Q: I am the father of an adult male, who happens to be gay and is in a long-term relationship with another man. I have political aspirations and do not support his lifestyle nor gay marriage. I also have religious views that are contradictory to his lifestyle and long-term plans in this relationship. So how might you suggest I handle this, professionally and personally with my son, who I love tremendously and with whom I have always had a close relationship?
A: You might want to assess the impact your political and religious views will have on your relationship with your son. Talk openly with him about this, but be careful about sending him the message that you are choosing your political career over him and your relationship with him. You might want to remember that long after your political career starts and ends, he will still be there and you two will still be family. We all must be careful not to send our loved ones the message that we have prioritized career success over our relationships with them. If your son marries this man, and he likely will if they have been in a long-term, happy, healthy relationship, you might find yourself regretting your stance politically, long after your career is over. Imagine getting old and becoming dependent upon this couple to assist in your care, when you once denounced their relationship in pursuit of your career goals.
As for your religious views, I always remind people that God asks that we love our fellow man. He does not ask that we assist him in the task of passing judgment upon him. God doesn’t need our help in that area and never asked for it. What another man does in his romantic relationships and bedroom is between him, his partner and God. We have no place in that. It’s literally none of our business. Our business is to love one another and treat one another well. We should also remember that, according to the Bible, a sin is a sin. So, we are not in a position to judge others for what we view as sins unless we are without sin ourselves. And none of us are without sin. I also have always believed that God would not pass harsh judgment against a man for falling in love and maintaining a healthy relationship with another person, just because that person happens to be of the same sex as that man, or woman for that part. I personally believe this to be better than marrying a woman and then cheating on her with men. Women in society are at greater risk of having a gay husband acting out secretively, so long as we as a society continue to condemn same-sex relationships. Imagine what the world would be like if we focused on the things that truly matter and negatively affect our society and mankind. As a therapist, who sees parents in therapy everyday that are struggling to deal with their children’s violent behaviors, explosive behaviors, sexually abusive behaviors, drug addicted behaviors etc., I must say that homosexuality would be a relief for those parents in exchange for these truly life-damaging situations. Your son doesn’t sound like he’s hurting you or anyone else. If you are hurting, it’s because you are hurting yourself behind this situation, not because he is hurting you. He sounds happy and he probably wishes that you could be happy for him—not for finding gay love, but for finding love. That’s the true gift of life. Love is both a gift—and a blessing.
Thank you for your question and do take care.