How to handle homosexual in-laws at family party?


#1

Sure hope you folks can give me some guidance. My wife’s cousin from Boston is coming into town for a family party at his parents’ house. He’ll be accompanied by his partner and their infant son. The cousin decided he wanted a family soon after he met his current partner and they paid a woman to be a surrogate mother.

Most of the in-laws are not supportive of the partnership or the fact they are now raising a son but are afraid to speak up for fear of hurting the parents of the cousin. Most everyone has decided to look the other way and treat them as if everything is normal.

My wife and I are sickened by the whole turn of events. We have not acknowledged his new partner or the son and did not attend the baby shower. We have discussed our feelings with other family members but we’ve been told to bury the feelings for the sake ot the cousins parents.

Now the party is coming and my mother-in-law is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on us to attend with our three teenagers.

How should I handle this? I don’t wan’t to validate the gay partnership by treating them as any other couple and the thought of even being in the same room with them makes me ill. And I also am very concerned about setting the right example for my children. But what IS the right example?

I’m sure at a loss here. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


#2

Wow.

Personally, I would not go. I would not take MY kids and make them act like everything is ok.

If the family is upset at YOU for disrupting the code of denial, so be it. Really, the fault lies with this cousin–HE has disrupted the family’s unity, not you.

I would call the person throwing the party and say, “I’m so sorry to disappoint you, and I’m sure it will be a lovely party, but we won’t be there. I do hope we get to see you soon, though!” Be gracious.

If and ONLY if asked directly, “Why aren’t you coming??” then I would say “Well, I just don’t feel comfortable coming over and bringing the kids on Saturday night.” You don’t have to be confrontational.

Let the person throwing the party say “aww–we’ll miss you being here!” and you say “I know, maybe you can come over for dinner a night, or we can stop over after Church on Sunday.” Let her (the hostess) know that it’s not an affront to her, but you will not be attending.

That’s what I would do.


#3

If I were you, I would be polite. You don’t have to go out of your way to be friendly, but by all means, be courteous. I know it’s upsetting that gay marriage is being foisted upon us, but really, there’s nothing worse than if they were some straight couple, shacking up and having kids. I don’t think, personally, that is a family occasion is the time and place to go spouting your opinions or making a stand in this regard. Just my opinion. :slight_smile:


#4

[quote=mlfranz]Sure hope you folks can give me some guidance. My wife’s cousin from Boston is coming into town for a family party at his parents’ house. He’ll be accompanied by his partner and their infant son. The cousin decided he wanted a family soon after he met his current partner and they paid a woman to be a surrogate mother.

Most of the in-laws are not supportive of the partnership or the fact they are now raising a son but are afraid to speak up for fear of hurting the parents of the cousin. Most everyone has decided to look the other way and treat them as if everything is normal.

My wife and I are sickened by the whole turn of events. We have not acknowledged his new partner or the son and did not attend the baby shower. We have discussed our feelings with other family members but we’ve been told to bury the feelings for the sake ot the cousins parents.

Now the party is coming and my mother-in-law is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on us to attend with our three teenagers.

How should I handle this? I don’t wan’t to validate the gay partnership by treating them as any other couple and the thought of even being in the same room with them makes me ill. And I also am very concerned about setting the right example for my children. But what IS the right example?

I’m sure at a loss here. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
[/quote]

You should stay home, i’m sure the last thing your mother-in-law wants is to see is a broken heart… She may be displeased with your staying home, and the couple in question i am sure is aware of your feelings, and it appears you may not be able to put on a good show (and that’s a shame) and just treat them like human beings… they do deserve that… you don’t have to approve of their relationship… ask yourself this question… WWJD? :thumbsup:


#5

[quote=kristalyn]Wow.

Personally, I would not go. I would not take MY kids and make them act like everything is ok.

If the family is upset at YOU for disrupting the code of denial, so be it. Really, the fault lies with this cousin–HE has disrupted the family’s unity, not you.

I would call the person throwing the party and say, “I’m so sorry to disappoint you, and I’m sure it will be a lovely party, but we won’t be there. I do hope we get to see you soon, though!” Be gracious.

