Friday, November 06, 2009

My thoughts on "The Gay's" adopting and marrying

I love, love, LOVE it when I hear someone use the phrase "The Gay's." Sounds like you're talking about "The Partridge Family." No, it's not politically correct by any means, but I will say it's one of the cutest forms of uncomfortable labeling I have ever heard.

"The Gay's."

heh. Still makes me giggle. Kinda' like how our pal,Willie, refers to my youngest as "The Little Black One." Soooooo off the charts inappropriate, but genuine, none-the-less. And it is said endearingly.

If you know me personally, or for any length of time, you know that I think it's fine for anyone to adopt ... as long as they have proven themselves capable. Period. Beyond that, I have no argument. So, yeah. That means I'm cool with "The Gay's" raising kids. I'm cool with single parents raising kids. I'm cool with grandparents raising kids. Every child and every home is different. No system is perfect and there are mess-up's. Sometimes there are catastrophic mess-up's. Yet, there are wonderful adults who daily commit themselves to the lifetime of children ... and it is beautiful.

Not everyone SHOULD adopt, but for the people who are qualified, prepared and willing, I think those children are blessed. If I thought that only those who believe and follow Jesus Christ, and are active in their local church are the only people who should be parents ... then I should be trying to pass laws to stop any other person in any other circumstances from adopting.

Yet, that's not what people do. Their concerns just lie with "The Gay's."

I believe you can have a different theology ... heck, a different faith system (or no faith system) from me and be a great parent. I know lots of Christ followers. I would not give all of them a recommendation to an adoption agency. Not by a long shot. Wouldn't give all of my gay friends a recommendation to an adoption agency. And even in that, it doesn't mean those people won't reach a point where they would be able to give an adopted child all they need.

Now, because I believe it is absolutely okay for "The Gay's" to adopt, I also believe it is absolutely okay for them to marry.

Ya' know, if marriage had only ever been something practiced by a certain religion, and those churches were the only ones to perform the ceremonies, and any rights or privileges were only church-related, then it wouldn't even be a question. Yet, marriage in America is all twisted up in our system of government. If you are married, you receive, on average, 400 legal and economic rights and privileges on the state level and 1,000 on the federal level. To deny these rights and privileges does not only affect the parents, but also the children in their homes. It hurts families.

I'm not okay with that. I want to strengthen families, even the ones who do not look like mine. So, I will vote and share my beliefs accordingly. I DO want people to change their mind on these topics, but I also know that others want ME to change my mind on these topics. It just comes down to the vote.

I also realize that some of you have a very burning question: Does Christine believe homosexuality is a sin?

For me, the more thought-provoking question is: Why have I never had a gay friend ask me that? Not once. Ever.

There are some who would say they don't ask because they don't want to know the truth. Oh my goodness, I wholeheartedly disagree. At the time of this writing I cannot think of one single friend of mine, who is LGBTQI+, who did NOT grow up in a Christian home ... not one (and I have a slew of "The Gay's" in my circle). They did VBS and Bible Drill and Catechism and church camp. I know that because I know THEM. We know each other. We talk a lot about God and church and Jesus. We also talk about kids and spouses and grocery lists. We have relationship together. We share life. I learn about their history and beliefs and they learn about mine. That is how we get our questions answered.

"The Gay's" ... every single one I know (and I'm sure there are plenty of which I'm unaware in my life), have experienced hurt and pain and confusion beyond anything I can comprehend. They are not considered equal to the rest of us. They lose their jobs. They, and their children, are harassed. They have been demonized. They are labeled as perverts and pedophiles. Statistics are skewed by those who claim the name of Christ to validate these lies. It is a big, horrible, giant mess ...

and I think we keep asking the wrong questions.

(photo by am y)


Kimo said...

Who are we to think we have the right to judge anyone? To my knowledge I haven't created any worlds or hung on a cross for anyone so I think I'll follow the lead of the One who has. Christ loved and died for everyone.

