General Question

itscomplicated's avatar

How do I politely tell my daughter-in-law she cannot bring her brother to our family functions?

Asked by itscomplicated (203points) April 29th, 2010
182 responses
“Great Question” (9points)

My daughter-in-law wants to bring her gay brother to our next family function. I’m not against gay people; it’s just that I don’t want it in my face or under my roof. The brother has a boyfriend, too, and he most likely would tag along if my daughter-in-law has her way. My son knows how I feel about the situation, but he insists that it is rude on my part not to allow his brother-in-law to come to family functions when other in-laws are welcomed. As far as I know, his wife doesn’t know that I disapprove of her brother. I don’t talk about him except to my husband and my son, and it is rare that I do say anything, except to say that I don’t want him in my home.

I don’t want to be mean. How do I politely ask my daughter-in-law to un-invite her brother to our family get-togethers?

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TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

While I can’t say that I agree with your outlook, it is you’re right to feel that way and decide who you want in your home. I dont think there would be any way to un-invtite them without seeming mean if other in-laws are welcomed. Could you make a “No In-Law” policy and leave it at that?

thriftymaid's avatar

I’m glad you aren’t my mother in law. I understand being in control of who is in your home. But a daughter in law’s brother? Have you ever met the guy and his partner?

Taciturnu's avatar

You can tell her anyway you want- You will still come off as bigoted. Frankly, I’m not sure that’s inaccurate, either. You are excluding him solely on the basis of him being gay.

Understand your son is wanting him to be included, too. He is a part of your son’s family, whether you like it or not. Speaking up is going to create an issue between you and your son, and you and your daughter-in-law.

marinelife's avatar

It is a shame that you have this attitude.

There is no nice way to do what you want to do, because it isn’t a nice thing.

I think you should tell your daughter-in-law the truth, and let her decide if she and your son want to attend your family gatherings.

Taciturnu's avatar

By the way, I kind of doubt a gay person is just going to fornicate in your face or under your roof, so I think you’re free and clear there.

TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

@Taciturnu Ahahahaha…yeah why is it that all homophobic people think that it’s going to literally be rubbed in their faces?!? Either that or they think that anyone that is gay wants to fk them lol

ragingloli's avatar

The only ‘polite’ way to do that is to either make up a convincing fictitious reason for banning him to come or to make up a convincing fictitious reason to ban all brothers/sisters in law (you have to lie boldly and with a straight face, no pun intended).

Taciturnu's avatar

@TILA_ABs_NoMore It IS a strange phenomenon…

rangerr's avatar

I’m not against gay people
Then why single him out? Why is he the only in-law that can’t come to family gatherings? Why won’t you let him under your roof?

I don’t want to be mean.
Too late.

Just tell her what you told us. Hopefully she won’t come to your house if he is not welcome. Then you’ll have nobody in your face. Problem solved.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

You’re probably going catch a lot of hell because of your question but I think you have the right to say who can come to your family functions,,,,for what ever reasons !
In my family we have two cousins that are gay,one cousin brings his partner and they are well behaved,,,,,Yes,certain family members do not approve but to a certain degree respect their lifestyle,,,,,,The second cousin is a huge drama queen and his partner is every stereotype for a drag queen put into one single person,,,they were asked to no longer attend family functions,,,not because they are gay but because both are a royal pain in the ass,,,every time a huge argument has to break out between the two of them ,,,follow by tears then dishes and wigs start flying all over the place !!
I truly believe,they love to shock people !!
Oh yeah, there is a third cousin,he’s also banned but because he’s a no class redneck ,him and his hoochie wife are totally obnoxious and tend to F* up everyone’s good time with their BS

The_Idler's avatar

why not just insist he doesn’t bring his partner,
because certain family members will not be comfortable with it?

what does it matter if he’s gay, if he’s not being gay “in your face or under your roof”?

tinyfaery's avatar

I must be in a mood. I am going to stop before…

jazmina88's avatar

family have this thing…about accepting folk…in spite, of how judgmental you are.

Dont have as many gatherings, but you should open your door to all.
Take a valium and deal. What are you teaching your son? He’ll never come out of the closet now.

nikipedia's avatar

You are in some serious denial about what it means to be “mean.” Your request is completely unreasonable. This is bigotry, plain and simple.

Haleth's avatar

You could just invite him over. Most people are afraid of what they don’t know, so I’m guessing you haven’t spent much time around gay people before. Maybe you just know sensational things from the news. In real life, spending some time with a gay person is just like spending time with anyone else. Putting aside your prejudice could really make you grow as a person, and it’s the right thing to do. Show some compassion and acceptance- it will feel great.

TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

@Haleth VERY well put

The_Idler's avatar

Assuming it is the sexuality that makes you uncomfortable…

Do you expect gay people to be overtly sexual? Why?

Would you be comfortable if your straight relatives were behaving in an overtly sexual manner?

If they are not behaving in an overtly sexual manner, what is there to make you uncomfortable?
The principle of it?

Upon what authority is this principle based?

wonderingwhy's avatar

Just tell her he’s not welcome, it’s your house after all. Just don’t expect a particularly warm and positive reaction if she finds out why.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Are you the sole organizer of the family function? Are you the only one that you know of that’s made uncomfortable by the presence of the gay brother? Has he ever acted inappropriately in company before? By inappropriate I mean has he become beligerant, drunk, drugged, letcherous, loud & rude? Does he make everyone uncomfortable besides you? Does everyone think a gay presence diminshes the quality and atmosphere of families gathered together?

If it were a question of him being invited to your particular home as solely your guest then I’d say you could speak to your DIL and tell her no invited guests aside from herself but this is a family gathering so you’ve no way to know for sure if all members feel as you do to go so far as to exclude the one.

Something to keep in mind is that homosexuality isn’t contagious, very few people choose to try it just for the experience like they do sneaking booze or smoking pot or raiding your prescription meds. The risk to your son and husband are next to none that they’ll get some of the gay on them even if the gay brother did show up with his bf.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

There is really no “polite” way to be intolerant.

itscomplicated's avatar

I hear many think I am homophobic and bigoted. I am sad to think that my not agreeing with a lifestyle is considered to be such a terrible thing.

@The_Idler – By living in southern Florida, I have been exposed to many different ways of life. I have seen some straight people act overtly sexual, and it is a huge turn off for me. I expect my family members to act with decency and respect towards one another when we gather. The gay in-law doesn’t act overtly sexual. In fact, when he was at my son’s wedding, he was very polite and well-behaved. It was the only time I’ve ever been been around him. After I found out he is gay, I told my son that I do not want his brother-in-law around me ever again.

The reason why I don’t want my son’s brother-in-law around is because I do not agree with homosexuality at all. I think it is a sin and an abomination against the laws of nature.

@Neizvestnaya – yes, I am the sole organizer. Yet, my husband feels the same way as I do. Except, he doesn’t tell our son about it.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s not a one chooses to be in a minority that is humiliated, discriminated against, and is attacked by self-rightous people who believe that homosexuality is
“a sin and an abomination against the laws of nature.”

Just what are the laws of nature, BTW?

Being Jewish is not a lifestyle; being non-Caucasian is not a lifestyle…..

jazmina88's avatar

@itscomplicated God is about grace, LOVE, and understanding.