If and ONLY if asked directly, “Why aren’t you coming??” then I would say “Well, I just don’t feel comfortable coming over and bringing the kids on Saturday night.” You don’t have to be confrontational.

Let the person throwing the party say “aww–we’ll miss you being here!” and you say “I know, maybe you can come over for dinner a night, or we can stop over after Church on Sunday.” Let her (the hostess) know that it’s not an affront to her, but you will not be attending.

That’s what I would do.
[/quote]

Good advice. Either that or go on vacation. I just wouldn’t go. The whole surrogate mother/baby being raised by gay men is too much for me, let alone young children. Its just too confusing.


#6

What would Jesus do?

Christ broke bread with the outcasts, we should follow his example.


#7

I’m with Area Man…
It may be an uncomforatable situation, but it’s not exactly Christian to simply shun everyone except Christians.
This will be a sensitive situation.
Your three teenagers will have to be absolutely clear that the kind of lifestyle being lived by your inlaw is not acceptable, no matter what the trend in our world is.
I think the best thing to do is go in and act with charity and love. We all get into tough situations, but if we fail to be Christlike in each one, we fail to live what we believe.
God Bless,

Justin


#8

[quote=Area Man]What would Jesus do?

Christ broke bread with the outcasts, we should follow his example.
[/quote]

He broke bread as he tried to pursuade prostitutes and tax collectors to abandon their sinful ways and follow Him. He wasn’t just haning out.

And, he didn’t have children with him which is one of the poster’s main concerns. You can love someone without condoning the behavior.


#9

Yes, Christ broke bread with sinners, but on every occasion he always said, “go, and sin no more.” He never went just to “hang out” with sinners.


#10

There are gays everywhere. They are in the workplace, churches, movie theaters, stores, military, government, hospitals, schools, and businesses. It’s probably possible to live a life without coming into contact with them, but I suspect people who think they live such a life are actually mistaken. Some folks refuse to be civil to gays. That’s a personal choice, and it’s something that one can teach their children if they choose.

Why does the baby deserve this treatment?


#11

I think Shari had the right attitude. Ask yourself: Would you go if a it were a guy and a girl living together raising a infant son? It is still sin.

There is a lesbian couple doing the same thing in our community. I knew one of them first while still married to a man. I talked alot to people about it, and it came down to separating the sin from the sinner. The biggest sin these people are committing is thier separation from God. Until they realize this, you can’t address other sin. I always handle it by being friendly, but if conversation comes up I do not agree with, I say I do not agree. I do not volunteer any reasons why, but will speak if asked why I do not agree. I also talk to my kids before hand and explain my view, why I feel what they are doing is wrong, but by going I am not condoning thier behavoir.


#12

Thank you all for your compassionate and empathetic replies. The fact that the cousin is a homosexual doesn’t bother me (in a homophobic sense) - I’ve known him for over 20 years and he’s always been a smart, sensitive, caring individual. Somewhere along the line, as a married adult, he discovered he was gay, divorced his wife, and took the path he’s now living. My wife spoke with him several times and he’s torn up over it; he can’t help being gay. I feel nothing but sorrow for him, his parents and siblings. His having a partner upsets me, of course, because of the sin being committed.

What I struggle with the most is the fact they chose to have a son and now expect to be treated as a heterosexual family is treated. And what about the baby? He deserves all the love the extended family (ours included) has to give, but how do I do that without condoning the partnership? And I can’t imagine what kind of life that child is going to have…

Please don’t get the idea I condemn them - I don’t. I’m a sinner too.

Thanks again for your replies.


#13

You say you have three teenagers? I would not go to the party. Teenagers have enough going on to confuse them, and right now the popular thing is to try to turn homosexuality into some heroic accomplishment. You don’t need that – and neither do your kids. What they need from you is a clear-cut position that there is such a thing as right and wrong, and that you cannot condone this “couple’s” behavior or make nice with the family and pretend there’s nothing offensive or obscene about it.

