How Birther Mania Paved The Way

If you are watching the chaos in the White House unfold and wondering, How does anyone still support this guy? then let me back up to 2008.

You see…as soon as it looked like Barack Obama was going to get the Democratic nomination for candidacy, the right started the talk of missing birth certificates and secret Islam beliefs. And while people like me were able to roll our eyes and ignore all of that rhetoric, it was being discussed in Conservative circles for YEARS. I mean, in 2011 he had to show his “long form” birth certificate because the Birther Mania still had traction in many circles and he knew he was running for re-election. And in 2012 there were still 17% of Americans who thought he was a Muslim.

My point is, there have been serious fears on the Conservative side of politics about Barack Obama that turned out to be unfounded and that caused our country no harm in the long run. But these fears were VERY REAL. I know people personally who still believe Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and his plan to dedicate our country to the pursuits of Islam were simply thwarted. In some circles, this is where the “Attack On Christianity” rhetoric was born, by looking at any plan to curb Christian legislation as a way to pave the way for our secret Muslim president to force us all to practice Islam.

These fears were very real and – in the eyes of those who lived them – backed up by many trustworthy sources. An any sources that say otherwise were being controlled by supporters of the President. (Kinda like how people on my side of politics don’t trust Fox news since Trump openly supports them so much.)

Now…fast forward to present day and the fears many of us have of the Trump White House. Well, Trump supporters can brush every bit of it off and say, “Well, we’ve been there, and you all didn’t listen to us and our fears didn’t pan out so we’re not going to listen to you and your fears will fizzle into nothing like ours did.”

Their news sources which they trust are telling them we’re all just making mountains out of molehills and looking for drama to undermine the Executive Branch. And they can dismiss us because they know how scared they were, and none of their fears manifested into anything, so why would ours?

So while many respected sources are concerned, the average Trump supporter can look back when their trusted sources were concerned, and can see that nothing came of those fears and they can dismiss ours. When we question their support they simply respond by saying that they questioned our support of a President that was so obviously a secret Muslim trying to destroy Christianity in our nation. And some of them may not even be that extreme, but they did have some major concerns during Obama’s Presidency and nothing terrible happened so they really don’t feel the need to give our concerns any attention.

I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that I see a lot of people on my side of politics just in awe over the fact that Trump still has supporters at all, and I want to remind them that none of us changed our support of Obama because of their fears. And while you and I will agree that our fears definitely have more evidentiary support, they truly believed theirs did as well.

These are tough times, but 8 years ago the other side was just as scared. Obviously I believe their fears were unfounded and their sources were invalid, but it doesn’t change the fear itself. And they see that their fears never manifested into anything terrible for our country…so why would ours?

There’s not real point to this other than to try to shed light on the “other side” from someone who comes is surrounded by Trump supporters. They remember how we laughed at their fears, so why would they open their minds to ours?

Outliers Can Not Be Used To Excuse Our Own Bias

There’s the thing people do on Facebook. They find lone outliers from an opposing group that actually agree with them, and share out those voices like it is their public permission slip to feel the way they do. I see it quite often in regards to race issues and with the stuff that happened this week, it seems to be a growing phenomena.

Progressives/Liberals talk a lot about systemic racism and how we need criminal justice reform. This is often done by spotlighting how black families – especially in poor neighborhoods – raise their kids with a completely different approach to law enforcement than white people do. So…OF COURSE…periodically I’ll see friend or family from the others side of the spectrum, share out a video of a black man saying he LOVES cops and has never had one problem when/if he gets pulled over. Nevermind that there is evidence supporting that fact that there does exist racial bias, this person who shares out this video wants to use this ONE PERSON as their excuse not to admit the system is racist, even if the evidence proves otherwise.

We – as a country – were going through a “We Love Michelle Obama” surge awhile back (I mean, aren’t we always?) and one of my conservative-voting FB contacts chose THAT MOMENT to share out a video of a black woman talking about why she hates Michelle Obama. This was that family member’s way of also not liking Michelle Obama and this lone voice allowed her to do it an not be racist because…LOOK! A black woman agrees with her!

It’s not always about race either…I recently saw a video shared out by a Christian family member of an “atheist” (the way the person spoke it was really hard to believe she was actually an atheist because I know a shit-ton of non-believers and none of them ever spoke like that) saying that forcing employees to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” was against the first amendment and they believed that EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE AN ATHEIST. Conveniently this was shared out the same day I pointed out that Happy Holidays is more inclusive and why wouldn’t you want to include more people in your well-wishes?

