Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Another reason to be out . . .

I'm gay, I'm a good dad, and I don't molest anyone. Even grownups. Just in case you were wondering.

I mention this because an email message (shouldn't check it just before bed!) alerts me that Tennessee state representative Debra Maggart says,

I am not convinced that just because our foster children desperately need loving homes that we should just place them in homes that are available when research also shows that most homosexual couples have numerous emotional dysfunctions and psychological issues that may not be healthy for children. Now, of course emotional dysfunction can be found in heterosexual couples homes . . .
Hmm. Now where are those heterosexual homes without emotional dysfunction? I don't know any. (And if you are someone I know who is in a heterosexual relationship that is totally functional, no offense intended. Just let me know who you are!)

And, of course, much of the problem is that, as Sen. Maggart understands it,
homosexual couples prey on young males and have in some instances adopted them in order to have unfretted access to subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse
Really? I haven't heard of any. We did have a story here in Indiana some years back where the adoptive parents of a young girl objected to her biological brother being adopted by a gay man, until it turned out that the adoptive heterosexual father was sexually abusing the little girl. Does that mean no heterosexuals should be allowed to adopt?


OK, I got that off my chest.

(Stories about Maggart here and here, and also Google will give you more than you can stand to read.)

Thing is, Sen. Maggart is probably a very good woman who means well. She's not a bad person, she's not out to victimize or demonize gays (on purpose). As Mel White of Soulforce has taught me, it isn't that people like Sen. Maggart are malevolent. It's that on these issues their views are colored by outdated understandings, both scientific and religious. And lots and lots of fear--much of it inflamed by right-wing politicians and religious opportunists.

Throwing stones at Sen. Maggart and making fun of her isn't going to help. I would love her to meet the wonderful families I have met, including those at Jesus MCC church in Indianapolis. I'd love her to talk with all the wonderful children of gay parents out there, including mine.

When people are afraid of gay people, that's what they are, afraid. And meeting real, loving, wonderful gay people and their kids--well, that's what would help.

Because love dissolves fear.

Meanwhile, lets say that it's true that there's a higher percentage of screwed-up gay couples than straight ones. So what? That doesn't mean that it's better to leave a bunch of kids parentless than give them to the emotionally-stable, healthy same-sex couples willing to adopt. That's why all couples go through background checks and home inspections and whatever else couples who want to adopt go through.

Well, now it's going to take a while to calm down and get to sleep. Gotta remember, don't check that email just before bed.

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