You could try to practice that instead of the condemning. If God is simple, the word is just LOVE. Your brother in law may have a bit more of a clue and God allows him to be FREE.
Take off your chains and LOVE

Trillian's avatar

Wow. I think that the key word missing in the equation here is “family”. This man is her family, so by extension he is your family.
I heard something long ago, and I’m going to paraphrase here. If I don’t get it exactly right I apologize;
We choose our friends, God chooses our families because some of them we would otherwise not associate with.
Try to lower your resistance. We are not defined by our sexuality. Forget his orientation and try just getting to know him. Have just him for a few visits and see if you can’t just accept him as a person. Have the boyfriend next Christmas. That should give everyone enough time to acclimate, and by then you’ll have others issues to think about. All this will be a dead issue, because by then he’ll understand you too and will respect your aversion to overt sexuality. Being gay doesn’t mean he has to have sex every waking moment.
If you are using Christianity as a basis for your feelings I’d like to point out that Jesus said “I come, not to condemn the world, but that the world through me might be saved.”
your job as a Christian is not to judge and condemn but to love. Period
Seek first to understand.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I find it really frustrating when people say their issues with homosexuality are that it is sinful. You have got to be kidding me if you live a life completely free of sin, and only surround yourself with people who do not sin. If I remember correctly, your Bible makes it pretty clear that it isn’t your place to judge… “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7

JLeslie's avatar

So, if it were a girlfriend he would be bringing it would be ok? I am afraid that no matter what you say you will come across as intolerant.

I guess the best thing is to be honest with your daughter-in-law. Tell her it will make you and other guests uncomfortable, that her brother is welcome, but his SO isn’t, and leave it up to them to decide what to do. Or, I guess you can burden your son with carrying the message to his wife.

bobbinhood's avatar

This doesn’t really answer the question, but you should realize that it is probably naive to think that your daughter-in-law “doesn’t know that you disapprove of her brother.” The odds are that your son communicates with his wife. I doubt he has tried to hide this from her, especially since you seem to expect him to keep his brother-in-law out of your home.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Okay, your personal feelings on homosexuality aside, since you and your husband are the sole organizers of the get together then as the hosts you have the say to invite who you like. Don’t invite the gay brother. It’s like a wedding when the invitation says “no children, please”. Those with children who actually take offense can choose to go ahead and go or not. If your DIL asks if she can bring any uninvited guests along then say, “not for this time”.

ragingloli's avatar

I’m not against gay people
I think it is a sin and an abomination against the laws of nature.
I see you have no problem with lying, so I am sure you have no problem lying to her either.

To detail it a bit more:
Stealing is a sin. Are you not against thiefs?
Murder is a sin. Are you not against murderers?
Rape is a sin. Are you not against rapists?

JLeslie's avatar

I think @bobbinhood is right. Also, if you are worried about what other people think, let that go. Him being gay does not reflect on you at all. You might be surprised at how understanding, tolerant, and not homophobic other family members are. I’m thinking @Haleth made a good point, a good guess, you have not been around gay people enough (not that you know of) to anticipate what it will be like to have them at your family party.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Really? You want advice on how to tell your daughter in law that her gay brother isn’t allowed to attend family functions on account of him preferring penises rather than vaginas? Sorry. You’re on your own with this one. Can you say ignorant?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

The truth of the matter is, really, that it doesn’t matter how you say that he isn’t welcome – they are most likely going to see why. And in that case you should just be honest. Like most people, I’m sure her brother isn’t going to want to be somewhere that he isn’t welcome. But don’t be surprised if your daughter-in-law, and consequently your son, come to fewer family functions as a result.

gailcalled's avatar

You may be spreading a bad message of “I am holier-than-thou” and severe intolerance to several generations. Is that your goal? What if a grandchild of yours turned out to be gay?

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Anyone in your family smoke, drink too much, weigh too much, pick his teeth in public, bite his nails, overfondle the raw turkey?

chyna's avatar

@itscomplicated Wow. He did nothing to incur your wrath, he wasn’t flaunting himself, and you have this attitude? Think of this situation: You live in Florida with your husband. One day your husband dies and leaves you a widow. No one wants to invite you to parties or get togethers because you don’t have a husband. Is this fair? No.
I feel sorry that you may be missing out on a very nice person that could probably teach you a thing or two about manners.

primigravida's avatar

This is a shame. I was coming here expecting to hear the brother was a druggie, a drunk, a pervert… anything. But it turns out he’s just gay? Wow. Honestly, if you are asking your daughter in law to exclude her flesh and blood from your family activities simply because you are uncomfortable then there is NO polite way to say it. It’s close-mindedness, plain and simple. If I were the daughter in law and you asked me to forbid my brother from going, I wouldn’t go either. No would any grandchildren of yours. I certainly wouldn’t want to expose my children to this level of judgmental selfishness. I can’t believe you actually told your son to tell his wife that her own brother was no longer welcome in your mere presence… ever. Do you not understand how completely selfish this is? I totally get that you don’t agree with it, but you know what? A lot of people don’t agree with certain choices their family members have made, but they DEAL with it, because they are mature adults, and that is what you DO with family. It is incomprehensible to me that you think it was perfectly ok to demand that he never be around you again. It’s shameful that you hide behind the guise of a good Christian woman, when you are the exact opposite of what a Christian should be.

You are completely excluding a member of your FAMILY not because they are a bad person, breaking the law or anything like this. Just because it’s inconvenient to YOU. I don’t know about you lady, but those certainly aren’t the Christian values I learned when I went to Sunday school.

JLeslie's avatar

I almost feel like the is not a serious question. I mean asking fluther what to do about disinviting a gay relative? It is almost comical considering how gay friendly the site is.

shilolo's avatar

You must, in good conscious, tell the truth if you don’t want them to come, but be prepared for the consequences of having your intolerance exposed for all to see. If I were your son, I would never attend another family event that you were also attending. For example, I would retort “I accept that this is your position, but I love my wife, and my brother in law, and will not acquiesce to this. If and when you’ve had a meaningful and sincere change of heart, we can discuss this further. Otherwise, you may have all the restricted and close-minded events that you want.”

YARNLADY's avatar

There is absolutely no way to ‘nicely’ tell someone you think her brother is an abomination against nature and a sin against god. Just tell her the truth, and let the cards fall where they will.

bobbinhood's avatar

@JLeslie She just created her account today, so it is likely that this is her first time here. If it is, she couldn’t possibly know the atmosphere of the site.

chyna's avatar

I agree with @shilolo. Your intolerence would not be tolerated by me if you were my mother. There are so many sins that you yourself are guilty of everyday, and you are judging? Is his sin bigger than yours?

gailcalled's avatar

Personally, I would never let anyone into my house who drinks alone. We all know where that can lead, don’t we? Hic.

JLeslie's avatar

@bobbinhood I guess maybe it is the perfect place to ask the question, because she will be telling her DIL who obviously is ok with her brother being gay, so fluther is going to give @itscomplicated a really good read on what she has in store for her when she delivers the news.