So yeah…users on Facebook like to find the video of ONE person (usually from the cultural or racial group their views might offend) who supports their views and they do it as a way to support their lack of empathy or understanding of the group they disagree with. “Look! I don’t have to understand the importance of inclusive speech because this atheist agrees with me!”

I also saw this one time when someone shared out a Facebook status saying that – as a Mother of a child with mental handicaps – she was not offended by the use of the word “retarded” in casual language. I mean, is it that hard to NOT use a word that has documented negative impact? We have to find the outlier that gives us permission to keep using a word that upsets a large majority of our community?

And then – the occurrences this week that spawned me writing on this topic. There is historical and cultural evidence of white people dehumanizing black women via restrictions on their hair, TONS of evidence and TONS of current black female writers discussing this and yet…AND YET…I know people who find ONE YouTube video of ONE black woman who says, “Bill O’Reilly didn’t say anything racist!” to share out on Facebook so they’re not forced to have to face the fact that their own comments about hair might be racist.

I see it with liberals too. There’s this weird habit of finding those Change Of Heart Trump supporters who are now vocal against him and using that as an excuse to be crudely vocal agains the administration. Liberals also like to use Warren Buffet as their “business outlier” as proof they don’t have to listen to conservative economic policy because this rich guy agrees with them.

But lately – especially with race issues – I’m seeing it more and more with white people basically looking for videos of black people saying the things they want to say but can’t. And it’s making me a little stabby.

It’s Always About Race.

Most of the time if something big is happening in the world, I wait for someone better to write about it and then I use their words as a jumping-off point. Especially if it deals with race. I take a quote of someone wiser and source it, and then build my thoughts from their wisdom. I’m not great at seeing something happen and then formulating my thoughts myself without influence from smarter people.

Especially 100% of the time when it deals with race. I need guidance.

But this morning I’m at a loss. Two things happened yesterday that are very closely related in terms of race and misogyny and microagressions and I really want someone else to have written about this already so I could piggy-back and add my own comments…but it seems no one has yet. So I’m going to try to just throw my thoughts and feelings out there and hope I don’t do it too terribly.

I saw the video yesterday where Bill O’Reilly snarked on on Maxine Waters – a black Congresswoman from California – by saying, “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.”

And then, separately, Sean Spicer said to April Ryan – a black reporter at his briefing yesterday, “Please, stop shaking your head again.”

I want to discuss those two moments and how they represent similar moments in my life.

My first instinct is to always shift my perspective away from racism when I see and hear microagressions like this. I mean, we’ve heard white women get mocked for hair and attitudes before, so why are these comments “racist” in nature? This is a self-protecting instinct I’m now aware of because racism has become subtle in our society and we’re all so defensive against accusations of it. To protect our dignity, we have trained ourselves to say, “It’s definitely misogynistic, and he’s definitely an asshole, but that’s not inherently racist.

But then my immediate second – more aware – instinct is: It’s always racism.

First of all…the hair comment: Let’s start by pointing out that any comment on any black woman’s hair is always rooted in racism. It may be subtle, but until we recognize the history of indignities black women have had to suffer because of their hair, we will never see the racism behind the remarks. Hair makes us feel “safe” because it’s not skin. We can inflict regulations on how a black woman styles her hair that we never put on a white woman and we can pretend it’s about hygiene or professionalism and it makes us feel safe because we’re not talking about skin color. Regulating hair for black women has been a way to hold authority over a race without mentioning the race itself. The military has finally rolled back most (all?) of the regulations targeting black women and their hair but here is a good piece about it before these rollbacks. When Black Hair Is Against the Rules.

But in many settings, black hair was still a battleground. In the 1980s civil rights groups led boycotts against the Hyatt hotel chain after it terminated a black female employee for wearing cornrows. In 1999, couriers for Federal Express were fired for wearing dreadlocks. And this past fall, 7-year-old Tiana Parker was told her dreadlocks violated her elementary school’s dress code in Tulsa, Okla., and 12-year-old Vanessa VanDyke was threatened with expulsion from her private school in Orlando, Fla., because her natural hair was deemed a “distraction.”

