there is the bigger picture. There are so many steps between where we are now globally in reference to attitudes, superstations, preconceived notions about same sex couples, and simply legalizing gay marriage, that if we took those steps, to remedy those problems homosexual people could have far better lives whether the law moves or not.            

Yes this specific debate is further complicated by the additional consideration of how it could impact young, impressionable minds, especially already vulnerable kids; yes it is always a delicate matter in dealing with aspects of society effecting children, one the French take particularly seriously, but above all else children need homes. Children need stable people in their lives who will consistently provide for their needs, beyond the physical shelter, clothing, food, school supplies, seeing to their emotional well-being too. Children don’t care if you’re gay or straight; they care whether you love them, make time for them, attend their soccer game, see their school play, hold them when they have bad dreams, read them a story at night, tuck them in, listening to their hopes, dreams, fears, does a young man have someone they can talk to when they start liking girls, does a young girl have someone to confide in when she likes a boy? And the most precious gift that can be given to a child who has been abused, neglected, shuffled from home to home is the knowledge you love them, you want them, and they get to stay where they are, where they are happy and thriving- with you. Perhaps not true in the French child protection system but certainly true in America, gay couples were allowed to foster children in a temporary custody situation because there were so many children who needed safe homes in which to reside, the fuss coming when those foster parents awarded permanent custody in some cases raising the children for years, wanted to finalize things once and for all by adopting them. Not mentioned is the reality that a gay home may be, clearly is, better than the starvation they came from, better than the filth, beatings, emotional abuse they came from, when the situation dictates being in a gay home is preferable to the nightly sexual abuse they endured where they were, when their aren’t any Christian, “normal” homes to put them in and it’s a gay home or no home, relying then on orphanages and group homes solely to satisfy one groups definition of values. Along those lines, we as a developed, loosely knit society, regardless of country, need to come to grips with the facts, historical and present, showing the nuclear family was never the only, exclusive kind of family culturally acceptable or accepted by god. Putting aside committed same sex couples trying to upend marriage as we know it, many households now and through the ages have included extended family most often grandparents; so called sandwich generations include sons and daughters trying to raise their families and take care of aging parents. Aunts, uncles and god parents have all found themselves raising children because of less than fortunate circumstances; the French often put neglected and abused children in the custody of relatives permanently. Single parents are likewise not always a product of the modern age but disease, accident, death via military service; all instances redefining family having nothing to do with homosexuality, same sex marriage or the presence of god in politics, society or individual lives.

 http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2013/April/France-On-the-Brink-of-Legalizing-Gay-Marriage/

Leading directly into the next major point, supposed negatives caused or heightened by growing up in a homosexual household including but not limited to over 50% more likely to self-identify as gay than those raised in heterosexual environments, increased use of alcohol, drugs, increased chances of depression, suicide and behavioral problems. Again no one has asked the question is this list of ills the product of elevated instances of poor parenting in said households, pressures to be homosexual like their parents, same sex parents defying god or is it a direct result of a society across the globe who insists on demonstrating their displeasure by giving the family dirty looks walking down the street, calling out vulgar insults and names, a child constantly teased, tormented and bullied because of who his or her parents are? Children raised by 2 same sex parents are probably more likely to identify as gay because they know they won’t be shunned by their family; depending on the age of the child it may be a normal part of development. You attend a wedding, child comes home and wants to marry one of their parents, you explain what a wedding is for and they want to marry someone just like you. Never addressed is what to do when a gay home is exactly in the best interest of the child because they already identify themselves as gay and were kicked out of their home for being so, a scenario likely occurring with greater frequency now that the ultra-conservative mindsets are exposed. And being placed in a gay household prevents further psychological trauma brought on by well-intentioned, religious individuals who suddenly want to fix the child be it through arcane conversion therapies or rigorous discipline. Even having adopted the child as an infant you still have to deal with circumstances of birth, prematurity, drug use of the mother, genetic histories, predispositions in both biological parents, factors that can account for suicide, depression, chances of alcoholism. An older child, once provided a consistent home, adopted may still turn to drugs, alcohol, suffer other things mentioned owing to what they endured previously, an inability to cope with their former abuse, realities that are far from new when dealing with such children. Also the ills detailed occur in heterosexual households presenting instability. So why do we suddenly expect better than normal results than would be found otherwise just because it’s a homosexual household; why the double standard  favoring heterosexuality over a whole picture of stability whatever form that takes?  

