I have a kind of two-fold concern. Both are on the job, but one is directly job-related and the other is more personal regarding relationships with coworkers.
I work for a healthcare and counseling company and we deal with clients by phone from various states across the nation. We are beginning to deal with clients in same-sex relationships who want us to speak to them about their problems as well as their insurance coverage as “spouses”, expecting the exact same respect for and treatment of these relationships as if they were husband-wife relationships.
So far I have chosen my words carefully so that I have remained neutral, and these calls are still kind of uncommon. But they are becoming increasingly common so I am becoming concerned that eventually I will be put in a situation where I will have to choose between remaining faithful to my beliefs about marriage and running afoul of the rules and regulations at my job governing the respect we’re supposed to show to all our callers.
I also have a superior who is a homosexual man in a relationship with another man. They have somehow had 2 daughters in the last 3 years. I do not even know how exactly. All the last e-mailed announcement said was that “little Rachel is going home from the hospital today with her 2 daddies”. I don’t know if it’s an adoption, or a surrogacy situation. I don’t work closely with this superior (he is actually my boss’s boss), so it’s been easy so far to avoid having to comment upon it. But again, this kind of situation is bound to become more common for me, as the culture in my workplace is very socially liberal and many openly homosexual men and women work here, particularly in management.
The question arose in my mind to ask “who is the mother?” But this seemed a bit inappropriate, since the event was being greeted by oohs and aahs and another e-mail was sent with pictures and all everybody could say was how cute the little baby was. And of course she was cute. But I felt sad that she would grow up without a Mommy. And honestly I felt it was unjust what the homosexual men were doing with this little baby girl.
I don’t feel angry at them. I like the homosexual man who works at my company (I have never met his partner). Although I have only interacted with him a few times over the years he is perfectly fine and very good at his job. I guess I am just looking for some insights and ideas so I can make some guidelines for myself. I know that eventually I may have to refuse to do or say things on this topic that the job may demand. Or I may simply appear mean or “hateful” among my coworkers if I don’t join in the congratulations.
I guess the basic problem is how do I balance doing my job and remaining faithful to my beliefs on this issue which I feel is very important. Has anybody else here learned anything useful they can share from similar situations?