So we must remind ourself: For a black woman? Her hair is the target seen the most. And jeezus, Maxine Waters’ hair actually follows all of these “rules” people have inflicted unfairly over the years and someone STILL snarks on her hair. Because it is the “safe” go-to when insulting a black woman because it doesn’t relate to skin color. But as history has shown us? It always relates to skin color.

Now…let’s visit the other incident.

“Please, stop shaking your head again.”

Another frequent indignity a black woman has to deal with is defending herself against the “Angry Black Woman” trope. Now, this should be something all women can relate to a little bit because we all know that if we get angry at work, we’re being emotional. Whereas if a man gets angry he’s being powerful. So we can all recognize that comments about attitude are inherently misogynistic. But the “Angry Black Woman” trope is another that has been used in history to belittle the response of any black woman towards injustice. If a black woman rages about something? The thing that triggered the rage is dismissed the second she is painted as an Angry Black Woman. It’s how the system shifts focus away from what makes her angry. So if she wants to be taken seriously, she has to remain more calm than her white or male counterparts. This is misogyny AND racism.

Long attributed to black women who have dared to stand up for what they believe in, the “angry black girl” archetype Stenberg refers to is one that reduces having an informed opinion to having a plain ol’ attitude problem. Source

I guarantee you white men shake their heads at Sean Spicer in that room daily. And while he may accuse them of promoting agendas like he did April Ryan, he never mandates they stop shaking their head. Because that’s not a weapon we use against men. Angry men are powerful so we don’t spotlight that. Angry Black Women just need attitude adjustments, so we can minimize their response by spotlighting their “attitude.”

Now, the reason I wanted to talk about these things is because – in my sphere of friends and families – it’s the comments like these that I have previously ignored making me part of the problem in continued racism. I’ve pretended I didn’t hear similar comments numerous times before. I don’t know if it’s living in the South, or if every white person my age has this experience, but I’ve been in countless situations (family, friends, work) where comments about a black woman’s hair or attitude are made and then promptly glossed over by me and every other white person in the room.

(Sidenote: Let me just say I’ve seen my husband call stuff out before. He’s my idol in many ways. He cares not about upsetting people no matter how much he likes or respects them. But I am not like that.)

It comes as no surprise that I fear conflict. And I fear shooting the word: RACIST at people I otherwise like/love and/or respect. But these occurrences yesterday with a bigger spotlight – and the loud blowback I’ve seen from the women of color I follow – have reminded me: WE CAN NOT LET THIS STUFF STAND.

The scary thing about calling these things racist is that we all have to realize that – based on the society we were raised in – we’ve probably said this racist shit too. I mean, I don’t have any concrete memories in my head so I trick myself into believing I’ve never said it, but I’ve ignored worse and does that make me better?

So I’m looking at those two instances yesterday and imagining comments made at a social gathering, or a family gathering, or a professional gathering. Let’s say we’re all watching the news and someone says what O’Reilly said. What do I say? What does someone like me – the avoider of ALL face-to-face conflict – say in situations like this? How do you tell someone their words are racist without calling them a racist? Because the POINT of addressing the comments is to enlight the person, right? To open their minds to the subtle racism we all partake in and don’t realize? So angering them won’t teach them…right? How do I address these issues in a way that might actually open their eyes a little?

Here are my attempts.

Person A: “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.”

Me: “You know what? I learned recently that there has been a long history of black women being persecuted unfairly because of their hair. Even in the military they were held to different standards which required more time and effort just because of their hair. These were terrible indignities only afforded to them because of their race, so I’ve come to understand that any comments about a black woman’s hair carries racist undertones. Therefore, I am trying to teach my kids that – even if think they’re being funny – comments about a black woman’s hair are unacceptable. I just don’t want our words to unintentionally carry any historical reference to racist indignities, you know?”

Or what about with a similar Spicer moment


Person B: “I wish she would stop shaking her head like that.”

Me: “You know what? I was reading recently about how the Angry Black Girl archetype is one used to oppress the voices of black women. When a black woman was angry in the civil rights movement, her words could be dismissed by painting her in this way of just needing an attitude adjustment. Since then I’ve noticed even I seem to reflexively dismiss the voice of an angry black woman and so I’m trying to recognize the racial undertones in commenting on the attitude of a black woman. Because, let’s be honest, we wouldn’t call out a white man for shaking his head, would we?”