Supacase's avatar

I don’t believe kindness is ever considered a sin, so I think you’re safe on the religious front if you have him in your home. Do you think he is going to suck your salvation into his vortex of gay?

The best way to “politely tell” her is to include please, thank you and excuse my ignorance. There isn’t really any way to be “polite” about something that is inherently impolite.

JLeslie's avatar

Vortex of Gay. That’s good.

liminal's avatar

I am going to answer this like I didn’t read the details, because then I forget it is your first day.

When I don’t want somebody in my home I directly say so to the person. I don’t think it is necessary to give a reason. I do not think there is anyway to make such a situation comfortable, somebody usually ends up feeling hurt or offended.

I wouldn’t be quick to dismiss Haleth’s answer either.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I’m not against gay people; it’s just that I don’t want it in my face or under my roof.

Yes, you aren’t against gay people like the KKK isn’t racist, they just think people should stick to their own kind.

lilikoi's avatar


“I am sad to think that my not agreeing with a lifestyle is considered to be such a terrible thing.”

Being hospitable, equitable, and tolerable by welcoming your gay extended family into your home does not mean or imply you agree or disagree with their lifestyle. Someone in my extended family works for Big Oil (I am a liberal environmentalist) but this person is always welcome in my home and at family functions and I would never ostracize them because I don’t agree with their life paths.

“The gay in-law doesn’t act overtly sexual. In fact, when he was at my son’s wedding, he was very polite and well-behaved.”

So the very fact that he is gay, and nothing more, has caused you to ostracize him from your family gatherings and you still insist you’re not a homophobic bigot? You would never have even known that he was gay unless someone explicitly told you. You certainly are a weak, ignorant, homophobic bigot in denial.

“The reason why I don’t want my son’s brother-in-law around is because I do not agree with homosexuality at all.”

You need to learn tolerance.

“I think it is a sin and an abomination against the laws of nature.”

Good thing you weren’t born gay, huh. No one chooses to be gay.

I highly recommend gaining some tolerance and understanding fast else you end up excluded from your son’s life. His allegiance is to his wife first, not you.

netgrrl's avatar

Removed by me.

holden's avatar

Just tell him straight to his face exactly how you feel. I’m sure he’ll lose all interest in ever being around you again.

OreetCocker's avatar

Removed by me

chyna's avatar

@OreetCocker She stated that it was solely because he was gay that she didn’t want him under her roof. She states that the other in laws are invited. When I was married and had parties, all family members were invited. Inlaws, their spouses, their children, etc. The more the merrier. It’s a party!

poofandmook's avatar

I really have nothing to add… except… I love tinyfaery because she almost always says what I wish I’d thought of first.

itscomplicated's avatar

I am hearing a consensus that everyone thinks I’m homophobic and a bigot. This is exactly what I don’t want to encounter with my daughter-in-law. @Haleth and @Trillian and those with similar answers have given me something to think about. Thank you.

Fly's avatar

How about don’t?
I’m not sure what saying this again will do since you haven’t seemed to comprehend it thus far, but there is no way to be polite or avoid the “consensus that everyone thinks [you’re] homophobic and a bigot” when something involves bigotry and homophobia.
No matter what you say, if you single out said brother-in-law, he will know why he was un-invited.
Consider the consequences of what you’re asking. Chances are, if you ask your daughter-in-law to un-invite him, she won’t come to the gatherings either, and it is entirely possible that your son will follow suit. If you were my mother, I wouldn’t even be speaking to you right now. You’ve probably already lost the respect of your son, at least on some level. Do you want to risk losing all that’s left?
Is all that really worth not having to deal with the big, bad gayness at the occasional family function?
If you try to tolerate the brother-in-law, you may just find that he’s not so bad.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

You’re in denial!

It’s really not that complicated.
You hate gay people. You seem to be the only one here who doesn’t recognize it.

We’re helping you see that because you need to look it at.

janbb's avatar

Let me just add my voice of agreement to all that’s been said here.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Boy, you don’t really want your son and his wife to ever speak to you again, do you?

Good luck with that.

itscomplicated's avatar

@PandoraBoxx – I do want them to speak to me! I love them both dearly!

@Captain_Fantasy – I don’t hate gay people. I hate gay behavior. There’s a difference.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@itscomplicated Oh, Jesus Christ on two different sized sticks!

Gay behavior? So you want them to deny who they are, who they love and who they’re naturally attracted to so that you can feel comfortable? Grow the hell up.

gailcalled's avatar

@itscomplicated: I don’t hate gay people. I hate gay behavior. There’s a difference.

Horseradish. Maybe your gay in-law could leave his gay (whatever that is) behavior at home and lift large weights in your living room, drink beers and a bump, burp a lot and root for the home team.

primigravida's avatar

@itscomplicated Please explain the difference. If you hate the fact that they sleep with people of the same gender, isn’t that pretty much what makes them gay, and thus, why you don’t like them?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@itscomplicated then what is the problem with him being at your functions? You said yourself that he was pleasant at the wedding, so what makes you think he’s going to do something inappropriate at any other event?

bobbinhood's avatar

@itscomplicated But you said before, “The gay in-law doesn’t act overtly sexual. In fact, when he was at my son’s wedding, he was very polite and well-behaved.” Does this not indcate that there is no “gay behavior”? I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Would you even know he was gay if you hadn’t been told?

Zen_Again's avatar

I have never quite understood what people have against Gay men. Besides the fact that they haven’t chosen it, and are discriminated against, and generally go through life with enough difficulties anyway as a result – really, what is the problem?

I like Gay men. They leave more women for us.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I am the mother of a gay child, and I find that sort of attitude totally unacceptable and un-Christian. It is a total violation against the teachings of Christ- I’m not talking about some backwards minister’s interpretation on what the bible says, but the true intention of the teachings, which is “do unto others that what you would have done unto you.” This is where you suck it up and you be as nice and as polite as you can to your daughter’s brother and his partner because you love your son and daughter-in-law.

God is testing your faith; the easy way out is to be self-righteous.

ubersiren's avatar

@itscomplicated Do you think people who eat shrimp are an abomination as well? What about people who wear 60% cotton, 40% polyester in the same garment? What if I leave the house during my period? Would I be allowed in your house if I was on my period, eating shellfish, and wearing my gray hoodie? I could go on. I’ll never understand why Christians pick this one thing to dwell on being “an abomination.” Even still, just because a person is living in sin, it’s no good reason to shut him out and be unkind to him. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the least Christian thing you could possibly do. But, you keep going to church… I’m sure it’s doing you a lot of good.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

No there isn’t a difference. You’re trying to make one up to make it seem like you’re not a bad person.

netgrrl's avatar

Let me just quote Jesus directly from the Bible on the subject of homosexuals…


‘Niuff said?

