Keeping Families Together
The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog
July 29, 2011
A Lot Of Work Remains To Be Done
By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA
Michele Bachmann Is Running For President
She is not like the slightly off-center Sarah Palin, she is a television talk-show bomb-throwing, religious zealot who receives messages from God and makes outrageous remarks, but who unfortunately knows her way around a political campaign. Worse, she is virulently homophobic. Michele Bachmann’s rise in Minnesota politics is attributed to her anti-gay stance. While a state senator, she co-sponsored a Minnesota constitutional amendment that would bar the state from recognizing same-sex marriage (it hasn’t passed yet). Here is a quote of hers: “If you are involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement. And that is why this is so dangerous. It is a very sad life.”
With her husband Marcus, she owns a Christian family counseling service that reportedly engages in reparative therapy. Now that she is running a national election campaign, her husband, a PhD in clinical psychology, has also come under scrutiny for his homophobic utterances. He was asked what to counsel parents who have a child who says she is gay. His answer: “We have to understand, barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined.” Elsewhere he equated homosexuality to giving in to satanic urges.
Bachman And Others Like Her Are Wrong
We are parents of three children one of whom is gay. Hateful comments by homophobes and especially those in the lime light like Michele and Marcus Bachman are by turns hurtful, sad, and anger provoking. We have first-hand evidence that our gay son is not a barbarian, does not have satanic urges, and does not have to be cured of anything. He is like his brother and sister who aren’t any of those either. We know many of his friends, and neither are they.
During his commitment ceremony two weeks ago, our son did the “Stand-Up” exercise. It was a way for him to introduce people important to him to each other. “Stand-up if you grew up with Lance.” That introduced his siblings. “Stand-up if you gave birth to Lance.” His mother was introduced. And so we became familiar with his community of friends and those of his partner. “Stand up if you go antiquing with Francis.” They were hetero- and homosexual friends but no barbarians. In fact, they were delightful people with whom we had a great time.
The Falsehoods Persist
What is so frustrating and, yes, disappointing too, is that in this day and age there are still people who teach that homosexuality is a condition that can be “cured.” The American Psychological Association issued four principles disavowing reparative therapy. The first principle states:
Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and the APA opposes all portrayals of lesbian, gay and bisexual people as mentally ill and in need of treatment due to their sexual orientation.
Even more disturbing, however, is that a Michele Bachman who spouts such incredibly homophobic idiocy is able to climb the political ladder from school board to state senate to U.S. House of Representatives and now front runner of her party’s quest for the White House. Don’t be too sanguine that hers is a flash in the pan candidacy. Her political rise means is that many people, enough to get her elected, believe in the trash she offers. And that then is the most disappointing feature of all. A lot of work remains to be done.
Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride www.apifamilypride.org