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Opinion: Rick Santorum, here's how to support a gay child
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he would love a gay child. But what would love look like?
January 9th, 2012
07:57 PM ET

Opinion: Rick Santorum, here's how to support a gay child

Editor's Note: David M. Hall, Ph.D., is the author of “BullyShield,” an iPhone and Droid app, and the author of the book “Allies at Work: Creating a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusive Work Environment.” He teaches high school students as well as graduate courses on LGBT issues and bullying prevention. He can be reached at davidmhall.com or on Twitter @drdavidmhall.

By David M. Hall, Special to CNN

(CNN) - During the final Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, Rick Santorum was asked how he would respond if his son told him he was gay.

“I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it,” Santorum responded.

He received applause for this statement, which is surprising since loving our children is expected and should not merit applause. But further inquiry is necessary to understand whether Santorum would support his son in a way that would help him lead a healthy, productive, happy life.

In a 2003 interview, Santorum was asked how he would respond if one of his children were gay, and he stated that he would “point out to them what is the right thing to do. And we have many temptations to do things we shouldn’t do. That doesn't mean we have to give in to those temptations... it doesn't mean you have to submit." Millions of parents across this country have similar feelings to Santorum. What Santorum and like-minded parents need to know is the immense harm that this response can cause their LGBT children.

I advise a high school Gay Straight Alliance and have seen the tremendous pain that some lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students face when their parents send the message that their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is wrong. One student was beaten and thrown out of his home when his father found out he was gay. His father still sends him emails telling him that he loves him and is welcome back into the family as soon as he becomes the person God made him.

Research cited by Caitlin Ryan of the Family Acceptance Project demonstrates that being treated with rejection at home results in a long list of problems: low self-esteem, limited social support, poor health, depression, substance abuse and suicide.

Ryan’s research examined three degrees of acceptance: low, moderate, and high. She found that at each change in degree, there is a reduction in negative outcomes such as suicidal thoughts and attempts, risky sexual behavior, substance abuse, depression, and improvements to general health, social support and self-esteem.

So what can parents do if they do not want their child to suffer from these negative consequences but still believe that it is wrong to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender? Quite a lot, says Jody Huckabee, executive director of Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a national organization that supports families with LGBT children.

Huckabee cited specific examples that a parent can do even if they are struggling with their child being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender:

•        Do not talk negatively about your child in front of other family members.

•        Do not isolate your child from the rest of the family.

•        Have conversations with your child about the harassment and bullying that takes place.

Huckabee explained, “Even if they have moral, religious, or cultural objections, if we can help them understand that there are some positive things they can do, they can reduce the negative impact and replace them with positive things. They have a much better chance of their child being successful.”

That requires a household in which Santorum and like-minded parents must find a way to balance their ideology with their love of their child. What might that balance look like? That means no negative LGBT messages in front of your child – and hopefully even positive ones. It might also mean praying in private, where you can express your conflict. It means doing all that you can to create safe spaces for your child to be out. At the same time, you might be actively researching the struggles of like-minded parents.

There are degrees of allies on the road to acceptance. If Santorum would love his hypothetical son but reject that he is gay, that can cause great damage. Part of what makes someone a great ally is a commitment to personal growth.

LZ Granderson: I want to hate Santorum ... but I can't

Mary and Paul volunteered to have their story shared in this posting, but have requested pseudonyms to protect their family from rejection and discrimination. They live in the upper Midwest and were concerned about their daughter, who is in eighth grade. One day, their child sent them an email on the way to school: Although born biologically female, she explained in the email that she was actually a boy.

Mary and Paul both felt loss and confusion. Paul was convinced it was a phase and Mary felt similar: “I had some doubts about whether this was a lifelong thing. I challenged my child a lot: ‘How do you know you’re not just a girl who’s a tomboy.’”

Mary and Paul were terrified over the possibility of hate crimes, substance abuse, and suicide. The family sought therapy, and Mary and Paul developed greater step-by-step understanding and acceptance.

Paul wanted to be supportive but struggled: “You’ve known a daughter since she was born, and suddenly she’s gone. The other thing is the fear and anxiety of friends and family. Who’s going to cut us off?”

Mary’s mother did not accept the situation, and made things even more difficult for Mary.

“I felt like mom put me in a position where I pick her or my child. I felt like I lost my Mom and my daughter at the same time.”

She was losing a mother due to ideology and a daughter due to her child’s gender transition. They lost some family, friends, and their place of worship.

Mary and Paul both recall different moments when they reached acceptance. For Mary, it occurred when therapists showed charts from an evaluation that supported her child’s male identity. Paul’s moment was when others said of his child, “He looks so much more sure of himself, so much more confident.”

Their support may have been life saving.

Mary and Paul love and support their child. They were able to show that love while taking their own baby steps toward acceptance.

In the 2003 interview, Santorum said that he wants to help his children in a way “that would lead them to a better and happier life.” Sadly, Santorum’s instincts of how he would respond to his son being gay are the opposite of what his child needs to lead a happy and better life. If his views have evolved to be less rejecting, I am asking him to speak up. He is in a unique position to reach millions of parents who could provide life-saving support for their children.

If Santorum is not ready to accept his hypothetical gay son, he has options other than rejection. There are baby steps that he can take.

While they may not be the ideal reaction that his child needs, research demonstrates that these steps will help ensure the “better and happier life” that Santorum would want for a child he loves.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David M. Hall.

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Filed under: Bullying • Politics • Relationships • Religion • Sexual orientation • What we think
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Kelsey Anne

    This statement I am about to make is for the commenters on this blog. I would appreciate no back lash.