Trillian's avatar

I think what everyone is getting at is that you don’t want to be thought of as what you would, by all appearances, be. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, chances are; it’s a duck. Your options are 1. Admit what you are, a homo-phobe, and deal with the reactions of others, or 2, Change what you are to a more tolerant person and enjoy the relationships with your family. You haven’t come out and proclaimed yourself as a Christian, but you say that being gay is a sin. I say again to you that it is not your job to point out the sins of others but rather set a loving example. The Christ did not condemn the prostitutes, and he ate in the home of the reviled tax collector. He spent his time with the outcasts of society and loved them all. How do you feel qualified to do otherwise?
Kahlil Gibran says: “You say I would give, but only to the deserving. The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights, is worthy of all else from you. And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.”
Try to keep this in your mind, for what are you doing when you invite one into your home but give and receive of time and fellowship? Would you withhold fellowship from one whom god has seen fit to give the gift of life? On what grounds? You will answer for it one day, so think about it now.

ubersiren's avatar

What if you found out this guy and his boyfriend never had sex?

KatawaGrey's avatar

Hey now everybody. Let’s remember that this awful woman’s son likes his wife’s gay brother so, even though she’s a homophobic, judgmental bigot, her son is a wonderful, caring human being. Clearly he is a smart kind man. @itscomplicated: Good job on raising a son who can think for himself and understand that what people do with their genitals is none of his business!

Also, I would like to point out how phenomenally stupid it is that you seemed to like this young man until you found out he was gay.

To answer the question: If you don’t want someone in your house, just let them know. If you’re determined to be an ass about the whole thing but don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, just lie. Say you’ve invited too many people and can’t fit anymore.

Also, kudos to your husband as well. He may not like homosexuality but obviously he doesn’t want to be a petty jerk like you and tell your son that he doesn’t like one of his friends because of something silly. I say friend because obviously he likes this guy enough to make a special appeal to you to invite him.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

“Ewww dont get your gay on me!”

ubersiren's avatar

Is it only gays you don’t want in your house or are there other subsets of people? Tattooed people? Atheists/ agnostics? Jews? Muslims?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@ubersiren: A tattooed, gay agnostic with a Jewish mother and a Muslim father?

gailcalled's avatar

It is nice to find a question where we all (74 and counting) agree.

Trillian's avatar

@KatawaGrey Hehehehe! What are the odds?

itscomplicated's avatar

Let me better understand this method of discussion: instead of working with me to help me learn, people on fluther attack. At some point I am willing to change, otherwise I would be here in the first place. What would it be like if a more gentle approach is taken. It seems like people like to fight instead of reason.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@itscomplicated What would it take for you to change?

To All: I have been reading and props for several intelligent and witty answers. I concur.

rangerr's avatar

@itscomplicated It seems people like to fight instead of reason.

I’m sorry, but is that not what you did when you decided that you didn’t want him in your house based on his sexuality?

primigravida's avatar

@itscomplicated You never indicated that you wanted to change. You asked us how we can tell you to eradicate a gay man from your life because you don’t like the lifestyle. How did you really expect people to respond? If you DO want to understand and change, telling this person that he is not allowed anywhere near you is a pretty sad start.

gailcalled's avatar

@itscomplicated: You have changed your tune. Nowhere have you mentioned wanting to change until 74 people disagreed with you. Reread your question.

ubersiren's avatar

I asked serious questions. If you don’t provide answers, nobody can help you because we don’t know what you think.

bobbinhood's avatar

@rangerr Even if it is, are you saying that we should treat her in kind? We feel like she attacked someone else, so it’s now our duty to attack her? Perhaps I misunderstood your statement/question…

@itscomplicated If you want to discuss, then choose to engage the people who are polite and reasonable. You don’t have to interact with those who are more interested in throwing about insults than communicating. I think a good place to start towards discussion would be defining the difference between being gay and gay behavior.

itscomplicated's avatar

@gailcalled – are you asking me if I have changed my tune?

@bobbinhood – Someone who is gay is attracted to someone of the same sex. Behavior is to act on the attraction.

ubersiren's avatar

What if a straight person has sex with the same gender one time?

Supacase's avatar

@itscomplicated It might be easier to help you if you could explain what you mean by saying you have “nothing against gay people” other than, from what I’ve gathered, the fact that they are gay. You say you don’t mind as long as they don’t “act gay” but you also declared you no longer want him around you for no other reason than finding out he is gay. He was obviously not “acting gay” since you didn’t know until you were told, which was after you saw him at the wedding.

You are contradicting yourself all over the place.

gailcalled's avatar

@itscomplicated. I had no questions in my last answer. Only declarative sentences. Reread it..

poofandmook's avatar

@itscomplicated: You, my dear lady, are the reason why people denounce organized religion.

bobbinhood's avatar

@itscomplicated I will reiterate my previous question, because I’m not sure you caught it:

But you said before, “The gay in-law doesn’t act overtly sexual. In fact, when he was at my son’s wedding, he was very polite and well-behaved.” Does this not indcate that there is no “gay behavior”?

Given the definitions you just provided, are you saying that his gay behavior is in having a boyfriend at all?

chyna's avatar

You are wanting sympathy or empathy with your gay bashing? You won’t find it here.

rangerr's avatar

@bobbinhood No, I’m calling her a hypocrite.

primigravida's avatar

@itscomplicated So, it’s ok for someone to be gay, say their gay, and think about being gay, so long as they don’t act on their feelings or do any of the activities that make someone gay? That sounds like a pretty miserable existence to me. How would you feel if someone told you to stop being a heterosexual? It’s ok to have feelings about your husband, but never act on them. Does that sound fair to you?

gailcalled's avatar

Funny; I don’t look Jewish (but I have had people say horrible anti-semitic things to my face, and it was very unpleasant for me.)

ubersiren's avatar

Wait, everybody. I don’t want her to run off. I hope she find guidance here, or somewhere else, but I don’t think chasing her away will help anything. That’s how Christians run people off- by acting like we’re acting here. I’d rather her feel welcome to discuss and maintain a sliver of hope to change than to scare her away and have no chance of ever returning to any idea of openness here, or anywhere else.

liminal's avatar

@itscomplicated I would like to engage with you about this. I am willing to write up a new question with you, where we can maybe try having a do over. We can pm about it first. What do you think?

edit: I am thinking a new thread or at least taking a breath here may calm things down a bit.

bobbinhood's avatar

@rangerr Thank you for clarifying.

@gailcalled What has that to do with this?

@ubersiren I concur!!!

@itscomplicated Would you mind clarifying your religious stance? You have said that you believe homosexuality is a sin, which indicates religious conviction. While many here have immediately assumed that means Christianity, it is my understanding that Christianity is not the only religion opposed to homosexuality. If you are interested in discussion and possibly change, then it would help me to understand where you are coming from with that belief.

poofandmook's avatar

@ubersiren: Her original question says nothing whatsoever of wanting to change… she’s asking for advice about how to essentially perpetuate her bigotry. And for the record, I can’t think of any response we could give her that could possibly be less human than the initial question.

gailcalled's avatar

@bobbinhood: I am stating that I am a member of a minority that has been persecuted for no reasons; I know what it feels like.

And if this woman hasn’t gotten the POV a very diverse group here has presented, she is not going to get it on another thread.