I know there are people that say, “Tender-footing racism does no good.” But I learned, and am continuing to learn. Not because someone called me a racist, but because someone kindly pointed out the racism in my words. I don’t want to pass on the opportunities to do the same in the future. I want to be brave. I want my kids to see me calling out these moments instead of glossing over them so that they can learn to do the same.

Morality and Poverty

There’s a lot of states trying to past regulations on SNAP benefit usage and I keep seeing some support for it so I posted this on Facebook yesterday:

This is your reminder that many SNAP recipients do not have easy ways to access “real” grocery stores, so gas stations and convenience stores are their only options. Maybe they don’t have a car, maybe public transportation is limited, maybe they live in a food desert. For these poor members of our community, gas station food may be their only option outside of going without. Let’s not forget that fact when we wax poetic about how potato chips and candy bars should not be allowed with the SNAP program.

(This doesn’t even touch on the fact that I don’t think it’s our job to be the moral police for the poor. But that’s another rant for another day.)

I’d like to follow-thru on my other rant.

This seems to be relevant as there have been some implications that people could afford healthcare if they didn’t buy things like iPhones. Now, of course, that was easily shot down when people pointed out that smartphones (and iPhones can be “affordable” depending on your contract, not everyone using an iPhone paid $600 for it) are the only way many people have to access online systems because they can’t afford computers or WiFi. Libraries are not accessible to everyone and CERTAINLY do not have forgiving hours of operation. So that tends to remind people that iPhones are no luxury items.

But it reminded me how much I need to rant about how it seems local governments are – more and more – trying to become the morality police for their poorest constituents. Whether it’s by policing whether or not they can smoke anywhere on the grounds of public housing or whether or not they should be allowed to buy steak with SNAP benefits. Everywhere you turn people are trying to use poverty as an excuse to enforce moral judgement on what people should and should not be spending their money and/or benefits on.

I see it when people post snarkily about the lady using WIC vouchers who was talking about just getting her nails done. Or when someone says, “I have to stick to a budget and can’t afford the nicest cut of meat and that person on SNAP just bought enough for her whole family!” We somehow see poor people and assume we have the right to judge the way they spend their money. Never considering that maybe the girl on SNAP just lost her job and she’s trying to keep up her appearances while she goes out on interviews.

I mean, in the grand scheme of where your taxes go, SNAP benefits are a very small portion of it. So trying to act like we’re “allowed” to police it because it’s “our” tax money is silly. We spend much more of our tax money on defense but we let the military decide how to spend that money. Therefore, we should leave the “policing” up to the people who WORK with recipients like social workers and leave investigation up the USDA. And if you’re using the “but we pay!” logic, then you should be judging whether or not old people eat fast food since you pay for their Medicaid or whether or not Joe Fireman buys an XBox since you pay his income or whether or not Mrs. Public School teacher gets her nails done since you pay her salary. I mean, we ONLY use this logic for the people who get the LEAST amount of our tax money.

It’s because they’re poor. And in some way “less than” us.

Breaking it down to that more general level, I just don’t get the idea that person A gets to judge the way person B spends their money simply because they make more? I mean. If person B works at McDonalds and person A works at an Ad agency, is there a valid reason why one gets paid more? Is it because the skill level? So then Person A gets to judge Person B because they have better skills? But what if it’s because they grew up in a family that could afford to send them to college? Then we’re saying the Person A gets to judge Person B because their parents had good jobs.

Do you see?

If we really try to break down the “why” of financial status and then assign moral judgement positions based on those standards the ground is super shaky because we’re basically rewarding class levels with power of morality and that is NOT the society I want to live in.

Why don’t we just not judge. And we leave it up to the USDA to monitor the food stamp program. And recognize that no amounts of cuts or increases in that small program are really going to affect middle-class households in the slightest. Maybe we consider the fact that being poor SUCKS. I mean, it REALLY SUCKS. I’ve said it time and time again, I couldn’t quit smoking until I had a stable income because SMOKING HELPED ME COPE. I also smoked pot regularly when I was poor, but haven’t had the desire since. Being poor is a struggle and if things like iPhones and steak for birthdays make you feel more normal? Then you take it where you can.