    Humans are a product of 5 million years of lethal aggression. Our ancestors thought killing each other over materialistic matters was normal. Nowadays, it is seen as inhumane to kill another human. But who are we to tell another human that they are inhumane? We are an evolved 5 million year old primate whose instincts haven't changed. We are just as capable to commit that act, just as our ancestors have. People who post repulsive and utterly vivid comments on how poorly people should be treated if they are LGBT...are not inhumane. I do not agree with them but i do not tell them what they are and what they are not. They are just as much a human as you are.

    Most of the time they post things to get attention and to start drama...and you give it to them. Don't lose the purpose of this blog over a couple of people. We are trying to change the future of LGBT children and teens here people!!! Don't waste your time telling people, who honestly don't care what you have to say, that their views are inhumane or wrong.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelsey Anne

      This is not meant to come off as rude but....

      "Flowery misconception of what it is like to be bullied?". You do not know me or my past. I am not going to tell you because it is a personal story. But let me tell you, I know what it is like to be severely bullied for years. I speak my mind but BULLYING people who have different views or do not agree with you....no matter how wrong you think they are....is hypocritical. Who appointed you the right to tell people what they are or what they are not?? You do not know them at all. Essentially, you are judging them....yet you HATE on people who judge you. Be the bigger person and ignore their ignorance. I love LGBT alliances because i believe that it directly shows the LGBT community that you do not have to be LGBT to help out. But fighting with the people who disagree or have other views does not solve anything.

      You are correct in that the word "inhuman" works too. But when I said inhumane....i meant inhumane. Our ancestors lacked compassion for misery and suffering... and they were human. So inhumane is what i mean't.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. EJ Gavril

    Peace, love and tolerance should prevail always. My satirical postings resulted in a good mix of thought-provoking opinions; however, the postings were edited by the gay culture wonks at CNN. Therefore, the postings in no way reflect a cross-section of the actual opinions of most Americans since CNN is at the forefront of pushing the gay agenda.

    February 2, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. DCTexan

    One of the primary marks of maturity into adulthood is understanding that love and approval need not go together. As in the classic teenage "If you really loved me you'd let me (fill in blank with dangerous, socially unacceptable action). We recognize that the mark of an adolescent moving into maturity is their ability to understand that love sometimes must disapprove, if it is to be real love. I hope that one day the LBTG community will understand this about those who love them, and because they love them, do not approve...even at a great personal cost.

    February 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mulberry

      There's a huge difference between disapproving of lifestyle choices and disapproving of the way a person is born. To tell your child you cannot accept them being gay is like telling them you can't accept that they weren't born with green eyes or blond hair.

      February 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kathleen

    I find it interesting that "christians" who are supposd to be filled with God's love, spew so much hate toward even their own children.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      AMEN!!! But, you have to realize there are two distinct camps in Christianity:
      - those who CLAIM to love but instead spew hatred (Baptists, Holiness, Catholics and the other science-hating primitive denominations; and
      –Those who ACTUALLY love, e.g., ELCA Lutherans, Episcopalians and Methodists.

      Mormons spew a lot of hate too, but they are not true Christians so they get a break on that accord.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • WarhammerTwo

        Hey Frank,

        Don't forget the United Church of Christ and Presbyterians in that second group there! My congregation is a joint UCC/Presbyterian church and we worked very hard to become both Open and Affirming and More Light, respectively. And if ya don't know what those terms are, look 'em up!

        February 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pattysboi

    fr Bill:

    >Or, even though it is legally recognized in a handful of states, it still is not a marriage....<

    Gee, my MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE to my lovely WIFE sure states differently. In short, you're completely wrong. We've been in a happy lesbian MARRIAGE for 3 1/2 years. Work on your OWN marriage, and leave mine alone.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. don

    WHERE DID NEWT'S WIFE GET THAT HELMET SHE IS ALWAYS WEARING?

    January 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      True dat! I think she was created in Stepford. And, ALWAYS with that stupid grin.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SecularTruther

    Santorium would try to get his child to pray the gay away and he is being tempted, just his own subconcious tells him. I bet he will be ashamed also when that child kills themselves because of what the bible says about suicide. The reason why I bring this up is because children born gay with bigoted parents who send them to conversion camps sometimes kill themselves because deep down they can not change the way they were born or pray the gay away. Look at Ted Haggard, if they do hide there true selves it creates situations with double lives that can harm others like children they have living a double life and spouses that the gay person wasn't even attracted to in the first place. This man is a bigot who is obcessed with gays probaly because he is tempted by other men and problay has secrets in his closet that would be funny if it ever comes out.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • ten

      you are a loon. what democrat leader has an "openly" gay son? they hid them.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Parnell Kelley

    Hey Dr. Hall,
    I found this link on the Crier and i think you are definitely right. the most profound thing that i think you stated was that "what Santorum and like-minded parents need to know is the immense harm that this response can cause their LGBT children." The problem, i don't think, is entirely in their understanding. I would submit that the problem lies more so in the amount of the "like-minded" people there are in this world. That is evident in the comments posted to this. Santorum and a lot of people are mistaken in thinking that LGBT children are somehow less of their child after coming out. It seems to escape their minds that their child was "gay" before the conversation. However, like in the case of Mary and Pauls daughter, as well as in my own case, LGBT children sometimes bring up the conversation in a way that is not conducive to a better understanding of each other. An e-mail is not the way to go.
    I believe that there is no way that you, as a parent, can still "love" your son/daughter, and reject the fact that he/she is gay. Here's why; To me, and my parent has always told me that, "love" is something that is UNCONDITIONAL. when you truely love someone, you are behind them 110%, despite YOUR fear, or YOUR objections, because they are just that, YOUR problem.
    I think that Santorum should seriously evaluate where his beliefs and his practices fall into the national agenda. If he is to have any hope of becoming the next president, it would behoove him to please the people who have not guaranteed his his vote.
    Hope you read this Dr. Hall and I guess i'll see you Wednesday 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      I find it disturbing–and somewhat offensive–that you make the enormous logical leap that Santorum and others like him believe that "LGBT children are somehow less of their child after coming out." That does not follow from anything he has said. Further, your claim that it is impossible to love someone while believing that something they are doing is wrong is absurd, to say the least. I guarantee you, you love yourself, yet I'd wager you don't agree with everything you've every done.