I have my own personal biases but regardless of how I "feel", my faith in Christ tells me that we must "love one another...". We can't show others the love of Christ if we don't love others- DUH!

Gay Pride, Straight Pride, how about some Christian Pride people!?!

Can someone help me off this soapbox now?

Bonky's Mom said...

Thanks for sharing. I was on one side of the fence very solidly for a long time and I find the older I get, the less 'easy' answers are. No matter which view most accurately reflects you said...our responsibility as Christians is to love others--everybody--regardless of how they put their family together. And my final thought is this: Perhaps instead of focusing on whether homosexuals should be adopting, we should ask ourselves what the church--as a whole--and those individually in the church--are doing to love people and care for orphans.

Anyway...Happy Friday to you.
Bonky's Mama

Leia said...

I have to occasionally remind myself (and my husband) that, while I _do_ think homosexuality is a sin, it is not a sin that is any larger or worse than my own - just different. I'm also not a murderer, but that doesn't make me any less separated from God than a murderer (without Jesus, anyway).

I'm not sure why this particular sin has been demonized in the way that it has, but I hope to teach my children to treat "the gays" just like they would treat every other sinner they know (which would be everyone).

Still figuring out where I stand on the adoption issue, but you raise a very good point with the lack of "only people like me can adopt" legislation.

Jena said...

While at the moment I don't know any practicing homosexuals, I do know quite a few who used to be(as in anywhere from 5 years ago to 20-30 years ago), and have since gone on their own journey of wholeness and healing, one that pinpoints their former behavior(that is what they call it) as one of the aspects and acting out of brokenness in their life... and I think that is where my perspective comes from, and it adds a whole 'nother layer to this reality(I say reality because it is not an issue, it is life situation that many people live in every day).
I don't disagree with what you have written, per se... hmmmm... but I have seen those who have walked a very different journey(and walked with some of them) who strongly believe that God set up marriage to be between one man and one woman....(as the highest goal, obviously we live in a fallen world) so I do believe in preserving marriage between one man and one woman,(being divorced and remarried myself, I have already had to experience God's redemptive purposes in my life) and I will pray to that end... but I acknowledge that that reality is painful and impossible to understand for many...
I honestly am not sure what that means for gay marriage...
Do I believe that gay people can adopt, absolutely.
I do believe in preserving marriage between one man and one woman, and I will pray to that end... but I acknowledge that that reality is painful and impossible to understand for many...
I have no idea if my ramblings make any sense...
I know that I have issues and brokenness, and have beliefs that other believers disagree strongly with, so disagreeing with other people on this reality doesn't scare me or threaten my belief in Jesus, and I think that is where you and I agree...
I believe God cares far less about where His children end up on the "believing right things" spectrum and FAR MORE about how we are loving each other, and those who don't know Him and His redemption.

Lynn said...

I love you! I love that you put it all out there! I love the way you look at life and aren't afraid to say it like it SHOULD be. Preach on sister!!

Brown Eyed Blessings said...

I agree!

Btw, thanks for talking so openly about the hard stuff. It makes it easier to think about and to discuss with people in my own life.

Sheri said...

Oh my goodness you continue to amaze me! I threw this link out on facebook for all my friends to see, hope that's okay. (nothing like asking for permission after ti's done!)

I love you!

And, I so want to come to Texas to camp!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Christine.

Right now my partner and I are getting ready to host a 15-year-old boy for Thanksgiving who thinks he's gay. He's been really hurt by some of the men in his life and he's asked his worker not to place him in an adoptive home where there's a dad so that he has the time and distance he needs to work on that issue. She thinks that's really insightful of him and it's just one reason she thinks we might be the right home for him when he's ready to be adopted. This is something we (an unmarried lesbian couple) can give him that a straight married couple just couldn't.

There are straight parents who are excellent parents to gay kids, but we've been asked by several social workers to interact with teens on their caseloads so that these LGBT teens can see that there are LGBT people who grow up to be happy and live in committed relationships because that's not something they've seen or heard about in their birth families or current placements. I'm glad we can do that. I'm glad there are kind straight people like you who can play their appropriate roles too.

Kristi said...

I sure do love you, my friend. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. It's very refreshing to listen to you talk openly about hard realities in life that sometimes make people uncomfortable, but are important issues to address. In reading the comments, I would love for you to introduce me to Jena (sincerely) so she can get to know a practicing homosexual who actually had a wonderful Christian childhood and has not had to work through any past issues or experiences that influenced a gay lifestyle. My personal testimony is a little different from most stereotypes, so I'd like to share. My dad, a southern baptist minister, amazingly has had no problem embracing his lesbian daughter, knowing that God made me exactly who I am in every way. No demons in my closet, and a true believer and follower of Christ. Sometimes just knowing someone (as you have many gay friends, Christine) gives a person a chance to have another perspective and can then more honestly process those personal thoughts and feelings...not relying only on a teaching or upbringing to influence an opinion. My personal hope is that we ALL, especially Christians, both "straight" and "gay", truly pray for God to open our hearts to truth and open our arms to people who are following their right path in life, though it be different from our own. As far as the subject of gay marriage and adoption, my partner and I have not personally made these decisions in life. I do believe those who desire to give their lives to each other and to raising children, and who are very loving and capable, should have the "right" to do so. Thank you, Christine for opening your topic of discussion today. Big hugs to you and the fam! xo

Jeri said...

A long,long,long time ago, I felt that children needed a mom and a dad but there are tons of kids who have people who are their biological mom and dad but who shouldn't be their parents. Bottom line: children need to be loved by people who love themselves, have the capacity to love others and hopefully, are loved themselves.

My personal belief is that God doesn't make mistakes...that for almost all if not all homosexual people, their orientation is as inate as their handedness, eye color, etc. I happened to be born heterosexual, doesn't make me better or worse, just what I am. However, there have been many times at events in Austin when I am flat out jealous of the sisterhood I witness and think,you know...having a wife would mean she would actually "get" what it's like to be female.
Just wish our society would simply see people...human beings.

Jenni Stearns said...

Christine, you have a way of expressing how I feel much more eloquently than I ever could.

THANK YOU for posting this!

Terroni said...

None of my gay friends have ever asked me if I think it's a sin, either. Interesting.

Great post, C.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and I love all I learn from you every time I see you pop up in my Reader :)

I'm not a Christian, I've never been a Christian outside a few weeks at Bible camp, a few years at catholic school and what my Grandma taught me about Jesus and I mostly fall into Summer's camp when it comes to Christianity. So I know nothing.

But. Here's something I never understood about Christianity. Why the need to call out each other's sins? Can't Christians trust that God has a handle on this is plenty equipped to deal with this when it's time? Grandma always taught me that Jesus is love and that message is that we should love our neighbor no matter what. She taught me that loving Jesus meant finding something to love in everyone. Even as an athiest I think this is a fantastic message and try and practice it every day.

So as a total outsider here all this finger-pointing and sin condemning looks like a bunch of little kids tattling on each other. I don't even believe in Jesus, but I still think he's up there like a parent looking down on his silly little kids who don't trust that he can handle it.

J. said...

my best friend is gay, my religion and my beliefs do not jive and yet I make it work, my sons know that families can be made up of 2 dads, 2 moms, 1 of each or any combo of, they are ok with that and accept that our friends may not fit into the same box that others fit into - thanks for the thoughts and discussions!

Melessa said...

I wish I had written this, I'm glad that you did.

Isaiah said...

so many children are passed around foster care or live in orphanages. and end up with terrible attachment disorders and never belong to any one...and never learn to love or be loved. i believe anyone who is qualified and willing to love a child unconditionally and spare them this fate should be allowed to adopt. rachel

adoptyaroslav said...

I love the way you put my thoughts into words! I also would like to coment on Jeri's comment. I have lesbian friends that I just haven't connected with in a while. A couple of years ago they brought their daughter here to meet my son (when he first came for hosting). It was a long night, and their daughter was getting a little cranky. As they were leaving Dot said something to Dian that made Dian upset. Dot was outside getting the kid in the car, when Dian asked me why Dot had to be that way. My response was, "She's a husband, Dian. They're just that way." So, there, just because you each have a "wife," doesn't mean that they "get it."


Mrs. Sugarbear said...

safety, love, nurturance, acceptance, care, stability and permanency...did i mention safety... those things are definitely not exclusive to the hetero community... or the married community... or even the Christian community... not having those things in a conventional family is so much more damaging than having those things in an unconventional family...

Hannah_Rae said...

I'm still thinking on this one. I totally agree with you about the adoption end of it, but not so much on the marriage end of it. I'm not a huge fan of the gov't being involved in marriage in the first place, so that argument only goes so far with me, but I'm not really sure about the rest.

You've got me thinking and praying, and that's all I really have to say right now.



Perspective RAD said...

Amen Sister! You said it! Thank you :)

Julie said...

Thank you! This whole topic makes me so tired becuase I just can NOT wrap my head around people's arguments that "my religion says marriage is XYZ and therefore the government needs to keep it legislated as such." The government should have no role in what you and your religion consider "marriage" and you and your religion should not have a role in what the government considers a "marriage" in order to qualify for basic compassionate rights and privledges: things like being able to visit your "spouse" in the hospital, sharing property rights without exhorbitant extra legal paperwork, etc.

In my perfect world, the word marriage would be struck for ALL such relationship: homo- or hetero-sexual. No longer exist in government wording. The government would issue a "civil union" license to any couple that applies for it and meets the criteria (age limits). THAT would be the definition of "spouses" for any and all government paperwork purposes. If a couple then chose to have that union honored in a church and if they wanted to attach the word marriage that would be up to them and their religious leaders to decide but it would NOT have any impact on the legal benefits that couple recieves. Just like a birth/adoption is a LEGAL procedure and the baptism/blessing is a church procedure that does not in any way change the legal status of that child within the family.

Ahem...I'll get off your soap box now.

Dia por Dia said...

I **heart** you more today than yesterday... my dear friend.

Gina said...

I just wanted to thank you, because I love reading here! I totally *get* what you say about a lot of different subjects.

rachel said...

I could not agree more. Thank you for this post.

The thing the whole marriage thing...well, I live in a state with gay marriage. It has done nothing to affect my (hetero) marriage one bit. I mean, if I wanted to get married in a mosque, they would say no, because I am not Muslim and I am not entitled to it. So there is nothing in my mind that would think that a gay couple who wanted to access the LEGAL rights and privileges should not be able to do so, by joining in legal matrimony. And maybe that doesn't happen in a church, or maybe it does. I honestly don't really care, and I assume the places that do have their own opinions.

I feel like it is just one more thing that people like to use to be divisive. It drives me crazy.

Mama Drama Times Two said...

You are the very BEST!!!!
With respect, love, and admiration:

From your married, lesbian, adoptive, fostering faithful, christian readers from New England:
The Mamas at
Mama Drama Tines Two

familygregg said...

I love my gays. I love my sluts. I love my drunks. I love my theives behind bars. I love my junkies. I love name it, I got it.

I love them enough to say in love when the door opens..."Go and sin no more."

John 8:1-11

That moment when the Lord bends down and writes what He writes in the dirt...when the accusers all slip away one by's one of my favorite moments.

Even still..."Go and sin no more."

Jessica said...

I like how you think- and how you put it all into words! may have to link to you, again!

Rose said...

Funny you don't answer your own question on believing homosexuality to be a sin or not. I would imagine you must know it is being a true follower of Christ and, as familygregg pointed out in John 8:11, Jesus calls us to repent and sin no more.

He accepts all and we are all sinners. In turn we are to accept Him and in doing so we become renewed in spirit not wanting to commit the acts that would grieve Him.

So personally I feel our call as followers is to help change hearts and minds from the inside out not force change from the outside through rules and regulations.