August 19, 2022

Whose House is it Anyway?

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Margo and I have different opinions when it comes to people, their homes, their values, and what people do or don’t have.  Take, for instance, this question and reply:

DEAR MARGO: My husband and I have been together for 19 years. We have had normal problems over the years, but now there’s one we can’t seem to work through. He is a self-employed contractor. One of his employees is gay. I do not approve of this lifestyle. I have told my husband I would prefer he not bring this man to our home because the man makes very inappropriate remarks directed toward me and our children. He also talks openly about his relationship with his partner while our children are present. The kids have made comments that this bothers them. I questioned my husband about why he allows this behavior from an employee, and the conversation became quite heated. He says I am wrong in demanding that this man not be allowed in our home just because of his lifestyle. It is not just his lifestyle; it is the disrespectful manner in which he conducts himself around me and our children. I have learned over the years to choose my battles very carefully, and this is one battle I am not backing down from. Am I wrong to take such an unyielding stance on this issue?


Before we get into what Margo replied with, let’s sum up the facts, shall we?

  • Her husband has a gay employee.
  • She doesn’t approve of the lifestyle.
  • The employee makes inappropriate remarks toward her and her children.
  • Her children are uncomfortable in his presence.
  • She’s concerned, not just with the lifestyle, but also with his lack of respect.

So, one would expect that the advice would be something along the lines of seeking out assistance in expressing the problem to her husband, or that her husband was trying to force her to be comfortable when she is uncomfortable, right?

DEAR OLD: I’d be willing to bet you are homophobic, though you would probably reject that. I think, in this day and age, it is disgraceful to wish to bar someone from your home because he or she is gay. (It would be illegal if you ran a business or a public establishment.) As for conversation you find inappropriate and disrespectful, as your husband’s wife and the children’s mother, you certainly may request that certain subjects be out of bounds. Your negative feelings, however, may be causing you to be hypercritical. That you say your children are bothered by this man’s conversation suggests you have managed to communicate your anti-gay bias to them. So yes, in this instance, I think you are wrong and have chosen an unfortunate issue over which to draw a line in the sand.


Well, at least she doesn’t hide her biases.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to bash gay people, my position on homosexuality is clear.  It’s a sin–  just like a lot of other sexual and non-sexual sins.  However, I think Margo crosses the line when she says that it’s not appropriate for this wife to ask her husband to refrain from bringing this employee into their home.

If I didn’t want a gambler in the house?  If I didn’t want a stripper in the house?  If I didn’t want a thief in my house– would I still be wrong?  And how about if I asked them not to talk about gambling, stripping, etc. in my house and they still did it?

I’m sorry that Margo is so clouded by her desire to promote the equality of homosexuality with heterosexuality that she sees everything as homophobia.  And somehow, because this woman has a different moral standard that Margo, she’s the wrong one and she’s wrong to pass that on to her children.

Just as Margo states that this woman is probably passing on her negative feelings to her children, Margo is passing on her negative feelings about those that want to protect their children from a lifestyle they feel as wrong.

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25 thoughts on “Whose House is it Anyway?

  1. I must admit that I am not so much appalled at the thought of the issue of homosexuality involved in this situation, but rather the lack of respect and feelings of responsibility and protection this man feels for his wife and family. If somebody comes into one’s home and says things that make another family member feel poorly or uncomfortable, this must be addressed and dealt with, as it is not acceptable. Although I guess I shouldn’t be, I am shocked that this man wouldn’t be offended and upset to see his wife treated in an unkind manner!

    We had an incident this past summer where Sean had a man from work over at our house. This was the first time I had met the man, and he asked the infamous “so what do you do all day?” question, which didn’t bother me too much, but what come later on that day did. He turned to Peapod at one point and said to her, in a singsong type voice, something to the effect of how her mommy doesn’t do any work and doesn’t know what it is like to be tired. I did not have to say even a word to Sean, who said something to correct this man’s crazy assumptions, and stated after this man left, that he was *never* going to be invited into our home again due to his disrespect of me. If the man in the above situation where behaving as he should, his reaction shouldn’t be too different than was Sean’s!!