I just struggle to understand the WHY. Why are we driven to police poor people? I know people often use the excuse “to help the children” but truthfully, the best way to help kids is to dump money into free lunch and free breakfast programs. For many kids those are the only meals they get. Telling their parents they can’t buy potato chips just means they feel a little more isolated and left out when their classmates are eating Doritos by the bag in their homes. No one polices how I feed my kids. Did I earn that freedom just because I grew up in a home that encouraged me to get a college degree? I’m allowed to feed my kids pizza bites (which they eat regularly) and potato chips just because my husband learned how to program in college? I just really struggle if we get down to the nitty gritty – WHY? WHY? WHY?

But economic moral judgement has always sat wrong with me. I’ve mentioned before my theory about how when you’re poor, you live your life on the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. You don’t feel safe. You have no esteem. You challenge to feel like you belong. Therefore you’re never able to reach the higher level of self-actualization. I didn’t think outside of my struggle when I was poor. I didn’t think about how to better myself or to improve my life. I was too worried about whether or not I was going to have to choose between the phone bill and the utility bill. So why do I want to FORCE poor people to try to live the BEST VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES when they’re not even living in a safe and secure environment?

I guess there’s not real order to this blog post. Hence why I called it a “rant” – I just really struggle when we break down the “But it’s taxpayer money!” argument why we feel the need to police the poor. Can we just do what we can to help ease the pain in their lives and recognize that helps our community as a whole?

Being poor sucks. More than I even remember and I used to live it. And I wasn’t even close to as poor as you could be. I had a safety net of my middle class family who would take me in if I couldn’t make it. People who come from lines of generational poverty don’t even have that. My safety net gave me the confidence to work through college because I knew another side existed. But if I hadn’t been raised in a middle class household, I might not have even bothered.

*sigh*

/end rant.

Breaking Down Legalizing Discrimination in SB 145 and HB 24

Now that the Alabama bill to allow for religious-based agencies to deny LGBTQ parents (SB 145 and HB 24) is getting more traction, I want to try to step back a little and walk through it to explain where those of us against it are coming from. Now – if you believe LGBTQ people should not be parents? Then move along. We are too far apart on this debate to even remotely approach each other.

But – if you’re undecided on this legislation for legal or moral reasons, let’s continue.

Protected Classes And Why They Exist

Let’s start first with the Civil Rights act of 1964. That’s basically where we defined “protected classes” of people who can not be discriminated against for that trait and that trait only: Race, Color, National origin, Age, Sex etc. There are other groups like people with disabilities who became a protected class with other legislation like the Americans with Disabilities act. These laws are how – at a federal level – our country takes control of BIG items to protect BIG groups of people. For example, because of the Civil Rights Act, states can’t decide to discriminate against race with things like Jim Crow laws.

Basically, our federal government acknowledged that some people’s unalienable rights were being denied for things they could not control. (Although religion is a protected class too and that’s a little tricky, but everything else is of the “can’t control” variety.) And the Federal government protects the constitution so they needed to step in. This way, instead of fighting this with tons of small state laws across the country in the judiciary, they made a larger federal ruling.

Now…let’s take those protected classes and introduce one of them to a similar situation. Let’s say a religion said that African Americans were unclean and unfit to parent white children. (Civil Rights Act was only passed in 1964, this is not that archaic of an idea to fathom.) So, obviously this religion could not send white children to those terrible black people. The government would step in and say, “No. Race is a protected class, you can’t discriminate on that basis alone.” Of course, now the agency could just say, “His home is not safe because the windows are painted shut,” instead. And essentially hide their discrimination. But at least the law would keep them from outright denying someone because of their disability.

And honestly? This happens all the time. People in marginalized communities often know there are deeper reasons when they’ve been denied something that relate more to race or sex or disability than anything else. But unless they can prove it, they have no case.

Fast Forward to the election of 2016 when LGBTQ groups were gearing up to win the white house and finally draft legislation protecting LGBTQ people in a protected class instead of constantly fighting legislation in every state trying to legalize discrimination.

And we lost.

So we’re back on the defensive again.