      January 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Parnell Kelley

        Let me start by saying that i never meant to offend you personally. Maybe you missed it, but Children who are rejected by their parents are 7-9x more likely to commit suicide. People who have the same religious background and similar ideals as Santorum are the people who beat their child and kick them out illegally after coming out. i think you make this issue out to be a lot more pretty than it actually is. I would love to think that every christian is good hearted and understanding, but what i was trying to say is that those people like Santorum are fueling poor family dynamics throughout the entire country. I could have said that people like Santorum believe that their child is not who they raised, that their child is not acceptable because the child poisons their home, or that their child needs to repent for who they are because God doesn't approve. Saying that after coming out, their parents believe that he/she is less of their child is the NICEST assertion i can make about these people.
        Next, you are right in saying that i do not agree with everything that ive done. However, LGBT parents, aside from the misconception that they choose to be gay, aren't shocked because their child is "doing" something that they dont approve of. People like Santorum are in contention to their child BEING gay not DOING gay. It has been my experience, that you cannot love someone unconditionally (as you should your children) with the condition that they aren't gay.
        I find it disturbing and somewhat offensive that 20 to 40 percent of homeless youth are identified as being LGBT. If that is not an indictment of the type of parenting America breeds, i dont know what is.

        January 18, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. JMW

    I think the best step for Santorum to take would be to come out of the closet himself. Once he stops hating himself for being gay, then he'll stop persecuting others for it as well.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      All I can say is wow...

      January 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • burkanuck

      Wow. I guess by your moronic line of reasoning you must be a KKK redneck, right?
      What a freaking idiot.

      January 22, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Colleen Harper

        Wow. How nasty can you get?

        No, please don't demonstrate. I've already seen enough nastiness.

        January 22, 2012 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      agreed

      January 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris Frierson

    Here, take this shotgun and a roll of duct tape. I think you can figure it out, son. Just remember to jump twice.

    January 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Johnjon

    This article brought back many painful memories for me. When I was in college my parents forced me to tell them what they already knew, and on Father's Day. It didn't go well, I was given 30 minutes to pack, thrown out of the house, and my car was taken away. I dragged a suitcase to the corner to call my boyfriend. He was not happy with this sudden change in his living arrangement. I had to quit my job................ find a new one close to where we lived, and my new life started. We broke up that year, and I was on my own. I felt abandoned by everyone who I trusted. It wasn't a fun few years. After many ups and downs I put myself into therapy and I finally discovered I wasn't such a worthless person after all. My partner and I have been together 21 years. I thank God everyday for bringing him into my life. My folks and I eventually reconciled after they realized it wasn't just a "phase". They treat my partner as they would a son-in-law. I know I'm very lucky, because it all could have gone very wrong as has happened to so many young men and women. I don't think I can ever forgive my parents for acting so harshly, I wonder what might have happened to me if I'd stayed in college. Things might have been better, but I can't imagine how much better than my life is now. I just want to tell these kids someone out there cares and it does get better.

    January 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DENNA

      Bless you and I am glad that your life got better. Your parents did not know any better at the time. A lot of people think you can just "make the gay go away" instead of understanding that it is a part of who you are. I dated a gay man once, when I was young and did not know what it was that turned me off about him. He married another woman and then discovered that he could not make himself straight. One child and all that wasted time later, he was able to be himself. I hope all will be well with you for the remainder of your life.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      Thank you for sharing your story. I feel sorry for anyone who has a parent like Santorum. I also hope that all gays will know where he stands on this,and on birth control also, and make sure he does not get elected.(he has said he would outlaw birth control). He would probably put women, gays and any other minorities back into closets, or basements.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
      • nwatcher

        wow – now that was a giant reach. Thanks for helping me believe I can accuse anyone of anything because I disagree with them...

        January 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Atheist_Man

    If only religion were to be removed from the equation. So many parents write their children off after they come out of the closet because who they are conflicts directly with every belief their parents hold to be true. Parents force children out of the home or traumatize them by trying to "reform" or "fix" them. Remove religion (which is a fairy tale), remove God (who doesn't exist, and the result is the removal of 99% of the abuse describe above.

    God is dead. If only mankind would accept it.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • DENNA

      It is not God who is dead, it is mankind to Him. A truly Christian parent will love their child no matter what. Gay people are God's children just as all of us, even you Atheist_Man. Especially you, one of his lost lambs.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Parnell Kelley

        I would say that Atheist_Man is correct in the sense that religion has caused more wars than it has brought peace. on of my favorite quotes that holds true for me is that "In all my time of being a Christian I've seen ore of the Devil than i have of God and that's not how it's supposed to be." when we look at how much of a factor religion has played in our politics it makes the preamble look like nothing more than a love letter.
        At the same time being a 16 y.o. student, i also believe that you are right in that if we are to hold ourselves to a set of higher morals and beliefs then we have certainly failed in that attempt, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

        January 17, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. dave

    so when a couple finds out that their child is LGBT the only definition of acceptance is to realize that their long held beliefs are incorrect. they are not even supposed to show a sign of disagreement. How is that parenting?