    Mrs. Brigham’s last blog post..Why I Am A Lactivist

  2. Right– that was the thing that bothered me most too, and that’s part of the reason that I think Margo missed the boat entirely. I think people have become programmed to see hatred and read motives into everything. The woman said that she didn’t have a problem with the person so much as his actions and talk around her and her family. The family has the right to believe whatever they want in their own home, and it’s the husband’s duty to back his wife up. He’s clearly in the wrong.

  3. You are right, Min, it seems everywhere you turn somebody is jumping to conclusions and assumptions about everything & everyone, rather than searching to see where the problem is actually coming from, and from there how it might be solved. (In this particular case, do not be rude & disrespectful and you might get invited back!) I am reading a book right now called “Simple Social Graces” which is about the downfall of manners, decorum, and Christian values in American society today, and to focus on a situation like this, you really do see the lack of civilized behavior nowadays. Everybody is seeking to get what they want, find the best deal for themselves, and pretty much treating all parts of life, including people, as commodities. If people ceased placing all of their focus on me me me, and instead attempted to hold others in the same esteem as they do themselves, we might have a prettier picture of day to day life. Probably will never happen, at least on a large scale, but one can dream, right?

    Mrs. Brigham’s last blog post..Why I Am A Lactivist

  4. I will never understand why it’s socially acceptable for homosexuals to flaunt their lifestyles in everyone’s faces. Mrs. Brigham makes a good point in her comment, that social graces are sadly lacking…more and more each year…it’s extremely evident on TV.I guess they realized flaunting it was the only “in your face” way to open everyone’s eyes to how widespread it is, and to desensitize us to it.

    Mary’s last blog post..Real Life Homeschooling

  5. I have to agree that Margo picked the wrong thing to respond to in the letter. She assumed that the woman didn’t want the man in her home because he was gay, but that isn’t the case. It’s the way the man behaved in her home that was her concern. But the problem was the way her husband reacted to her.

    A woman has every right to ask her husband not to invite certain people into their home if they make her uncomfortable.

  6. As each of you have mentioned, it is the disrespect for this woman to have a home that is a sanctuary for her and her children that saddens me most.
    The husband has already chosen to work with this man, so he is obviously not offended by his impropriety which certainly manifests itself on the job if it is so prevalent in his actions toward his boss’s wife and his family.
    The woman, however, has not made this choice nor should she be required to.  Her home should be a place of safety and security for herself and her children.
    If the husband is trying to minister to the employee, he can do that on the job and in public places, but he should respect his wife and his children enough to not put them in such an uncomfortable position.

  7. I’m sure there’s some subtext we’re missing. I mean, what I don’t get is why this man continues to say what he does in front of a family that doesn’t want to hear those things. It would seem to me that Claudia is right in that the man believes this employee is a friend or some type of acquaintance such that the husband holds him in high esteem. It may be that the husband and wife disagree on homosexuality and that the husband is trying to get her to loosen up on her beliefs.

    But even if this is the case, it doesn’t warrant the action prescribed by Margo. And the husband is still wrong. His closest neighbor, his wife, is the person that he should be seeking to show love and protection to, not an employee.

  8. If being gay wasn’t her real issue, she wouldn’t have mentioned it in the letter. She started with that, which speaks volumes.

    The whole “flaunting it” argument is really old. I don’t “flaunt” my relationship anymore than hetero couples do. In fact, I “flaunt” it much less, as we rarelly hold hands in public, show signs of affection in public, etc. On the flip side, heteros are constantly “flaunting” their relationships.