If you personally want to work on private proselytizing, PM this woman.

bobbinhood's avatar

@poofandmook She has since stated, “At some point I am willing to change, otherwise I would be here in the first place.” Also, whether or not you can “think of any response we could give her that could possibly be less human than the initial question,” we do not need to be rude or attacking. Since when does being offended automatically grant someone license to lash out?

itscomplicated's avatar

@poofandmook, et al – I know I didn’t state in the question that I am open to changing my mind. It is a scary thought to me, but I am open.

gailcalled's avatar

Good. Invite this guy and his partner to dinner.

liminal's avatar

@itscomplicated what do you think stands in the way of that?

edit: I admire your transparency in stating your fear.

poofandmook's avatar

@itscomplicated: Well then my advice to you would be to allow this person to come to the family gathering. Unless he fornicates on your property, he’s not doing anything other than being a human. Now, if he fornicates in the middle of your living room… then come back and re-ask this question.

Simply put, the only way to change what you don’t like about yourself, is to do/be the opposite until it’s normal.

itscomplicated's avatar

@liminal – I think what stands in the way for me is the fear of associating with people who can lead me to hell, and the fear that someone I love could go to hell for their behavior. I come from the school of thought that if you want someone to change, you cut off relationship until they change. I know I haven’t formed a relationship yet with my son’s brother-in-law, but I want it clearly understood that I don’t condone his behavior. I do this out of love, not out of hatred or anger.

liminal's avatar

@itscomplicated I can understand why that could be scary.

Have you ever seen that school of thought fail regarding other issues? and where have you seen it succeed?

edit: I am asking these clarifying questions here because I want to meet you within your frame work and worldview. I think there two different questions to consider. I also would like to add I see no need to rush into figuring this out tonight. I am willing to stick with this conversation as long as you are.

1. There is the question of the right and wrongness of homosexuality within a christian worldview (which I assume because you mention hell, please correct me if I am wrong.

2. How does a person with a christian worldview respond to what they view is sin in those they view as fellow believers and those who are not believers.

netgrrl's avatar

If you’re truly interested in change, you might look for a book called Sex, Sacrifice, Shame, & Smiting: Is the Bible Always Right? by Donald Kraus.

It was recommended by a Unitarian minister and I found it to be a reasonable, well-written book.

Available at Amazon or even local Christian bookstores.

rangerr's avatar

@itscomplicated I promise you, he’s not going to lead you to hell.
You’re not a guy. You’re fine anyway.

I don’t want to be mean, but your school of thought is wrong.
He’s not going to change because you don’t condone his behavior..

But telling him that you don’t like him because of who he is.. is not love.
It’s just not loving at all.
You’re telling someone who wants to be a part of your family that you won’t accept him for who he is.

In my opinion, that is where you need to change.
Open your mind a little more. Realize that the GLBT community is not sinful for their sexuality. They are people. They go to church. They love like everyone else does.
Why should it matter who they love?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

You don’t want to be disliked or seen as unreasonable… and other things but if you don’t want to accept yourself also as a liar then you have to tell the truth of how you feel if put on the spot to explain to your DIL why you don’t want to invite her brother to your family’s functions. You must accept the consequences of your beliefs, just like any of the rest of us. There is no real way to get around what you’re asking, only a somewhat polite way to ask others not to push you in your own home.

poofandmook's avatar

@itscomplicated: Classic anger management, 101: You can’t control what others do. You can only control what YOU do.

So, taking that into consideration… likewise… nobody can control your fate; only you can do that. So, nobody can lead you to hell except yourself.

netgrrl's avatar

@itscomplicated Ah. My mother the Jehovah’s Witness has the same viewpoint and completely cut me out of her life when I was 16 because I decided the JW way of life was not for me.

Because of her decision, she has three wonderful grandchildren she wouldn’t know if she passed them on the street.

I would have jumped on any opportunity to repair our relationship. But it’s pretty hard to change the mind of someone who considers you “spiritually dead” because you don’t believe exactly the same way the do.

I sincerely hope for your sake that you are able to come to a kinder frame of mind about this.

MacBean's avatar

I come from the school of thought that if you want someone to change, you cut off relationship until they change.

Okay, everybody, stop answering and ignore her if she answers other questions. Maybe then she’ll get it.

primigravida's avatar

If you spend your time worrying about other people changing, you will never be happy. Try changing yourself first.

hannahsugs's avatar

@itscomplicated: What do you think are the implications of your statement “if you want someone to change, you cut off relationship until they change”?

Here’s my assumption: If your son and daughter-in-law are unhappy with you excluding her brother from your life, they can throw your own logic back at you and cut YOU out of their lives completely while they wait for you to change. Are you prepared for that?

liminal's avatar

@itscomplicated I want to disclose to you that I am in a same-sex relationship. My partner’s family is made up of pastors and staunch evangelicals who take the Bible literally. They also believe that homosexuality is sin. Learning how to love each other well is an on going process. I have lived the pain and complexity this dynamic can bring. Again, I appreciate your transparency. I offer you the same. I hope it won’t keep you from continuing this dialogue.

lilikoi's avatar

@liminal I am SO sorry to hear that. But good on you for getting through it!

ubersiren's avatar

@poofandmook Oh, I understand that. But, she did come here for an answer to a question. If I had a question and went to a group of people, and they berated me about my stance, I’d not want to listen to anything they had to say about anything. Why would I want to change to something that people seem so hateful about? You’re not talking any “sense” into me if you’re just insulting and belittling. She may deserve to be taught a lesson, but we can’t expect her to learn it and be more accepting if all she gets is hate from anyone she expresses her opinions to, anywhere.

Example: Hi, Fluther. My name is ubersiren and I was just wondering how I ask my daughter-in-law to not bring her Christian brother to our family functions. I don’t have anything against Christians, but I don’t want it all up in my grille. etc, etc.

Poofandmook: Just tell her the truth. You’re an ungodly woman doomed to hell for all eternity. Quotes scripture

Wouldn’t that turn you off of anything that any Christian had to say? Maybe not, but it would be enough to turn many people away. It’s this attitude that turned me away from the church. Our similar attitude could turn her away from gay acceptance.

*Note- I don’t know her religion, I’m only assuming it’s Christianity and am using it in my example.

What you’re saying is that she doesn’t deserve our help because she didn’t ask for it originally. Well, she’s asking for it now, and if we don’t give it to her, then we deserve to have one more bigot (her) in the world.

gailcalled's avatar

@poofandmook: That presupposes that all questions deserve thoughtful answers. Now, what if I asked for technical information about lynching? How do you suppose flutherites would respond? With a manual?

prolificus's avatar

@itscomplicated – I was raised in a conservative Christian home. My own mother attempted to cut off relationship with me several times because I am queer and in a same-sex relationship. She has the same fears as you do regarding my salvation. She attempted to cut me off so that I would turn from my “sin.”

Besides other complications, the relationship I have with my mother has been challenging to say the least. However, I love my mother dearly. And, I’m sure she loves me, too. I’m saying this to say this: She is at a point in her life where she desperately needs my help and my partner’s help in order to provide for her own elder-care and my dad’s elder-care. Easily I could have turned my back on her countless times for the way she has treated me. But, because I love her, because I love God, and because I know it’s the right thing to do, I press through my anxieties in order to help my parents and to love them the best way I can. To me, this is what it means to love our enemies. I think this is what God wants us to do.

liminal's avatar

@gailcalled That would be a very uncomfortable question coming from you.

Qingu's avatar

@itscomplicated, I see you’ve taken a lot of shit for your views about homosexuality.