    January 14, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • 0101101

      that's what my parents did

      January 14, 2012 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Colleen Harper

      Well, my father, who never showed any of his children love, never wavered in his tightly held beliefs as he uttered the words "I think you need to get your life right with God."

      Those were the last words ever spoken between us.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jazzsinger72

      If your child is LGBT, you need to realize that this is just as biologically-based as anything else. Why, WHY would a kid CHOOSE to be LGBT? It is a life of heartache, bullying and rejection for a child or teen, and they know it. They only go down this path if they have to, if the only other choice is to live a lie.

      January 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • nwatcher

        Very scientifically based comment. The scientific evidence for biological gayness is very suspect. You may want to find more info on the subject before perpetuating a convenient but flawed idea.

        January 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • DENNA

      Disagreement is fine, disowning your own child because he/she is not what you expect is not. It is the bald anger and resentment that is wrong. Your child is struggling with this and needs your understanding, not judgment. You are mortal, not God and few parents are so pure that they can afford to be that judgmental.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • AntiPalinAlaskan

      There's no disagreement to express. Being gay is not an opinion, it's a fact...an unchangeable fact. And if you love your gay child you HAVE to accept them and accept that about them and make damn sure that you don't treat them differently. There simply isn't a loving, generous, accepting way to say to your child "I don't approve of your having been born gay". Sometimes, life really IS that simple.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. Argle Bargle

    “I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it,” Santorum responded, "and then I would come to my self-righteous senses, beat him senseless and kick him out of the house."

    Politicians will say anything. The only true test of worth is their actions.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • 0101101

      those people/things can't consent so, no!

      January 14, 2012 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Arkinsawyer

    I will say this ahead of time and save all of you (self)-rightous Leftists from feeling obliged to make the observation: yeah, my troll name says it all. Now, that being said, I would like to ask all of you fair and un-bised Liberals the following question: IF your cild or grandchild comes up to you and confesses that he (or she) has strange feelings when Fifi the poodle dog squirms around in their lap and confessses that they are suxually interested in Fifi, or little Cousin Willie(who is only two), just what in the Sam Hill are you gonna say then?

    January 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arkinsawyer

      Hadda coupla minor mis-spellings: un-biased and child.

      January 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mimi

      "Little cousin Willie is too young to understand/say yes and his parents would kill you and call the cops, in that order, now shut up and eat your dinner.

      What? No. Go ahead and let the horses screw you, but don't lay a finger on Fifi."

      January 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mimi too

        From one Mimi to another–You are right on! How can anybody compare being gay to being a child predator? Go figure.

        January 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • m

      Consent. A child cannot consent, an animal cannot consent. Two adults, regardless of their gender, can consent. If you truly believe that you have a valid argument by asking about the difference between consenting adults and an animal or a child, I think you have bigger problems.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Janet

    Mixed marriages as a result of divorce are much more damaging to our society and children than gay relationships. Funny though. You don't find the politicians discussing the damage divorce has upon society.
    You show me a messed up kid and I'll show you a kid with either no dad or too many. Or sometimes a mother in law young enough to be a sister.
    Good old fashioned hetero promiscuity damages families. Leave the gays alone.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  17. FOFA

    No way! Romney is our only hope, and the sooner the better.

    January 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Sarah

    Romney 2012... anything less is just juvenile.

    January 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colleen Harper

      Except that Romney is juvenile enough to say whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear. He really is the flip-flopper that even his GOP rivals accuse him of being.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • UtahBaptist

      And according to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, one day he will be a god. SO that's really taking out the middle man for us.

      January 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • DENNA

      Oh, Romney will be the candidate for the GOP, but Obama will beat him. The fact that he isn't the consensus candidate should tell you something, shouldn't it?

      January 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  19. shugee

    'The government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation'.(Pierre Trudeau PM of Canada 1967)

    January 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arkinsawyer

      Begs the question: was Prime minister Trudie trying to hide something?

      January 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Colleen Harper

        So you wish to snoop and find out?

        How intrusive!

        Let's keep government AND conservatives out of other peoples' bedrooms!

        January 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Arkinsawyer

        Colleen, or Cullen, or Charlie or whatever ur darned name is: I dont give C-R-double APP what that creep does in the privacy of HIS home! I only wish insure that his long and Liberal nose stays outa my house!

        January 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Colleen Harper

        I'm not hiding behind a pseudonym. Colleen Noel Harper is my full legal name.

        And don't worry. It has been my experience that liberals never give a crap what you are doing in your house.

        On the other hand, I have encountered endlessly how conservatives are sickly obsessed with what gays and lesbians are doing in their homes.

        So your concern should be about those damn conservatives. They're perverts!

        January 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Mike

    It is so sad that people use the Bible to justify their hatred of people, including their own children, while they ignore the most fundamental message of Christ's teachings – to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I was born and raised Catholic, but it was this kind of failure to "practice what one preaches" that led me to realize that Religion is just yet another ploy for people to subject their own beliefs onto others.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  21. brad

    It is scary that this "Dr." is teaching our high school children. Another example of biased, liberal educators. This stuff is utter garbage! And it's scary that people like this are in MY America....ruining this country one piece at a time. LIberalism is a mental disorder- Dr. M.S.

    January 11, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      I am glad that YOUR America is ruined and is dieing off, Brad. Good riddance!

      January 11, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
      • rick

        Jenn: I agree. Nothing like old fashioned bigotry being exposed for what it is

        January 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • BEK

        Jenn:

        I agree with you to. Good post.

        January 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colleen Harper

      We already understand that fundamentalist evangelicals reject all sciences that they don't personally like.

      So we can infer that you don't care what the science says, your mind is made up.