    I found this online a few years ago:

    When a straight couple holds hands or kisses in public, and anyone notices, it is a beautiful affirmation of their love for one another. When a gay couple holds hands or kisses in public, it is “disgusting,” and they are “flaunting their sexuality,” “promoting the gay agenda,” or “advertising.” When a male speaks of where he and his girlfriend went Saturday, he is engaging in small talk, discussing his weekend. When a female speaks of where she and her girlfriend went Saturday, she is “pushing it in people’s faces,” “militant,” and a “man-hater.” And many men see her as “a waste.” A waste of what, exactly? Uh-oh. I suspect that delving too deeply into that question may leave us with an all-too-clear picture of how those men really see women. Let’s just say I suspect they’re not worried about her soul. Flaunting may seem like a legitimate accusation at first, when faced with some of the televised coverage of gay pride events. But a closer look shows just how obviously ludicrous this is. First off, what would be the purpose of flaunting one’s gayness? In other words, what would be the purpose behind flaunting oneself? What good could possibly come out of it? Oftentimes when people know you’re gay, it’s a bad thing at worst, and mediocre at best. Harassment, discrimination, nasty comments yelled out of cars, the possibility of being beaten and even tortured or killed… all these are reasons not to flaunt one’s gayness.

    Musicguy’s last blog post..Sleep Deprived!

  9. The letter didn’t indicate that the employee’s partner was anywhere in the house. So, let’s go about it this way:

    Say I walk into your house, and I open up my wallet every time that I enter and show you pictures of an intestinal surgery that I’ve had, complete with gory pictures. (Purely for illustration, since I haven’t had such a surgery.) Even if I don’t show you the pictures, I talk about how I had the surgery and how it changed my life. It’s in every conversation I have. And I talk like this in front of your kids. Obviously you look uncomfortable when I talk about the topic, but I don’t care, it was my surgery and I have no problems with the surgery or with the scar that it left on my belly (that I just showed you).

    Do I have the right to ask you not to return to my house? Does it really matter whether I think that my surgery is a great thing I have to discuss when I’m a guest in your house?

    That’s how I view this topic. Sure, the family may not agree with your lifestyle. They may think it’s gross. They may not want you in their house– and that is their right. They do not deserve to be belittled or judged because of this belief.

    And when you start thinking about how your chosen lifestyle impacts the projected lifespan for adult males, their predisposition to more serious diseases and the culture that surrounds the lifestyle, you can understand why a mother may not want her kids exposed to that lifestyle just as she wouldn’t want her kids to be told how great smoking, drinking or doing drugs is. And she should have the support of her husband in keeping it from her house.

  10. “And when you start thinking about how your chosen lifestyle impacts the projected lifespan for adult males, their predisposition to more serious diseases and the culture that surrounds the lifestyle,”

    Oh Please!!? How about some research to support that, from real, peer-reviewed journals (that automatically excludes world net daily.)

    Generally, when bigots speak of the shortened lifespan rhetoric, they are quoting a “study” by Paul Cameron. This is the same guy who suggested that lesbians are 300 times more likely to get into a car accident then straight women. He was also fired by the American Psychiatric Association, having been formally censored for the use of junk science before that. Yeah, great study.

    And you can certainly feel that way, just don’t say a word about me not letting the fanatical religious guy into my house!

    Musicguy’s last blog post..Quote Monday

  11. How about the International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol 26, 657-661, Copyright © 1997 by International Epidemiological Association which studied the effect of the gay community in Canada. Their research found that “95% of HIV deaths were distributed to gay and bisexual men as this is the proportion of AIDS cases in gay and bisexual men in this centre” and it led to this:

    CONCLUSION: In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.

    Or how about the Mass. Department of Education which reported that after a study on teens found that:

    CONCLUSION: Students with same-sex experience may be at elevated risk of injury, disease, and death resulting from violence, substance abuse, and suicidal behaviors.

    And that’s only the tip of the iceberg:

    “The APA could only take the action it did by disregarding and dismissing hundreds of psychiatric and psychoanalytic research papers and reports that had been done on homosexuality over the previous two decades …. The APA ignored the science, and, for reasons that were nothing but political, ‘cured’ homosexuality by fiat.”