Here’s my take: I doubt you’re a “bigot” in the sense that you just hate gay people because you think they’re “icky.” You seem to be against homosexuality because the Bible says it’s wrong.

So let’s go from there. The Bible does indeed say homosexuality is an abomination in Leviticus. A few chapters later, the book of Leviticus says you should legally be allowed to own slaves, and pass them down to your children (Leviticus 25:45). Do you think slavery should be legal?

In Deuteronomy 21, the Bible tells us that a newlywed who is unable to prove her virginity on her wedding night must be stoned to death on the doorstep of her father’s house. Do you think this is what we should do to such women?

Also in Dt. 21, the same Bible that says homosexuality is wrong has a law about rape victims. The law states that if an unbetrothed virgin is raped, she has to marry her rapist. The rapist just has to pay her dad the brideprice and can’t divorce her. “You break it, you buy it.” Do you agree with this law?

Deuteronomy 13:6 says you should kill anyone, even your own family, who tries to convert you to another religion. Deuteronomy 13:12 commands genocide for towns in Israel that deconvert. Deuteronomy 20:16 commands both slavery and genocide. The book of Joshua is one victorious description of genocide after another, the entire book. The Bible is the only religious text that commands genocide. Are you against genocide?

My point is, if the only reason you’re against homosexuality is because “the Bible says so,” you ought to figure out if you’re pro-slavery. Or if you’re for stoning nonvirgins, or forcing rape victims to marry their rapists, or for the mass murder of unbelievers. Because the Bible says all of that too.

For my part, I don’t think you’re a “bigot.” I just think you don’t actually know what’s in your Bible. Either that, or you’re cherry-picking from the Bible’s morals. Which is it?

poofandmook's avatar

@gailcalled: I do see your point.

ubersiren's avatar

Right. What I said a few responses up, is what @Qingu is saying now. The laws in the Bible were written for Israelites thousands of years ago. They are, quite literally, ancient history. Now, nut crackers like Shirley Phelps argue that the gay law and the other laws in Leviticus are different because some are cleanliness laws and some are ritual. But, what difference does it make? So the ones on cleanliness don’t apply? Why not? All the laws in those few chapters in Lev. were instructed to the Israelis specifically, not present day Americans (or wherever you are). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that all man from now ‘til eternity must obey these laws.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@itscomplicated on the off chance that you really do want to consider change, then good for you. It will be difficult, given your current indoctrination into whatever beliefs you now hold.

Let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, that homosexuality is a “lifestyle” that’s chosen. (Though I can’t really believe that; I hated girls as a boy in elementary school, and I can’t for the life of me recall a time when I “chose” to be heterosexual, but I sure am and have been… since grammar school, at least.) But let’s assume that your belief is correct… “homosexuality is a choice”. And since you don’t agree with that choice, that seems to present a problem.

I know a lot of Yankees fans. We know that a certain number of them are “born that way”, since they come from the Bronx and surrounding buroughs, so maybe that’s “natural”. But I know for a fact that some people “choose” that lifestyle. I can’t understand that for the life of me. I’m sure that true believers are Red Sox fans. They have to be.

But what good would a baseball game between the Yankees and Red Sox be if everyone was a Red Sox fan? Even in Fenway Park the fans aren’t all Sox fans! And as a rule no one gets shunned or stoned just because he’s rooting for the wrong team.

I suggest that you meet the young man one-on-one before your next family gathering. Tell your daughter-in-law that you’d like to invite him out for coffee. Be upfront about why: you don’t like or approve of his lifestyle and you want to talk about that with him. (I doubt that this is a secret in the family, is it?) If it’s just the two of you, perhaps you can talk about what bothers you—assuredly, things bother him, too! But if you just have a quiet talk—and bring an open mind—you might find that he’s “just folks”. I’m sure if you have ground rules that you expect everyone to follow at your events (no public displays of affection) and expect compliance with that across the board, then he should be able to agree to behave properly, too. (You indicate that he already does, so I doubt that this is an issue.)

He might be able to open your eyes to how difficult his life already is because of people with your (current) ideas who won’t even have the dialog. You may never “accept” his sexuality… but you don’t really have to. You do have to accept that he’s part of your family, a fellow human being, and worthy of your consideration and respect in the areas you can agree. You have a husband, and he has a boyfriend, so sex should never be an issue between the two of you.

Qingu's avatar

@ubersiren, the fact that they were addressed to the Israelites is sort of moot because God brags about how awesome the laws are in Deuteronomy 4:2. “What other nation has laws as just and wise as these?”

Plus, Christ says you’re supposed to follow all the laws so you’ll be called “greatest” in the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 5:17.

Anyway, @itscomplicated obviously thinks Leviticus is somehow applicable to her life, because it’s a worthy law. What I’d like to know is, does she think the other laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are worthy and applicable to her life? Is she also pro-slavery and okay with genocide?

Silhouette's avatar

Considering the reason you don’t want him in your home is based solely on his sexuality there isn’t really any polite way for you to tell your daughter in law you don’t want her brother there. This is one of those tough choices, you can either stand behind your principals and risk being thought the impolite, homophobic mother in law or you can be the polite generous mother in law. One or the other, you don’t get both. Choose wisely.

ubersiren's avatar

@Qingu good point acutally… if he is bragging about the laws he gave the Israelites, then he is acknowledging the fact that there are different laws elsewhere. He’s not commanding the world to follow the Israelites laws, but he’s making fun of them for not having laws as wise. I thought Matthew 5:17 was referring to the laws listed in Matthew 5, not the ones in the OT. It says “these commandments.” A whole new bunch of laws.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

I feel very sorry for your son and his wife. That you would purposefully exclude their loved one because of your own personal paranoia or intolerance is beyond bigoted. If you insist on being so, I can only hope that your son and daughter-in-law don’t eventually excommunicate you from their lives as a result of your actions.

Qingu's avatar

Dammit, I quoted the wrong Bible verse. Deuteronomy 22, not 21.

Silhouette's avatar

@itscomplicated You said ” I want it clearly understood that I don’t condone his behavior. I do this out of love, not out of hatred or anger” Who do you want to know this? You said your husband knows and your son knows, who else needs to know? Is it imperative that your daughter in law or her brother or all the other guest know too?

Silhouette's avatar

@itscomplicated By the way, how did you find out this young man was gay? Did your daughter in law tell you? Don’t betray her trust or make her regret her honesty, you’ll live to regret it. Pretend you don’t know. Is your mailman gay? How do you know? You don’t. So lets pretend for a second he is, would you still say good morning to him when he drops off your mail? Of course you would. This is no different.

Haleth's avatar

”@liminal – I think what stands in the way for me is the fear of associating with people who can lead me to hell, and the fear that someone I love could go to hell for their behavior. I come from the school of thought that if you want someone to change, you cut off relationship until they change. I know I haven’t formed a relationship yet with my son’s brother-in-law, but I want it clearly understood that I don’t condone his behavior. I do this out of love, not out of hatred or anger.

I am hearing a consensus that everyone thinks I’m homophobic and a bigot. This is exactly what I don’t want to encounter with my daughter-in-law.—@Haleth and @Trillian and those with similar answers have given me something to think about. Thank you.”