      And we can infer that if YOU had a gay or lesbian child, that child would be out on the streets, living homeless. Once again, science shows that half of all homeless teenagers are gay or lesbian, AND that MOST of them were kicked out of their homes by hateful and spiteful parents.

      So much for "Christian Love."

      January 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Arkinsawyer

        I just saw below where you replied: "Methinks you suffer from ODS." Ithinks you suffers from hankerin' to have the Kenyan Chieftan run his "spear" up.......Um, well. Ithinks you MIGHT be smart nuff ter git der picher.

        January 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      brad: it is our nation, not your nation. i am sorry you have this burr about gays stuffed way up your rectum, but you best get it out. times are a changin' and your anti-gay bigotry will rightfully be on the dung heap of history

      January 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • BEK

        So true. As a whole, people are becoming more enlightened. Some will never get there, though. But as time goes on there will be fewer and fewer of them and they will become more and more marginailized.

        January 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROMNEY2012

      Romney 2012.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Considering that rights, freedom, equality and justice are the virtues and values that define America, *your* "America" is not the *real* America.

      January 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arkinsawyer

      Brad, I agree 110%. I am sick of arrogant liberal fools thinking that they have some kind of natural right to cream it up our noses on every issue dear to the liberal heart. This is our Country, too. Come election time, I intend to try and see if I might vote these braying jacka$$es out of office. I sincerely hope to change the Kenyan Chieftan's address back to Illinois.

      January 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Colleen Harper

        Are you often this much of a bigot? "Kenyan chieftan?"

        And considering how conservatives continually try to ram their crap up liberal noses, I'm glad you know how we feel about their arrogance.

        Methinks you suffer from ODS. (Obama Derangement Syndrome)

        January 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • tennessee stephen

        it is not your country and our country.the last time i checked.it is Gods country and his world and we are his people. so let him do the judging ok? i am a gay man and deep down a republican,but i am over the republican party that we have now who feel it is their God giving right to put their noses in the private lives of americans.i miss the days when the politicians worried about protecting us and balancing the budget,and trying to keep the goverment running correctly.and even worse than the republicans that try to interfere with our lives,is the right wing nut job conservatives that live in god forsaken states like ark. and others ,that agree with them..you have no clue to what our nation has came to.and it all started with that pin head idiot bush that you helped elect. and as far as obama,the man has tried,and in my and others he has done a fair job.but if you read up on national civics,the president has limited power.it is the house and senate that really has the say so...so if your country is not running the way you like,maybe you should look who started this mess in the beginning.......

        January 16, 2012 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
      • Erika

        Dear Anne -I also ripped out the aritcle in People Magazine tracked down a local training in Washinton DC. I attended a Stewards For Children training this morning. The presenter was Michele Booth Cole, Executive Director of Safe Shores at the DC Childrens Advocacy Center. She facilitated a great training, that had me both concerned and inspired.I am hoping to take it one step further and become a trainer myself for Stewards For Children. I just wanted to say Thank You, Anne for your mission, and for all you are doing to keep children safe. Count me in, to join you on this journey!Sincerely,-Hilary Boboshko, LGSWSilver Spring, Md

        April 18, 2012 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
  22. Louisa

    Very well done, Dr. Hall. Fantastic blog on such a controversial topic. Thank you!

    January 10, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  23. donna

    I am a Christian independent that leans largely republican. However, two of my three kids are gay. One I knew from a very young age the other I suspected and he recently told me for sure. What this has to do with saving our economy and jobs for the future is beyond me. Stay out of people's bedrooms!

    January 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4ngharad

      This has NO RELEVANCE to how he's a good GOP candidate, but ok....

      January 11, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  24. Joan

    Thank you, Dr. Hall, for showing us what respect looks like. You are willing to honor the parents' religious beliefs, even though you don't agree with them, and to offer them a way to truly show their children love and respect. I hope this gets widely shared!

    January 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  25. landed

    I would NOT let that man anywhere near a child. He's a bigoted, arrogant, ignorant, self centered, lying sleaze bag.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      A little judgmental aren't we?

      January 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colleen Harper

      I wonder which man you're talking about; Dr. Hall, or Rick (Google problem) Santorum.

      Personally, I won't allow Santorum around my grand children. Oh, the person Santorum. They're too young yet for the Google Santorum.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Sounds like you found yourself a mirror, landed

      January 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • vic torrey

      AS A GAY Person-
      -You get to call anyone who disagrees with your lifestyle (or does not stand up and cheer for it) Names:
      Bigot, Self-Righteous, Uneducated, but especially "BIGOT"
      -You get to read peoples' minds when they do bad things (That was a "HATE" Crime)
      -You get to be treated very special, more than other kids that suffer the same thing (BULLY, Naughty BULLY-IF you're gay; youre on your own if your bullied for another reason (fat, unpopular, don't play sports, etc)
      -You get to call people who disagree "PHOBIC" (Ever hear of heterosecual "phobia")
      -You get to ask all kinds of impertinent questions to see if others in any way, shape or form don't agree with the above.....

      January 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • BEK

        Being gay is no more "a lifestyle" than being left-handed is. Narrow-minded, uninformed post.

        January 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Bystander

    It's sad when you see a boy working the streets in south Florida because his family threw him out. The communities have shelters and foster parenting programs to assist in returning such a child to a good environment. That said, many of these lost children have been exposed to STDs and may require long term medical care for their conditions now. As for "what God made him" – those who think orientation is acquired instead of innate from birth are mistaken.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Ryan

    Excellent post. Rather than denying the struggle that many parents feel because of their faith, teach them how to process it while still supporting their child. I've been in a PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meeting with 20 accepting parents when a couple who is really struggling walks through the door. The couple spoke about the fears they had and the conflict they felt. The veteran members listened and offered support without judgment, most of them having experienced similar feelings years earlier. Local PFLAG chapters are an invaluable resource (especially so in smaller towns and counties where folks may feel like they are all alone).