    Charles W. Socarides, Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far 74 (Adam Margrave Books 1995). Thus began the “scientific” endorsement of homosexuality. There have even been attempts to prove that homosexuality is genetically determined. Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard’s famous study of twins is one such attempt. J. Michael Bailey & Richard Pillard, A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation, 48 Archives of General Psychiatry 1089, 1090 (1991). Commenting on Michael Bailey’s study, Anne Fausto Stirling, a developmental biologist at Brown University, criticized: “It’s such badly interpreted genetics.” D. Gelman et al., Homosexuality: Genetic Aspects, Newsweek, Feb. 24, 1992, at 46.

    See, e.g., Theo G. M. Sandfort et al., Same-Sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders, 58 Archives of General Psychiatry 85, 88 (table) (Jan. 2001) (homosexuals are three times more likely than heterosexuals to suffer from mood disorders); 58 Archives of General Psychiatry at 88 (table) (homosexuals are five times more likely to have suffered from bipolar disorder); J. Michael Bailey, Homosexuality and Mental Illness, 56 Archives of General Psychiatry 883, 884 (Oct. 1999); 58 Archives of General Psychiatry at 88 (table) (homosexuals are twice as likely to have suffered from major depression, neuroses, eating disorders, and phobias within their lifetime). Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association, Health Care Needs of Gay Men and Lesbians in the United States, 275 JAMA 1357 (1996); Joanne M. Hall, Lesbians Recovering from Alcohol Problems: An Ethnographic Study of Health Care Experiences, 43 Nursing Research 238 (1994); Anne H. Faulkner et al., Correlates of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior in a Random Sample of Massachusetts High School Students, 88 Am. J. of Pub. Health 262 (Feb. 1998) (homosexuals run a significantly greater risk for substance abuse); Curtis D. Proctor et al., Risk Factors for Suicide Among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth, 39 Social Work 504 (Sept. 1994) (homosexuals run a much greater risk for suicide); Journal Watch, 31 Nation’s Health 18 (July 2001) (reporting that homosexual youth were more than twice as likely to commit a violent crime and were at a higher risk of being attacked by others); and Gary Remafedi, Adolescent Homosexuality: Psychosocial and Medical Implications, 79 Pediatrics 331, 334 (March 1987) (noting that nearly one-half of all young homosexuals have been arrested, placed in juvenile detention or arraigned in juvenile court on at least one occasion).

    Homosexual activists have proffered that many, if not all, of the mental problems associated with homosexuals are not due to homosexuality; rather, they argue, these problems are due to a “homophobic” and “intolerant” society. Eskridge, supra, 75 N.Y.U. L. Rev. at 1378. However, recent studies appear to contradict this proposal. See 18 Harvard Mental Health Letter 4 (Aug. 2001) (reporting that in the Netherlands, “a country that is especially tolerant of homosexuality,” homosexuals continue to exhibit a much higher incidence of mental health problems).

    And there’s this:

    The author notes that from “an immunological point of view, the body itself considers homosexual acts to be disordered. For instance, there are substances in seminal fluid called ‘immuno-regulatory macromolecule’ that send out ‘signals’ that are only understood by the female body, which will then permit the ‘two in one flesh’ intimacy required for human reproduction. When deposited elsewhere, these signals are not only misunderstood, but cause sperm to fuse with whatever somatic body cell they encounter. This fusing is what often results in the development of cancerous malignancies. (See “Sexual Behavior and Increased Anal Cancer,” Immunology and Cell Biology 75 (1977); 181-183.)

    So, I don’t see Paul Cameron in there. But maybe all these studies are just wrong…

    In any case, I will defend your right not to have a fanatical religious guy in your house, just as I defend this wife’s right not to have this man in her house.

  12. Musicguy –

    Of course she mentioned it. That’s what is fueling his behaviors (the one she does take offense to).

