View Full Version : Should I apologize three years later?
11-27-2007, 01:45 PM
You know, since doing more research on LGBT issues, there's been something on my mind. There's a friend of the family who's sister and best friend are gay. During a conversation about gay marriage that was actually started by my parents, their friend asked me, "Meghan, how do you feel about this?" Now, I did not volunteer this information. She asked me, and if she hadn't, I would not have supplied this perspective, but since I didn't want to lie, I said, "I think that gay people have a right to get married under the Constitution but I don't really think that they should be elligible to adopt children even though that doesn't give them equal rights...I don't think it's in the child's best interest." When she and her husband asked why, I said, "I'm not sure that having two parents of the same gender is good for children developmentally...and some research shows that gay parents are forty times more likely to molest their kids." My parents friends were really hurt and shocked, I think that they were definitely expecting a different answer from me, and the woman who asked me the question said, "That is not true. That was written by an anti-gay bigot and, also, gay people often adopt disabled children that no one wants, which I think that you should be sensitive to." I said that that was a very good thing but I was talking about how this arrangement affected children developmentally, not what kinds of children are adopted. The man said, "Well, I think you're very rigid in your beliefs." I said that I wasn't doing this out of spite, I had chosen to take the Bible's mentioning of homosexuality literally after thinking about it, and that that required me to hold beliefs that I would otherwise not have: I explained that it was a religious thing, not something motivated by disgust or fear. I continue to maintain that this is why most Christians I know who take the Bible literally on that issue hold this position, that it is out of trying to be faithful to a literal interpretation of Scripture and is not borne from bigotry, but obviously what I said about child abuse was wrong.
Where did I get the "forty percent more likely to molest" info? James Dobson's recent book on parenting and homosexuality that was in the Gordon bookstore. Now that I've done more research and understand that what I said was born out of misunderstanding, I feel like I'd like to apologize to this couple for what I said in this regard. I think that if someone had said something like that to me and it hurt my feelings and they later realized their error, I would appreciate such an apology.
What do you guys think? Should I write a note to them addressing this issue, even though a lot of time has gone by?
11-27-2007, 03:12 PM
I don't think it's ever too late to appoligize. If you remember the conversation so vividly, they probably do as well. Do what feels right for you. :)
11-27-2007, 03:18 PM
I will address that first; that by all means, I believe that when we have new information that enlightens us and gives us a more accurate, balanced perspective, then we should bring it to the attention of those we have wronged with the information in the past. I think speaking to your parents about your revelations would not be a bad idea, either. That being said, it doesn't mean a person's responsibility stops there; it means we need to continue to keep ourselves informed about issues so that we have accurate, fair information. We need to be willing to take the risk and speak the truth and be critical thinkers in terms of the information that we seek.
Meghan, what is your current view on any of this issue, I mean, beyond the realization that the molestation statistic is false? How do you feel currently about equal marriage, foster, and adoption rights? How about birthing rights for same gender couples? I ask this, because I really want to know truly what you seek from us here. I know that you see connections between struggles of persons with disabilities, and persons with an LGBTQ orientation. Are there other answers that you are seeking? And, if at the time that this conversation took place, you did believe that you were going by the literal interpretation of the Bible, then why advocate for gay marriage but not gay parenting? I don't think either are supported in the Bible correct?
11-27-2007, 04:04 PM
It is never wrong to reach out in love to someone. I am sure your change of heart will be accepted warmly.
Most of us have started our journey in a place of misunderstanding and I have found that when I share where my heart is today and where it had been I am received with open arms. I even got hugged by a lesbian, a fringe benefit I hadn't expected but but kind of a cheap thrill for a heterosexual male! ;)
But I digress.
11-27-2007, 08:13 PM
I would honestly say that if these aren't people you ever see anymore, it deserves some serious thought. If you do still run into them sometimes, then that's a really simple YES. If not, though...sometimes it's better to let people move on from whatever negatives there might have been attatched to it. I guess it depends on how much you hurt them at the time, and more importantly whether or not even bringing it up (or showing up out of the blue if you haven't really seen them since) might hurth them in the present.
I know it's a bit...cynical, but I think that there is a definite difference between apologizing to alleviate one's own guilt, and apologizing because it might actually make a difference to the other person.
11-27-2007, 08:38 PM
Well, I feel differently about gay adoption/parenting than I did three years ago because from talking to the people here I've had access to a much ancedotal evidence indicating that having two parents of the same gender does not adversely impact children, as we discussed in my gay adoption thread.
The reason I drew a distinction between gay marraige and gay adoption is because of the interests of a third party being involved. I've always felt that under the constitution, LGBT individuals have the same rights as anyone else to get married, and supported seperation of church in state as far as legislation related to that is concerned. What two people do in their personal lives is their business and there is no plausible reason why two people who are attracted to each other shouldn't be able to have the same rights as heterosexual couples. After all, I also believe that Christ is the only way to salvation, but I certainly wouldn't support legislation forcing everyone to become a Christian.
Where someone else, like a child, is involved, my only remaining concern is that which is also relevant to straight single couples adopting or having children through reproductive technology: research has indicated, for instance, that not having a father can make girls more predisposed to eating disorders and that lacking a parent of the same gender could lead to issues were puberty and sexual development is concerned. I.e, who does the child talk to when he or she goes through puberty if they lack a parent who has had the same experiences? Would this cause an embarassment barrier? In terms of just being guys and girls, having a parent of the same gender to copy has proved to be important, as children generally identify with their own gender around age two. (This information is from The Dark Side of Man, a book on male violence by Michael Ghiglarelli, a respected anthropologist.) So, that would be my remaining concern. But, I do think that the most important thing about adoption and foster homes is that the child is in a stable, loving environment, regardless of his parents' genders.
As to religious concerns, I've come to the decision that one can hold traditional views regarding homosexuality and still be pro-LGBT rights. As I said above, religious views on homosexuality have no practical relevance to the rights of LGBT people under the law, and it would violate my Christian beliefs to argue for discrimination against law abiding citizens under the law. As to taking Scriptures literally, this is something that I think has two possible interpretations a) the Bible says that homosexual relationships are wrong, period, or, b) Paul was talking about homosexuality arising from pagan worship rituals involving orgies, such as the worship of Dionysius in Greece where Corinth was located and therefore was discussing something other than a monogamous committment to one person.
I don't know where I stand in terms of homosexuality being wrong or right, to be honest. What I've decided is that, as Julian of Norwhich said, "All manner of things shall be well, and the world exists because God loves it." I think that my understanding precludes providing a logical reconcilliation of all of these issues. Like the question of what happens to people who die without knowing Christ, I'm going to leave that up to God. What I do know is that God is a God of justice and love. So, I think that God calls us to stand up for the civic rights of people that do not harm others, even if we do not share all of the same perspectives. It is certainly my hope to see all of my friends and acquaintances in heaven...Christian, pagan, Jew, Muslim, gay, straight, etc, which I believe is congruent with the Bible's description of love in Corinthians. "Love always hopes, always trusts, always perserveres." So, that would be were I stand right now on those issues.
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