    January 10, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  28. Tr1Xen

    Yeah... to me, Santorum sounds a lot like Dubya. I think we could ALL do without that. As much as I dislike Obama, I'd probably vote for him over Rick Santorum.

    January 10, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • sue

      OMG i agree with you. I am a republican, but would vote Obama (sorry) over Santorum. You want a good laugh, for fun, google his last name. You'll chuckle when you read what it says. poor guy.

      January 10, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Rick

    Thanks for this article on an important topic, Dr. Hall.

    January 10, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  30. Timaree

    Until the wondrous day comes where we don't have to explain to people who they shouldn't be bigoted against anyone, let alone their own children, I'm delighted that there are people like you to get this message out, Dr. Hall.

    January 10, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  31. EJ Gavril

    To protect gay children from bullying, they should be removed from the homes of their parents as soon as they show gay behaviors, and placed together in special camps where they can grow-up together in an accepting, nurturing educational environment free of bullying by straight children. When they are 18 years old, they should be graduated from the camps, and required to do two years compulsory,free military service in special gay units organized within the Army inantry to compensate the government for the many years of bully free living during childhood. These gay Army units, which would be free of hazing since limited to gays, should be assigned such valorous tasks as the clearing of cluster mine fields and the defusing of improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, providing the gay unit members with the opportunity to win decorations for bravery and valor, thereby, winning the pride and respect of straight Americans.

    January 10, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      Ignorant troll.

      I can't figure out why you fundiots (fundamentalist ldiots) hate someone because of how the were born.

      January 10, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Phil

        Becuase you were not born that way. It is a life style choice. Quit trying to justify your deviant behavior. For those of you who don't know here is the definition...Deviance in a sociological context describes actions or behaviors that violate cultural norms

        January 10, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
      • yeahalright

        A lifestyle choice??? Still? In this day in age that's what you really think? Did you ever stop and think about that? I'm guessing not – but why would a person make that "lifestyle choice" if it was just a choice? Years of bullying and discrimination, hatred and disrespect, denial of rights to see who you love or even raise children you love. Who would choose that?

        And a temptation? As a straight man I've been tempted – with varying degrees of ability to resist – by a lot of things – drugs, women, driving my car fast, lying, the desire to hit bigots like you, etc. Not once though have I been tempted by a man. Yet the way you fundamentalists describe it it's just some other temptation out there that everyone has but only some can't avoid. My advice if you're having these temptations that hurt no one else (talking real hurt to real verifiable people here), go ahead and act on them. Life is short.

        January 10, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
      • Bob

        Even if it was a lifestyle choice (which science says it isn't) what gives you the right to decide it's wrong? Fine, say being gay is a "religion". Your religion (I'm assuming from the ignorance and bigotry that you're Christian) is most definitely a choice. So why does your "lifestyle choice" count more than someone else's?

        January 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • sue

        I couldn't agree more with you. Wow. Like i said below, they deserve a medal just for the bravery they show every day with all the extra stress they have in their day to day lives.

        January 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Appalled

      EJ, your facetious reply to this article shows your cruelty as well as your ignorance. People like you make the world a worse place, not a better place. Open your mind.

      January 10, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
      • JohnCRoberts

        Wow, Just reading all of the responses to EJ's comment above tell the following:

        No one is Tolerant in this forum.
        Supporting Gays seem to be saying...
        If you don't agree with OUR view of Gay rights we will bully, demean and undermine you hopefully you will have a lower self esteem as we tell you parents do to Gay Children when they don't applaud their alternative lifestyle.

        You people are Bullies and Hypocrits, but please carry on....

        January 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • mommy dearest

      EJ. The sad thing is you are not alone in your thoughts. No matter how incorrect you are. People don't choose a "deviant" lifestyle. IF THEY chose a lifestyle why would they choose one that so many like yourself choose to look at as an abomination? Why would they choose to put themselves in front of so much ridicule and the front line of pain and complete disconnection from their families. The truth is they don't CHOOSE. The only thing they CHOOSE to do is to be honest. I can't imagine what happened to you in your life (or childhood for that matter to make you the way you are) to make you want death upon others just for merely being human. As you should know by now most who judge and condemn the L & G communities are often troubled in their own lives choosing to lash out at others who are different so that they themselves feel stronger. You are strong. In fact you are strong enough to come onto CNN's website to spread hate by hiding behind an alias. Congratulations you are strong in every sense of the REPUBLICAN way.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • S Kyle

      Do you ever feel ashamed by how twisted and sad your life and ideologies are? I bet it really burns you up to know that you and your small-minded ilk are a dying breed? Children are evolving into more accepting individuals every day. One day, people like you will be relegated to history as an embarrassing segment of the population that garners the same respect as those Ku Klux Klan members of the 19th and 20th century. I feel pity for people like you. The only legacy you will leave behind is one of shame and ignorance.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow EJ

      Wow EJ... Simply stunning, it's funny to see that some people finding love can really bother you so much. All because it's not the same type of love you find. Good luck dude, I don't really see you having a truly happy life considering its filled with hate for people who've never done anything to you...
      FYI as much as you probably hate Obama ( probably thinking he's some foreigner with no birth certificate or some bogus reason like that) the candidates you support and vote for, like Santorum, who have similar views are doing nothing but helping lock up the election for Obama. Mainly because MOST Americans (ones not on the extremes of either side) dont want to elect someone to office who publicly spew ignorance and hate. Don't believe me? Just wait til the election this year.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Fishing Trawl Owner

      DURRHURRRHURR This troll just wrecked the entire CNN community. Nice going EJ.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • sue

      WHAT? They already have the respect of Americans. And they serve in the army and manage to do it while getting bullied / harassed etc. The mental and physical stressors some of our LGBT children / young adults have had to face alone merits them getting medals for bravery.