    It’s not that she doesn’t want him in her house because he’s gay. It’s because the things he does and says (things that have to do with his sexuality) make her uncomfortable in her own home.

    Amanda’s last blog post..When I Used to Write?

  13. Your first study was conducted in the late 80’s. That was at the height of the AIDS epidemic in America, before we really knew what it was, where it was going, and who it might affect. In other shocking news, millions of Jews died in the 1940’s. Let me publish a study saying that being Jewish lowers your life expectancy. Also, the authors of that article say “if the same pattern of mortality were to continue” but we all know that didn’t.

    Also- you forgot to include this letter ( from the authors of that study, that they wrote after people like you began to twist their work:

    The aim of our research was never to spread more homophobia, but to demonstrate to an international audience how the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men can be estimated from limited vital statistics data. In our paper, we demonstrated that in a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 21 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality continued, we estimated that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years would not reach their 65th birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre were experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by men in Canada in the year 1871. In contrast, if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996. As we have previously reported there has been a threefold decrease in mortality in Vancouver as well as in other parts of British Columbia.

    I’d love to continue to refute each of these studies and post the more current research (post 2005- oh that’s right- you found those but conveniently left them out of your compilation, as does the family research council and other notoriously vehement anti-gay “Christian” groups), but I have to go throw up my lunch, find my bipolar medication that I threw across the room during that awful mood swing before, get arrested for drug possession, and check out some kiddie porn.

    I so love hate and intolerance masquerading as sanctimonious religious fervor. Just makes my heart swell with happiness and love for the goddess.

    Musicguy’s last blog post..Quote Monday

  14. Let’s take Charles W. Socarides, Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far next.

    From the get go, this guy is a crock. Why, you ask?? Well he founded NARTH- National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. The issue is that modern medical and scientific consensus is that attempts at eliminating same-sex attractions are not effective and are potentially harmful.

    Major organizations that reject reparative therapy include the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association.

    So, he’s advocating something that’s not possible, condoned, or practiced by any MAJOR association in this country. It’s also important to note that he had an openly gay son. I guess he was never able to accept that.

    Not the most credible study, now is it??

    More to come. This is kind of fun.

    Musicguy’s last blog post..Stripper Scandal

  15. Sexual Behavior and Increased Anal Cancer,” Immunology and Cell Biology 75

    And then there’s that gem from 1977. 1977. If I could capitalize 1977, I would totally have done so for added effect and emphasis. i wasn’t even born yet. You try to pass of a study from 31 years ago like it’s something new and profound. It’s old science. 31 years old to be exact.

    We now know that anal and cervical cancers are caused by HPV, not sperm fusing with other cells. They didn’t know that in 1977. The istances of anal cancer among gay men is very similar to that of cervical cancer in straight women. They didn’t know that until relatively recently. We do know that in 2008, so don’t pretend that lots hasn’t happened in medicine during the last 31 years. I have another link too somewhere and will dig it up for tomorrow.

    I have to go to bed now, but I’ll continue tomorrow.

    Musicguy’s last blog post..Stripper Scandal

  16. So, because we have ways to battle lung cancer, we should stop discouraging smoking? Because we have ways to battle liver cancer and we’ve improved the safety of our automobiles we should stop discouraging alcohol consumption (or at least drinking and driving)?

    Simply because people can take a cocktail of drugs and live longer with HIV doesn’t mean that I’m going to advocate someone being a homosexual or swapping needles, etc. Life expectancy may have gone up, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still at greater risk for infection.

    Taken from the perspective of a parent (again, back to the post), I’m going to tell my kids about the inherent risks of things (and of course the morality of the situation).

    As for the next comment you make, homosexuality is not natural, and up until the last century it was considered a mental illness. You say we changed our mind because of science, I say we changed our minds because of societal pressure. Call enough people derogatory names like “racist”, “bigot”, “homophobe” and people will start to cave just so they do not appear to be one of those things. People have left homosexuality. Even if it is a natural tendency, so it throwing a temper tantrum, being proud, stealing, lying, etc. All those other things we train children not to be. All those other “natural urges” we tell them not to engage in.