True there are unique things gay couples and child services need to consider when adopting children out to same sex couples both making sure that the children do not end up in a position where they always have to defend their parents’ lifestyle, become victims of it, examining the community in which they live to ensure children will not be teased, ridiculed and ostracized at school, elsewhere not only for being adopted but for having 2 mommies, 2 daddies, protecting, preventing violence potentially directed at the child because of their parents’ choices. Similarly gay and lesbian parents must provide age appropriate assurances to their child they will not be homosexual because their parents are, catching it like you would a cold, they will not foist their sexual preferences onto their child, i.e. expecting them to be homosexuals themselves, and whatever their sexual orientation it will be accepted by their parents, their family. Of course if these are measures are not taken there could be issues, but taking into account the struggles most homosexuals face in a cultural setting like the one coming to a head in France, why is the assumption they aren’t aware of the need to do these things? Overall, just like in a heterosexual household, children in a homosexual household will get a very normal down to earth view of what it takes to make a relationship work between two committed people, and even if the child’s parents split up, divorce such is the modern world, a phenomenon that could just as easily transpire in any heterosexual household in several westernized nations. Adjacently, children born to their biological, heterosexual parents are brought up in a variety of ways, in a multitude of religions, or a-theism, are raised by single moms, dads, are exposed to varying degrees of morality almost as varied as the opinions on the subject of gays; however, child protection only intervenes when the child is abused, neglected, in France, delinquent, many times under their system using counseling and social services to keep together parents and child. Yet again almost any, non-abusive home has to be better than the plight of the children in the video below who were fostered then adopted by an American, heterosexual, church going couple only to be starved, isolated, kept from school for years while the family made up a lie about them having a rare disease. Neither are you going to win the god is love argument, the Jesus is loves you argument, convince them god is an entity, person they should give the time of day to if they ever found out the only thing that barred them from a home, a family that would love them is the fact their potential parents were gay/lesbian, the only thing that kept them languishing in an orphanage, French version of a group home feeling unwanted and unloved, without that sense of belonging was the fact the people who wanted to adopt them were homosexual.

 http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-6260271.html

Delving deeper into the horrific idea of using youth to change public perceptions on homosexuals, you mean the same way children have been “used,” become the spokespersons for better treatments, services and social acceptance of people with physical disabilities, developmental delays, understanding of mental illness, behavioral disorders? Children have been that catalyst for changing everything from public policy to fueling the search for disease cures since the beginning of the human existence, no matter what country you happen to come from. Then there is the reality of how much children can possibly change overall public feeling or how much they will want to when presented with so called alternative values. Oh for shame if they learn homosexuality is not a contagion, a disease that can be caught rather something that you instinctively discover you are, for shame if they learn homosexuals like everyone else have the right to walk down the street un-accosted, for shame if they are taught just because people are of a different religion, different sexual orientation doesn’t give you a right to beat others up, harass them, bar them from businesses open to heterosexuals, everyone else. Oh the horror if they are indoctrinated with the idea they can be gay and I can be straight and we can still walk down the same side of the street without making a scene, they can be gay and I can be Christian choosing to exercise personal responsibility, my value system, not participate in that lifestyle and leave them alone as they go about the same mundane business we all do, paying our bills, walking our dog, eating in a restaurant. Oh the horror if we all become indoctrinated with the idea, learn the difference between tolerance and acceptance, that we can tolerate gay people, let them participate in the same ordinary parts of life we do while minding our own business and still not approve, meaning embrace that lifestyle as acceptable, as something to emulate. Oh the sacrilege if I teach my kids yes homosexuality is wrong but so is unprovoked violence against other people, so is killing people just because they sin, i.e. just because they are gay, unchecked hatred  of people who don’t believe as we do, adhere to the exact same moral code; oh the sacrilege if I teach my children to try and get to know them, then lovingly present the gospel as opposed to spitting on them, looking at them with contempt, telling them to burn in hell, telling them god hates gays, marginalizing discrimination against them, crimes perpetrated against them because they are already not “living right.” Instead it seems as if anti-gay supporters in France are hiding behind the children as an excuse not to confront bigotry in their society that has nothing to do with whether or not gays can marry, whether they should be allowed to adopt children or in a related matter have access to sperm bank and/or surrogacy services, but whether they have a right to exist among the so called normal people, what should be done about the gay/lesbian individuals living amongst them reaction indicating they should be run out with the modern day version of pitch forks.