“Wait, everybody. I don’t want her to run off. I hope she find guidance here, or somewhere else, but I don’t think chasing her away will help anything. That’s how Christians run people off- by acting like we’re acting here. I’d rather her feel welcome to discuss and maintain a sliver of hope to change than to scare her away and have no chance of ever returning to any idea of openness here, or anywhere else.”- ubersiren

@ubersiren Seriously, great answer!

I was raised with a Christian upbringing and never encountered the idea of cutting someone off until they changed. If someone needed help from the church, they showered that person with love and help, even if it was something they didn’t agree with. A specific example I can think of is a couple who went through a divorce. Many members of my church weren’t thrilled about it, but led prayers for them, babysat the children, and made meals for them, and stopped by just to see if everything was ok.

The message of many of the sermons was basically to be kind and love thy neighbor- both because this is a good thing to do, and because you can set a great example of what it is to be a Christian, and by doing that, lead others to God, as well.

If you think that associating with someone can lead you to hell, here’s the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Luke 18:9–14

[9] To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: [10] “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

[13] “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

[14] “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

@itscomplicated I’m so glad that we’ve given you something to think about, and I sincerely hope that you can include this young man in your life.

DominicX's avatar

@tinyfaery Most. GAs. EVAR!

jazmina88's avatar

@its complicated I’m sorry for the bruising…us fluthers do get our point across, no matter what.

I’m a Christian but I believe in LOVE. What Would Jesus Do?
hang around prostitutes, tax men

those who needed love and acceptance and gave it to them. Think about following our example.

Tough Love is old testament, Jesus is Love and Grace.

syz's avatar

How sad for your family.

Each time my grandmother made racist comments, I would feel uncomfortable and shamed. I loved her with all of my heart, but I was so sad that her bigotry blighted my perception of her. I make a conscious decision that I would not argue with her or try to change her long held views, that she was a product of her generation and environment, and that I could accept that this person that I loved and admired so deeply could still have flaws.

Hopefully your children and grandchildren will be able to make the same decision about you.

syz (35695points)“Great Answer” (7points)
JLeslie's avatar

I actually woke up thinking about this question this morning, here is what came to mind. If you single out this gay son-in-law once removed or whatever the proper term is, if there is a term in English, then when your daughter-in-law and son host parties they might feel it necessary to choose between inviting you or her brother and SO. Effectively you will be cutting yourself out of their lives to some extent, at least on some occassions, if your son was raised right. Because honestly, I have found that good men support their wives before bowing to their mothers, even if they love their mothers intensely. If they invited her brother to the wedding, they will continue to include him I think, and may grow tired of your narrow hateful views. It is exhausting to be around judgmental people.

janbb's avatar

Full disclosure: I haven’t read all of the above since my last post; don’t have the time this morning. Simply put, if you want to change, the best way to do it is to get to know some gay people. Why not invite this brother-in-law and his partner to the event and get to know them as people? The best way to overcome prejudice is through knowledge.

Trillian's avatar

There have been 60 new responses since I went to work last night. This is obviously a big can of worms. I’d like to think that my own responses were gentle and thought provoking for the OP, not just a condemnation. I admit, I have no trouble snapping my fingers at some who ask questions that irritate me, but those are mostly teenage drama crap that don’t amount to a hill of beans.
I really feel like we’ve “had at” her quite enough and she just now needs time to internalize our message.

ubersiren's avatar

@jazmina88 GA! It tickles me pink when good Christians give good advice about acceptance and love. Lurve for you, dear!

gailcalled's avatar

@ubersiren: And Jews don’t, nu? The old testament has a slightly different take on these hot-button issues. For one, Hell is considered to be an unknowable concept (for most exegeses on the OT) so the standard advice is to live the best and kindest and most charitable life you can right now.

It is called Tsedaka ..The Bible word means justice or the vindication of a virtuous victim. In Hebrew and Arabic the word yields “rectitude” and is known in the form tsadeek, a righteous person. Acts of caring take many forms, and congregants should be aware of the generosity of others in the synagogue family.”

The gist of Tsedaka is charity, the giving of a piece of your time to help someone else, without expecting something in return. It is one of the cornerstones of the Jewish religion.

ubersiren's avatar

@gailcalled Say what? Which of my responses are you referring to? I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I also don’t know what “nu” means. :/

gailcalled's avatar

@ubersiren: The one about good Christians giving good advice. Other faiths do also. The “Nu” indicates a non-serious response.

Nu (rhymes with “Jew”)
An all-purpose word that doesn’t really mean anything, like “well,” “so” or “wassup?” I usually hear it as a prompt for a response or explanation. A friend of mine who worked for a Jewish history museum joked that they answered the phone “Jew mu, nu?

When someone takes too long to respond in an online chat or trails off in the middle of a thought, I might type “nu?” (are you still there? are you answering?) If someone says something that doesn’t seem to make any sense, you might say, “nu?” (what’s that supposed to mean?) Source

BishiAfi's avatar

It’s a saying that when you marry a person you marry their family too. If it is too much to bear, tell her with all the love and respect in your heart, and if that doesn’t work, try a compromise. Determine which events you can tolerate him being there, so her feelings are somewhat spared , and which events that you cannot tolerate him being there. You can also have a heart felt discussion with the guy and see if he would change for the better. Also check yourself and see if you are not predjudice. A soft answer turneth away wrath! so good luck!

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I don’t think a right wing Christian gives a damn about what a Jewish person thinks, we have to fight fire with fire, and when Christians speak out against other Christians being narrow minded and unloving it is a welcome relief for me, gives me hope.

gailcalled's avatar

@JLeslie: Good point. But if someone takes the idea of Hell and sin literally, there are no arguments that work.

chyna's avatar

Off topic, but kind of the same lines: My ex mother in law hated blacks. Made no bones about it. My ex husband and I have black friends that came to the house for parties. My ex MIL came also. Just by watching her interact with our friends, you would never have known she hated blacks. She even commented one time that she really loved Joe, thought he was funny, just wished he wasn’t black. Just give the guy a chance. You may end up loving him, but not his life style.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna I guess because Joe did not fit into her stereotype of blacks. She was willing to get to know him as an individual even though she is a racist in general. So, what you wrote makes me wonder if the OP has an assumption of what gay people are like? Somehow I doubt it since she has observed him before. Since this is a relgious thing, I think it makes it all that much more difficult to overcome. I hope I am wrong.

ubersiren's avatar

@gailcalled Oh, I know other faiths do. I was responding to @jazmina88, who is actually Christian. It makes me happy when Christians spread love and peace rather than being judgmental and pretentious. That’s all I meant. I know people of other faiths behave in the same way, good and bad.

I learned something “nu” today! :)

gailcalled's avatar

@ubersiren: Best at the beginning or end of a sentence, nu.” Here it means a query,” OK?”

Or “So, nu”? works also.

My maternal grandmother, Jewish to the core, used to talk about the Shvartzers, which I found very upsetting.

Cupcake's avatar

@itscomplicated Welcome to Fluther.

