I suppose the Herald should be congratulated for trying to find balance in this article on marriage equality. Two sets of parents with wildly different reactions to their child’s sexual orientation, looking at the marriage equality issue from both sides …
But I don’t think they really thought this one through.
Sue and Wayne Bennett of Ngaruawahia are super-supportive of their son, Tim. Tim is quoted as saying
“I was really scared of coming out because I could see from TV how people might react, but I actually found when I came out that the bullying stopped and I was accepted for who I was,”
His mother Sue is quoted as saying
“It was a celebration when Tim came out because we could all actually be honest with each other. We could support him and share stories with him and just enjoy being part of his world.”
By comparison, David and Penelope Foote of Whangarei are super-not-supportive of their daughter, who is unnamed. Their daughter is quoted as saying
Her mother is quoted as saying
the discovery that she was in a same-sex relationship was “the most traumatic thing we have ever been through”.
“It’s the result of abuse she has suffered [with men],” she said.
And if that right there doesn’t tell you which side in this debate is about compassion and empathy and which side is full of judgey haters, I don’t know what will.
There’s just one big question. Does David and Penelope’s daughter even know that her orientation – and, this being New Zealand, her identity – has just been used by her parents to make prejudiced bullshit statements in one of the country’s major newspapers?
Supplementary: Did the Herald even give enough of a fuck about this unnamed woman to check if she was okay with her privacy being shredded by parents who it seems like she’s not even talking to any more?