With teenagers, I’d be very candid, no sugar-coating. They’re being exposed to a lot in the schools and in the popular media of the day. They’re a lot more conscious of things than we were back in the good ol’ days when “nice people” just didn’t talk about some things. Hey, in the good ol’ days, you didn’t have gay couples buying babies, either, right?

This is, of course, a situation that causes you and your wife a great deal of grief and anguish (you aren’t making this decision because you’re a hard-nosed jerk) but you just can’t see messing up everyone else’s party or being unfaithful to what you hold dear.

Your kids may think you’re being totally weird. Never mind. The day will come when they’ll remember you did this, and they’ll be proud of you.


#14

[quote=mlfranz]Please don’t get the idea I condemn them - I don’t.
[/quote]

You don’t “condemn” them; you’re just “sickened” by them?

I guess I don’t get the distinction.


#15

I don’t think the word “sickened” is appropiate here. I can tell the poster has a great love for their family.
We should not be sickened by people, though we should not deny the feelings that we have much like the ones that Christ Himself expressed went he faced the sins of others.
I have Gay and Lesbian friends and love them dearly. I am just feel the same way when they choose to go against God as I do when I and my other friends do. Especially when it affects our whole life so deeply.
We all need support of loving people to help us bare the weight and let us know there is hope with compassion and the ability to understand the desires of our hearts.
As a new mother I would not want my children to go. Though with teenagers, I would see this as an opportunity from them to be witnesses for Christ, based on their own indivdual understanding and willingness.

:blessyou:


#16

There is a difference between an unmarried man and woman and their child… and a homosexual couple and “their” child.

Sure, both are sinful. I don’t keep my kids away from all sinners–we’re stuck here on EARTH!!!

But the unmarried couple, while sinful, is still in the right ballpark. I can take my kids around my husband’s sister who is not married, but has a child. I can SAY to her–so, did you guys set a wedding date yet?? I say it kindly and with a smile, and she says nooooo, but keep asking, one day maybe I’ll say yes!! She delayed getting this child baptized for the longest time…and every SINGLE time we saw her, we asked her when she was getting him baptized. I hope it DID make her uncomfortable! She DID get him baptized, finally.

The homosexual couple, who clearly did not have a child of their OWN, is not even in the right ballpark. They are so far deeply entrenched in this sinful lifestyle, that I can’t even comment to them.

Jesus very well may have GONE to the family party, but he would have spoken directly to them about their sin. He ate with tax collectors, and told them to stop it and give the money they collected back (above what was due to Caesar). He told sinners to go and sin no more. He did NOT tell others to bring their children to dinner with the sinful ones.

I would not take my kids.


#17

[quote=elzbeth99]I don’t think the word “sickened” is appropiate here. I can tell the poster has a great love for their family.
[/quote]

His words, not mine. I was quoting.


#18

Personally, I wouldnt go…but its a judgement call…are you close with the other family members? If so, go but dont bother associating with them (after the hellos are exchanged) if they were to DARE make their lifestyle a matter of conversation, then speak up (I would, but then again, I’m a confronter only if instigated)

If ya go…try this…for the sake of that Child’s mind and soul…bring a tiny bottle of Holy Water with…keep it in your pocket…when not too many are around…unscrew the bottle in your pocket…get your index finger wet…and while pretending to “muss up the kids hair” or something…give a quick silent blessing, by making the sign of the cross on the kids head…it may be the closet that child will have to a holy baptizism… We are Sheep, but Christ said be sly as well. :wink:


#19

Children can and do suffer for the sins of the parents! This is as old as time itself. How many children suffer with an acholic parent or from divorce or neglect.

Are we still not suffering because of Adam and Eve.

I feel for this baby, but there is nothing I can do about it - I am not his parent, this baby will have alot of suffering to do! Let us pray that he uses it to his advantage!


#20

elzbeth99 is correct- “sickened” isn’t the appropriate word. What I should have written was “sick at heart” or “heartbroken”. That they brought a child into this world saddens me beyond words. I can’t begin to imagine what kind of life that little boy will have, the issues he’ll face, etc. Trying to deal with the partnership in a compassionate, loving manner is difficult and challenging, but now with a baby in the picture it complicates the matter incredibly.


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