    And as for anal cancer: Let’s see. If I’m a heterosexual male my chance of anal cancer is what? And your article actually works against you. It said that the numbers were comparable– before regular pap smears for women. Now the numbers for gay men are higher, and higher still for HIV survivors!

    Again, we’re talking about an unhealthy lifestyle. One that that is unnatural. One that shortens life expectancy and has a negative impact on the quality of life.

  17. These comments have delineated way off topic. The original issue was whether or not Margo was correct in her advice (no), not whether or not a homosexual lifestyle is good or bad.

    Amanda’s last blog post..I Am Not Worthless

  18. Actually, it’s tangential to the discussion. The point of the post is that Margo’s advice is bad because she just jumps to assuming homophobia and entirely misses the fact that this is first and foremost a discussion of how a couple should relate inside their own home. Family should come before coworkers. Regardless of whether it’s gambling, smoking, or homosexuality, if a husband or wife don’t feel comfortable with a person in their home, the other person should respect their wishes.

    The whole health side effects of your chosen lifestyle are pertinent only in discussing the reasons why the wife does not want this man talking about his chosen lifestyle in her home. The fact that Margo’s missing the boat here is the real point and the real topic.

    Again, I restate, I will defend your right to bar me from your house just as I defend this wife’s right not to have to have you walk into hers.

  19. As Min said, the point of the post was that Margo’s advice was wrong because the issue at hand is not homophobia, but the way this husband is not respecting his wife and family.

    She has the right to ask her husband not to bring home people who make her uncomfortable. And it wasn’t his homosexuality that made her uncomfortable; it was his behavior when he was in her home.

  20. mandi- we don’t have any idea what his “behavior” was like. the writer conveniently left that out. all we know is that in her fist sentence, she condemned him for being a homo and then used spurious, yet unsubstantiated allegations to buttress her pseudo claim. I’d love to know what “very inappropriate” means.

    If his behavior/conversation were the sole issue, there would have been no reason to mention the fact that he was a homo. The homophobe mentality is an easy one to pick out. You can call it religious fervor, the rest of the world, Margo included, calls it homophobia.

    Musicguy’s last blog post..Video Thursday- Fight Out Loud

  21. In a way, you’re right Musicguy, we know nothing but what she said. And her problem was the following: She did not like how the man talked around her and her children. The part about being a homosexual answers the question: What was he talking about that offended you?

    Which boils down, yet again, to what Amanda and everyone else in comments have said. The husband should stand by his wife, regardless. Are you arguing that he should not have?

  22. Yes, I guess I am. I equate homophobia with racism, sexism, and any other negative ism. I’m happy that the husband is standing up for equality and is refusing to be afraid or discrimate against those who are different than him.

    40 years ago, the wife would have written in about her husband daring to bring a black man into her home. Or about the white guy daring to date the african american woman and GASP- talked about it in front of the CHILDREN!!!!

    We’ve moved beyond that, and will in regards to homophobia as well.

    Musicguy’s last blog post..Video Thursday- Fight Out Loud

  23. Unfortunately, comparing the African American situation with homosexuality is an incorrect analogy. A more correct analogy is the alcoholic, the gambler or the drug addict. All of these science is now saying we’re born with (some even suggesting that it is something that we can overcome with vaccines), and yet all of these are defined by the behavior and you have to choose whether to engage in these things or not.

    Just as I would have a problem accepting a drug addict, and alcoholic or a gambler to come in to my house and brag about how much money they made, how great it feels to be high, or how much of a buzz they get from a beer, I have the same problem with a homosexual coming into my house talking about his “family” and how he believes his is an acceptable lifestyle.

    It is a moral decision– a moral decision that should be made by a family. And the family should show more deference to those inside the family than for an employee outside the family.

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