http://www.yourjewishnews.com/2013/04/26688.html

Despite 700 Club host Pat Roberson’s referencing people who don’t listen to history are doomed to repeat it, invoking the French revolution being started by a group, known even now, as the illuminati, whose agenda was to destroy god, the family and the church, when introducing the story last week, implying the two events have some parallel, if you listen to what is actually in the CBN news report, it tells a different, all too familiar, story of intolerance. In addition to objections about family, statements about government attempting to change culture through its children, you find the story of a man beat up for walking down the street with his boyfriend in an immigrant section of a local town, a man saying he, homosexuals fear, Muslim reaction to the legalization. During the between story commentary Robertson went on to state that a government, a country without a North Star, without god can do whatever the majority wants going on to echo their assertions about it destroying  family. However to be noted the church mentioned in his illuminati, gay marriage comparison is not only the Christian church but the Catholic church plagued with problems, corruption and distortion of teachings since before Martin Luther and his 95 theses continuing throughout history until the present day sex abuse scandals. Further the “destruction of the family” did not begin when homosexuality began to pervade westernized culture, nor the woman’s movement, life after the 1960’s in America, anywhere else, but with better medical technology, nutrition education allowing people to live longer, translating into parents living with their grown children, with increased cases of abuse causing people to turn to drugs, make bad decisions and not be able to raise the resulting children, an increase in psychologically deranged people raising children causing more trauma induced mental illness unleashed on the world. Nor is being able to get married, under French law, have a family the biggest driving force behind their push for marriage equality; they are hoping against hope marriage equality will simultaneously afford them peripheral basic rights now afforded to every human being in the western world. They hope against hope it will stop things like what happened to this man and his boyfriend, they are fighting to stop what happened to one couple in Hawaii during vacation, being refused a room at a bed and breakfast because they were homosexual and the business owner was a devout Christian or what happened in another American area, a hospital where a man’s husband was thrown out of the hospital in question after an altercation with his partner’s immediate family.

 http://www.yourjewishnews.com/2013/04/26702.html

This is the hypocrisy the religious, particularly Christian, community repeatedly gets called on; it’s not ok to be gay, but it’s ok that protests over the issue have turned violent thanks to the fight for religion, family values? Being gay is not ok but the death to gays hash tag trending on French twitter feeds is? Most seem to remember something in that bible about though shalt not kill; though most of the violence erupted after the legalization vote and thus after the story aired, as a Christian teacher Mr. Robertson is no doubt familiar with a related statement in the new testament by Jesus saying that anyone who holds hatred in their heart has committed murder. Unfortunately what has happened in France is just the latest in pervasive erosion of human decency directed at gay people added low points include Kansas’ Westboro Baptist church picketing funerals of military service members protesting gay rights; problem, the persons, the families they do this to don’t even have to be gay, the church rather choosing military funerals to protest policy on allowing gay service members. When they opened their doors to media attempting to understand their views and practices, reporters found people in cars, in church vehicles singing car songs about whose going to hell the same way we used to sing 99 bottles of beer or traditional churches might sing amazing grace. Worse is, in the previous paragraph you a business owner; when you own a business, you have a requirement to serve members of the public who are interested in what you offer. To say nothing of the situation is you either have customers or you don’t have a business. Ok so you want to cater, would prefer Christian only cliental, our owner was also said to have a problem with unmarried heterosexual couples utilizing the B&B, why not advertise that on your website along with the amenities you boast rather than being unbelievably rude, above all else, and asking if the person is homosexual then adding blatant discrimination to insult be refusing them a room? Doing it the former way at least gives forewarning maybe we should choose somewhere else.

Equally astonishing and worthy of questioning is, if you hold those views both about gays and unmarried couples, why on earth are you running a bed and breakfast? There are so many types businesses one could operate that don’t run so far afoul of your value system; ironically the plaintiffs in this civil case couldn’t even find proper licensing for the bed and breakfast to be in operation. Questions pointing to another issue on the opposite side, people who hold such ridged views who seem intent on putting themselves into what amounts to harm’s way, into circumstances and scenarios like the B&B owner yet expecting the freedom to only serve some customers, outside, public understanding that the way you think is how it should be and the accommodation to continue doing so both socially and legally rather than sticking to your principles, living your moral code throughout your life and not openly expecting everyone to shift to your axis because you decided to run a business in the public domain. The hospital case is especially troubling because, even though they maintain the man was removed for being loud, disruptive and nearly violent to a nurse, his mention of said nurse’s refusal to recognize his power of attorney raises huge red flags; A- his mention of a power of attorney suggests he and his partner had one and that should have been the end of any discussion on care or who was allowed to visit the patient the man referred to as his husband. B-that the man had been visiting his husband for days while he was admitted without incident also suggests the disruption came from other parties, said parties upset he was making the decisions not them, regardless of if that is what the patient wanted, legally requested. Aside from whether they threw him out because he was gay, was visiting his gay partner, hospitals have been dealing with similar situations for decades, hospitals should be, are supposed to be well versed in dealing with highly stressed, overbought individuals, something clearly not on display here. Compound those pieces of information with the fact both appear to be gay and you certainly have presented the visage of discrimination. Stories all proving this fight is about more than marriage, who can get married, what constitutes a marriage; it truly is about gay people being people too.  And just because they sin in the eyes of one religion, doesn’t mean they forfeit their human rights, their civil rights or their constitutional rights be that the constitution of the United States, the British constitution or the French.               

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About Natasha Sapp

Proclaiming an edgy voice of reason to America,while bringing back the common sense to social issues.

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