In January 2010, Haiti was hit by one of the worst earthquakes in human history, killing more than 300,000 people, rendering over
1,000,000 homeless. The quake led to widespread hunger, epidemic diseases, and hopelessness from which Haiti has not yet recovered. The world was bombarded with harrowing images of crying mothers, who, fearing for their children’s survival, were handing them to Americans sympathizers. Those mothers did not care whether the responders were gay or straight, so long as their children were safe.
Anytime I visit my village in Africa there are struggling widows begging me to bring their impoverished children to America. Those mothers don’t give a hoot whether I’m gay or straight. They just want their children to have opportunities.
When a building is on fire, nobody really cares whether the firefighters are gays or lesbians.
Looking at the bigger picture in the above instances, any rational mind—more so, “pro-life” believers—would agree that the overaching
priority is human life. That is the real issue.
As evident in the examples, saving life or giving children a better future is more important than sexual orientation. Therefore, it doesn’t
make sense, whatsoever, to deny somebody the right to adopt children just because they are gay.
Which leads to the question: Who are the children given up for adoption, anyway? They are the less fortunate ones, mostly from orphanages and poor families. They lack resources and basic needs, such as adequate food and medical care. Anybody capable of
loving, protecting, and providing for such children should be welcome with open arms—gay or no gay. That is why denying gay people the opportunity to love and care for such needy children is not only wicked, but a disservice to humanity. This is one of the areas where homophobia causes injustice to innocent children.
Besides, homophobia is hurtful not only to the gays alone, but also to the people in their lives—their family, friends, and loved ones.
Gay people do not fall from the tree. They were born. They have mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, nephews and cousins—just like we all do. But it appears gay-haters are so blinded by their bigotry, they either are oblivious to the pain they may be causing to the families of gay people, or they just don’t care.
As a Christian, I cannot help but reference the Bible. Jesus says in Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you would have them do to
you”. If I were the father of gay children, I would not be happy if they were demonized. That is why I choose love and acceptance.
No mother or father is happy when their son or daughter gets killed for being gay. My heart broke for the parents of Mathew Sheppard, who was brutally killed by an anti-gay mob. I wept for the family of Larry King, the gay boy who was gunned down in his Ventura County high school. No parents should be made to go through such horrible tragedy—never, ever.
How ironic that that the people fanning the emblem of gay-hatred in the world are the same people who profess to hold “family values”. What do they expect parents to do whose children happen to be gay—to not love their own children?
Just like gay people deserve our love and acceptance, parents of gay children deserve our respect. It is, indeed, a great honor to be a mother or father. Regardless of their children’s sexual orientation, every parent deserves the honor and they should be accorded the honor. Children, whether gay or straight, are a gift from God—and parents of gay people should not be made to feel horrible for something that is beyond their control.
Peter Opa, director of the Ajara Project, is a writer.