      January 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • EJ Gavril

      Bullying builds courage in children and helps them to learn to later fend for themselves in a difficult world. Those who attempt to protect children from bullying by building socially protective bubbles around them rather than letting them learn to take care of themselves are hindering normal child development. When the bully bubbled child grows up, who is there to protect them from bullying as an adult? The bully bubbled child as an adult will not have developed the skills to cope in the real adult world, and will probably commit suicide early in adulthood because they were wussified as children.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Colleen Harper

        Say what?

        First you advocate for shielding them from bullying by putting them into camps, then forcibly inducting them into the infantry to perform hazardous duty involuntarily.

        Now you think they should be bullied to toughen them up?

        News flash! Most young LGBT teens who commit suicide do so BECAUSE they have been bullied, both in school and in the home. Our LGBT teens need protection from the excesses of bullying that rampantly occur in schools (I hope you realize that bullying is a never-ending problem in schools?) and from the negative treatment they get at home from parents who vociferously disapprove of their "lifestyle choices." These teens need support from adults and peers, and the most effective place to receive this form of support is Gay/Straight Alliances in schools, something that conservatives are furiously opposed to.

        January 12, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Frank

        Dude, you are seriously nucking futs.

        February 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dale

      EJ–why would anyone in their right mind want your respect? I only care about the respect of those for whom I have respect, and your ignorance deserves none. –straight veteran and father of 6

      January 12, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • riodogs

      EJ, you have been reported. Shame on you!

      January 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      EJ, I sincerely hope that was a joke.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Fred

    Great messaging as always David! My hope is that it reaches the right people to make them stop and think. Although he may have progressed in his opinions since 2003, it sounds like Santorum has a case of changing his "official opinion" to a "politically correct" when it matters for himself. Sad that a large proportion of our politicians talk out of both sides of their mouth, and even more sad... we allow it to happen!!

    January 10, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • KJC

      Wait, let me get this strait. You are angry that he believes what he does and want him to take baby steps to grow and change. Yet when he expresses a slightly different opinion than he used to hold, he is a "flip-flopper." Either you want someone to change or you don't. Either you want them to grow or you don't. But if they are growing (based on what you believe to be the truth), then why criticize that?

      To me, when someone presents a more reasonable argument than you have for your own opinion, you change your mind. This is not hypocricy, it is the height of intelligence and integrity. To hold an opinion and be UNWILLING to change it no matter what the new evidence, or being unwilling to explore other evidence, well that is real ignorance.

      This is one of the major problems with politics today. We want people to change their minds to agree with us, but when they do, we hate it and call it hypocrisy. CHANGING YOUR MIND IS NOT HYPOCRISY, PEOPLE.

      January 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Luther

    Excellent article Dr. Hall! My hope is that we can continue to evolve into a society that celebrates love, and stops the judgment of orientation.

    January 10, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  34. Peter

    It sounds like you have standards for what "love" means. Interesting. Does that mean that love involves standards? If so, then we might question what those standards are. Now you have a dilemma: Whose standards do you use to define love? I hope you see where this is going. The LGBT community has a standard that says "you love me if you approve of my behavior and choices." The religious community (many of them) have a standard that says "you love me if you correct me and keep me on the right path in life." Question: How do you determine which standard–or if another standard–is true? They can't both be correct. In my opinion, the LGBT answer to that would be something like "I was born this way" or "I feel it is true." The religous community (many of them) would point to divine revelation apart from feelings. America needs to decide whether personal, subjective feelings are an adequate basis for truth as well as whether divine revelation has any merit.

    January 10, 2012 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  35. Jan

    Being gay in his family would be equivalent to child abuse.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  36. GruntOfMonteCristo

    Very good points about some of the things to avoid, Dr. Hall, but I also have a problem with your premise. "If Santorum would love his hypothetical son but reject that he is gay, that can cause great damage." What if you're wrong? What if by telling parents what they are not allowed to believe, you are condemning their children to lives of regret? I know adult gays who feel this regret. I know young men on the fence who fear the lifestyle that they want to choose because of what they would throw away. What if you're wrong? Are you sure that honesty about our opinions, expressed in a loving, unconditional way would not be the better approach? Why be an idea tyrant? Personally, I believe that we are all so malleable that we could go one way or the other. Where is the harm in asking your children to remain open? Where is the damage in that?

    January 10, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Colleen Harper

      From my personal experience, children may try to live a life commensurate with the expectations of their parents, but there ultimately comes a time where that child, grown into an adult, finally has to deal with the frustration and realization that they have been living a lie for the sake of their parents, rather than living for their own happiness.

      We can NOT achieve our own happiness when we are trying to live for someone else's happiness. The only way to achieve internal happiness and peace is to live for our own happiness.

      I had to learn this the hard way myself, after trying to live for 30 years as something I was not. And I continued to live for another 12 years AFTER that for the sake of my marriage. NONE of it worked. I only found happiness when I finally started living for what I knew was my true self, NOT what my parents nor my spouse expected of me.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  37. texan59

    It is a well thought out article. Where I differ with the author is the premise. He projects himself into the shoes of Santorum. That is a very slippery slope one places themselves. If the author wants to talk about how to deal with a child who “comes out”, that is one thing. But to place himself in the shoes of a politician he does not know in depth (I presume) you expose your own biases toward the man and ostensibly toward the “conservative” movement.