The one debate I would never enter, is if a person didn’t believe sexuality or gender identity should define a protected class. That’s usually where I start these discussions now that I’ve broken this law down a little. And the few times I’ve discussed this with people, if that’s where they stand, then we’re coming from two different places and while I acknowledge their stance, I could never understand it. And hopefully they can say, “Oh – we disagree on this law because we don’t even agree on who should be a protected class.” And then we walk away and can still be friends 🙂 BUT, since I believe they should be protected, then – just like how freedom of religion DOES NOT ALLOW people to discriminate against race – I don’t believe a religious freedom should allow people to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Legal v/s Moral & Ethical

BUT – maybe you would support it! Maybe you hope some day gender identity and sexuality can be protected classes. But you believe that since they are not protected now, then these laws should pass because religious freedom trumps discrimination for non-protected classes. Then we can move forward with our discussion.

Let’s step back one more step further. The Civil Rights Act was needed because there were attempts to legalize discrimination, especially in the Jim Crow South. Now, because the CRA was not in place, none of those segregation laws were illegal, but that doesn’t mean they were right. That’s why people fought to draft the Civil Rights Act…so they could attack discrimination with a giant blanket draped across the nation.

So, the next thing would be to say, “But just because you might be able to prove the discrimination is LEGAL because of freedom of religion, is it RIGHT?” Jim Crow laws were legal but were they ethical? Or moral? Because what this law would be doing is legalizing discrimination. Right now? Faith-based adoption and foster agencies can deny applications for a million other reasons if they want to be secretive about why they’re discriminating, and they DO. But once it becomes legal, they can be BOLD and UP FRONT about the WHY of the declining of applications. They have emboldened those views and every kid in that agency knows: LGBTQ are not fit to adopt or parent us. AND GOD FORBID any of those kids grow up questioning their sexuality or gender because they have been told at a young age that LGBTQ people are less than.

And yes – LGBTQ people can go somewhere else – but do you know how long it takes to work through the application processes? And what if they are trying for a specific child who would be a good match. Maybe even trying to legally adopt a relative that is in the foster care system, or a friend of the family. What if the specific child they want is being cared for by an organization who is legally allowed to turn them down? And why should they have to go somewhere else? Should the black family go somewhere else to avoid the racist agency?

So I would allow you to maybe argue the legalities of it since LGBTQ people are not protected yet on a federal level, but I would not understand why you could support it on a moral level. I’ve allowed you to say, “But it’s legal!” And acknowledged that you are right, in a way. I still don’t think it’s moral or ethical and since people fight against laws on the ground of morality and ethics all the time, we can agree that stance is nothing new. Look at all of the Pro-Lifers, they argue against the legality of abortion all the time on moral and ethical grounds, there’s plenty of precedence.

The Necessity Of Laws

Then I also ask: But is it necessary?

Show me some statistics where faith-based agencies denying LGBTQ families has helped the children? A lot of times legislation is drafted JUST to please constituents, NOT because it’s necessary. This is one of those things: These representatives can come out on the side of Religious Freedom which is the big rallying cry – even from the President right now. If your state went D.T. this election, then “religious freedom” legislation is totally going to win you favor with all of those voters. I live in one of those states where if someone can run and say, “I passed SB 145 or HB 24 which was a religious freedom law!” then they win tons of bonus points.

But is it necessary? I mean – with and without this legislation – which hurts the children more? If we leave things as is and faith-based agencies have to hide why they’re denying LGBTQ couples? Or if we make it LEGAL for them to point-blank deny based on sexual identity or gender? In which situation do kids get harmed the MOST?

Obviously the answer is that if you legalize denial for gender identity and sexuality, then the children lose most of all. Either because they’re denied a possible opportunity at a safe and loving home, or because they grow up believing LGBTQ people are somehow less than. So even if you can argue the legalities of the law – stop and ask yourself, “Who is it hurting and who is it helping?” No children are harmed when a faith-based organization can’t discriminate against LGBTQ people, so we are passing a law that is not necessary to protect children, and can actually end up hurting them by removing loving families as options in their adoptions or foster homes.

My family

I don’t know my kid’s plans in life. I know he wants to get the hell out of Alabama when he graduates in May. So this probably won’t affect him. But damn, he’d be a great Dad, and the bottom line of all of this is that I find it terribly unjust that someone could deny him and someone he loved the right to foster or adopt simply because they were in a homosexual relationship. I can talk a powerful legal/moral/ethics game and can argue protected classes versus religions freedom until I’m blue in the the face. But in the end? I’m just sad that someone wants to make it a legally protected action to tell my kid – the kid who practically helped raised his siblings – “Nope. You can’t adopt or foster this child because you’re gay.”