My father-in-law is pretty right wing. He’s all about the Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, Tea Party and Ann Coulter. He rants on about immigrants, taxes and President Obama. He sends my husband and me crazy emails with “facts” about various minority groups, how universal healthcare will doom America to socialism, why we need to drug test poor folks on welfare, that sort of thing. We generally avoid engaging with him about all this stuff.
But, seemingly incongruously, he doesn’t hate on the gays. He doesn’t believe that gay folks are degenerate or sick, or make substandard parents, or should be singled out for anything. There’s a refreshing absence of conspiracy theories about gay agendas. He doesn’t bust out his religion to support discrimination. In fact, he’s pretty progressive in his thinking that lesbians and gay men should have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else — I think he believes homosexuals are, for the most part, just regular folks doing their thing.
He became my father-in-law when I married his son back in 2008, when gays could marry in California. He and his wife welcomed me into their family with open arms. Now, after nearly eight years together, my husband and I are in the adoption process. We are starting a family, two dads and a baby, with friends and family. We will teach our daughter or son our values, a few of which might be very different from his. But when it comes to equality, love and respect, I can say we’ll be upholding a tradition.