    I for one, do not get too wound up about those who are gay. If God made you that way, or you chose the lifestyle, that is your business. I am not real sympathetic to the whole “bullying” lobby that has turned out to protect children. More often than not, the adults involved in this movement are just stratifying kids on one more level. When it comes to bullying, I do know of what I speak.

    January 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • riodogs

      There is no "if" in your statement. It's NOT a choice. Believe me I have "first" hand knowledge. That is mean spirited and ignorant to even say. Shame on you.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colleen Harper

      So, if I read your comment correctly, you're saying that bullying is ok, that bullies should be allowed, and even encouraged, to bully others?

      Personally, I think they should be stopped. I think they should be strongly encouraged to cease that behavior because it is highly antisocial. I think bullying is a strong indicator (one of many) that the bully will in the future be prone to committing crimes, and especially violent crimes. I think socializing the bully will have the likelihood of making him a future citizen in good standing.

      January 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  38. Natalie

    Finding someone to love in this world is one of the hardest and most challenging things we'll do in this life. Thanks, Dave, for supporting parents as they try to understand their LGBT kids and keep them healthy and happy through the process.

    January 9, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  39. FOOLS

    I like how gays portray the gay plight like it is another race. If being gay was natural then gays would be able to reproduce. Go ahead marry. I don't care just get out of my face with all of your pity party crap.

    January 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • geekgirl42

      What does reproduction have to do with anything? There are plenty of straight married couples who can't reproduce.

      January 10, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • RobertC

      It is not a "plight" unless other people make it so.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • riodogs

      You name "fools" really exceptionally depicts what you are. There is no reaching someone like you, so go post somewhere else. You don't get it!

      January 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Annie

    Great blog on an important topic. Such a thoughtful piece for readers to engage in. Thank you.

    January 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  41. elizabeth

    Love, suport, and respect for our children should definitely be expected. LGBT children have to handle so much stress and opposition as it is – one place they should always feel safe to be themselves is with their families. It's a shame that isn't the norm in so many cases.

    January 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Eli

    There are so many young people who face outright rejection from their families of origin and would have benefitted greatly from their families embracing these tips.

    January 9, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  43. humanity

    making smoking legal does not mean its the right thing to do. Smoking is bad so does gay culture is bad. My job is to show the right path to my kids.

    January 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • geekgirl42

      I am gay, and I've been in a committed relationship for the better part of a decade. I have a house and a good job, and my day to day life looks just like all my straight suburban neighbors. People live all kinds of lifestyles- married homebodies, promiscuous club hoppers, homeless junkies...it has nothing to do with whether you're straight or gay. There's no such thing as a "gay lifestyle".

      January 10, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      I guess you want to be estranged from your gay child then, or you want to do damage to that child because it is more important for you to be "right" than it is for you to have a relationship with your child. Good luck with that.

      January 10, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      You have to let people be who they are, not what you think they should be. Ideas like that caused many to be hurt. The military stand on not having gays caused my daughter a lot of pain. She got envolved with a guy that had been friends with my other daughters husband for a while. Both of them felt my daughter was in good hands because this guy was so great. She ended up pregnant, there was talk about getting married but had not set a date, he introduced her to his family the whole thing. Then 3 weeks after my grandson was born she finds out he is gay and had been having relations with another man. This guy had no intention of having a child with my daughter and has since refused any and all attempts to be a father to him. If he had been able to be himself in the first place, my daughter wouldn't have been and still continues to be hurt by this person. You can't make them be what you want them to be. You can make them pretend, but that just hurts other people. In this case my daughter and now my grandson.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • B.P.

      Faulty analogy–as an English professor, I love sending my students to these talkbacks to look for logical fallacies. Thank you "humanity" for being a bigot and an idiot.

      January 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • riodogs

      It's NOT a culture; it's a life. Hopefully, no children will be exposed to you. I might expect you don't have a job. Quit commenting on things you know nothing about.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Sophie

    Hi David, nicely written blog, thank you for posting it. I hope that all of us can indeed truly accept and respect our children, neighbours, colleagues and friends for who they are. It would make the world a better place.

    January 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  45. M1sf1ts

    Gay Coupling is NOT Marriage.

    January 9, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • prinze

      Yes it is. It's just not legally recognized as marriage in 43 states.

      January 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bill

        Or, even though it is legally recognized in a handful of states, it still is not a marriage. For example, a law declaring HO2 to be water as well as H2O wouldn't make it so. A law declaring the world to be flat wouldn't make it so. A law declaring the union of two members of the same gender to be a marriage doesn't make it so.

        I suspect even many people who "support" gay marriage don't really believe in it.. they just don't care. When 40% of society doesn't think marriage is important anymore, then why would they care WHO gets married. That doesn't mean the "agree" with gay marriage; they just don't care one way or the other.

        For those who care about marriage, the overwhelming majority reject gay marriage as trivializing marriage. When the essence of a marriage is the fact that it joins one member of each gender, then allowing any two people to get married declares that gender, the essence of marriage, is not important after all. This trivializes all true marriages.

        Gay marriage is to real marriage what the Special Olympics are to the real Olympics... it is an effort to be nice to people who are otherwise handicapped to help them feel "normal" but no one (except maybe the participants) really believes their accomplishments are the same as the real Olympians.

        January 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • ocekit

        Bill:

        Just because you declare gender to be the essence of marriage doesn't make it so for everybody. To me, the essence of marriage is love.

        How does two men or two women getting married affects yours or anyone else's marriage? I've heard this argument used before and I still don't understand how two people of the same gender getting married trivializes straight marriage. No one who's ever used this argument has ever been able to explain it to me in a rational or sensible way.

        January 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Dave

    Very well written and thought provoking, Dr. Hall.

    January 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |