I am still fuming about SB0078, Stanley’s bill to ban all unmarried couples from adopting. It’s not just the language about how adoptive parents must “foster an appreciation for the policies of the state.” It’s not just that it pisses me off that Stanley thinks it’s an appropriate use of the State’s time and money to go nosing around in Tennesseans’ bedrooms. And it’s not simply that I find it so small and cowardly that Stanley wants to oppress gay people, but he’s too chicken to come straight out (so to speak) and say it. He wants to hide behind this language about children being better off in stable married homes.
Gay people in Tennessee, of course, cannot get married to the partners of their choice. They can, of course, still marry people of the opposite sex.
I mention this because, though there are some folks who can make it work, one of the least stable kinds of married homes is one in which one partner is lying about who he really is and what he really desires. Sure, it would be nice to believe that, if you want it bad enough, you can just “not be gay anymore,” that you can pray away the gay, as they say. But we’ve seen repeatedly that this is not the case. No matter how much a gay man might love a woman–and gay men can and do fall in love with women, especially when they feel their God forbids them from being with anyone other than women–he’s still gay and pretending not to be is incredibly destructive for everyone involved, man, woman, and their children.
Today Andrew Sullivan is talking about the Haggard show on HBO and he says–
But I saw in my own life and those of countless others that the suppression of these core emotions and the denial of their resolution in love always always leads to personal distortion and compulsion and loss of perspective. Forcing gay people into molds they do not fit helps no one. It robs them of dignity and self-worth and the capacity for healthy relationships. It wrecks family, twists Christianity, violates humanity.
And I cannot say it any better. Forcing gay people to pretend to be straight, to marry members of the opposite sex, that screws gay people up. It does deep violence to the people those screwed up folks come in contact with. Any good that comes out of gay people pretending to be straight–such as children–can still be screwed up by the deception. Everyone deserves to marry someone who can love him or her with his or her whole heart. It’s only in very rare cases that a gay person can marry a straight person and they both love each other with their whole hearts. Much more commonly, the lies eat at both people.
I bring this up because this damage, the damage that is done not only to gay people, but to their families, is exactly the kind of damage Stanley’s bill is designed to inflict. The only way, under this bill, for a gay person to adopt a child is for him to lie about who he is, to pretend for other people’s comfort, to be something he is not.
You cannot build a healthy family on lies. Even Stanley surely must know this, and so his own concern about what’s “best for the children” is revealed as the lie it is. It is not best for children to be raised by people who cannot be honest about who they are.
So, this bill is not about “protecting children.” It’s about continuing to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible on gay people. Stanley may feel a religious duty to oppress gay people, but the State of Tennessee is not and should not be bound by that same religious duty to inflict such misery on our own people.