I hope you are interested in change, as you mention. I also hope that you can put family unity above your beliefs about right and wrong. In addition, I hope that you can understand that your beliefs about right and wrong are just that… beliefs. I hope that you can separate the attraction/actions of your daughter-in-law’s brother from who he is. He is a human being, a creation of God.

There are a couple of things that you have stated, explicitly or implicitly, that I am uncomfortable with. For one, because you don’t believe that someone’s actions are acceptable in the sight of God, you would like to ban them from your home and family gatherings. Two, that you believe that you know how God views other people.

Personally, I hold unity in the highest regard. This is the principle that I would put above others. I also hold the principle of hospitality in high regard. People who come to your home, especially family or loved ones of people who I love, are welcome. Didn’t Jesus teach about love and hospitality?

I also believe that I can never see people or situations as God sees them. You have no idea how close to His heart God holds your daughter-in-law’s brother (and his boyfriend). Your judgment is a reflection of your ego and not a reflection of anyone else.

Please, for the principle of humanity, see the humanity in others. See the good attributes of others. Love those who your loved ones love. At least be hospitable to them.

You will not be forced to engage in sexual activity with them. You will not even be forced to watch.

I think that in missing the forest of universal teachings of Jesus, you have gotten lost in the trees of laws. These laws are for you to forge your path towards God, not for you to judge others. That is not your job.

I wish you the best, and hope for peace and unity in your family as well as in your heart.

JLeslie's avatar

I do give the poster credit for asking the question.

@itscomplicated You wrote I come from the school of thought that if you want someone to change, you cut off relationship until they change do you feel it necessary to change your DIL’s brother? What I mean is maybe this tactic might work on a child or sibling, but the brother of your DIL probably does not care much about whether you talk to him or not. It won’t have influence over him to change. I am sure he cares enough that he prefer everyone in the extended family get along, but not enough to change him. So your efforts would be for naught. I am going to assume that this type of cut-off is out of love for the person you are worried about, that you worry for their soul, and not out of hatred. I am trying to understand your point of view.

My suggestion is to figure out your goal, and make sure your behavior will help you acheive it.

The_Idler's avatar

@itscomplicated “The reason why I don’t want my son’s brother-in-law around is because I do not agree with homosexuality at all. I think it is a sin and an abomination against the laws of nature.”

Ok, you answered to first part of my question, now I’m assuming the answer to the second part (“upon what authority is this principle based?”) is The Holy Bible.

All good so far, fair enough. I may think you are closed-minded and intellectually deformed,
but we all have our faults.

Now, to answer your initial question, we can create a hypothetical reversal of roles.
Role play; always fun! =}

The answer to
How do I politely tell my daughter-in-law she cannot bring her [gay] brother to our family functions?

might be somewhat to similar to your answer to
How would you like to be told that you are unwelcome at your son and his wife’s family functions, because they have converted to radical Islam, and you are infidel scum?
Not that you aren’t “very polite and well-behaved”,
it’s just that you’re ”[full of] sin and an abomination against the laws of nature.”

I’m curious, how would you like to be told that?

Response moderated
Silhouette's avatar

name calling sucks

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I’m assuming you’re from an older generation and, I don’t mean to be presumptious or stereotypical, but that mindset is how some people are from a different generation. Please feel free to correct me.
I really can’t think of a nice way to ask. It’s not going to reflect well any way you put it. If it’s that big an issue, I’d sit down with your daughter-in-law and the brother and explain. Be honest and talk to them like adults.

Arisztid's avatar

@Silhouette You got my post deleted based on the word “asshole.” Which is worse… asshole or abomination?

I would think calling someone an abomination is much worse than asshole. Obviously you do not agree.

poofandmook's avatar

@py_sue: but he can’t ever be in her presence ever ever again. Because he’s the gay.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Pretty_Lilly In my family we have two cousins that are gay,one cousin brings his partner and they are well behaved, ..ooh, well thank god…are they also potty-trained? rolls eyes Where do you get off talking about other people as if they’re animals?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

How did I miss this q? I was so busy discussing trans issues yesterday that I didn’t notice good ol’ homophobia was going on a foot away? Good thing too because everyone covered it, good job!

Qingu's avatar

@Arisztid, two wrongs don’t make a right!

thriftymaid's avatar

@Arisztid I agree with you

poofandmook's avatar

it kind of disturbs me that this got 9 GQs.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Cutting off relationships with someone presupposes that your position or perspective is the correct one. Demanding that in order to have a relationship with you denies that the other person has any value as a person, because the only value comes in agreeing with you.

Demanding blind obedience can be really deadly. I have two families within my 3 degrees of separation who have children who are dead because their parents insisted on blind obedience. The first, the son was on a date and was watching a movie at friends, and called 15 minutes before curfew to ask if he could stay out until the end of the movie. His father told him if he was not home before 12, he was not going to prom. He left immediately, drove too fast to get his date home and make it home by 12. The road was wet, he took the curve too fast, and the car went over a cliff.

Another had a son who was always in trouble at school; the school was very strict and structured. The father told him one more incident, and he was off to military boarding school. The boy was in class and asked to go to the bathroom, and the teacher said no. The boy said he was really not feeling well, and the teacher said, “No, you can sit there for 15 minutes until class ends.” The kid apparently sat there for a few minutes, and got up and left the room. The teacher had him suspended for 3 days. His dad called him, and berated him. The young man tried to explain to his father that he had diarrhea and really had to get to the bathroom, but his father didn’t want to listen, and blasted him. When the dad pulled to car into the garage that night, his son was hanging from the rafters with a note pinned to his chest that said “I’m sorry dad, but I wasn’t goofing off this time. I really did have to use the bathroom.” Three months later, the father killed himself because he couldn’t deal with his grief, leaving his wife and other son to deal with the aftermath of two deaths.

I think of these two families all the time, to keep in perspective that as a parent, being blindly obeyed is an empty reward.

There are lots of posts here on Fluther from young adults who are gay, and are dealing with being cut off from their families and especially their parents because of their sexual orientation. People don’t just wake up one morning and think “I want to be sexually attracted to people of the same sex as me!” Likewise, what goes on in the privacy of one’s bedroom is no one else’s business. You are basing shunning an individual based upon something that is beyond their control, and is really not any of your business.

The fact that you have asked this question on here points to the fact that you know in your heart of hearts that what you want to do is really at its core a very wrong thing to do, and that setting the stage for possibly ending family life as you now know it, forever. You cannot change this young man from being gay. You cannot change him from being part of his sister’s life, and part of your son’s life. If he accepts you, and you don’t accept him, then decision of who to include in your son’s family will probably not be you. The fact that your daughter-in-law wants to bring her brother to your events is a statement to her affection for him, and trust in you.

poofandmook's avatar

@PandoraBoxx: that second story? Just… wow.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@poofandmook probably because it showed the collective standing up to bigotry not because the question was good

chyna's avatar

@itscomplicated I’m just curious, do you allow people that have had premarital sex into your home? Did you, your husband or your son have premarital sex? Does your religion tell you that this too is a sin?

JLeslie's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Those stories are just awful, how sad.

To add to those my husbands father, who was raised Jewish, married outside of his religion to a Catholic girl and his family never let him forget it. Tried to get him to leave his wife even after their children were born. I won’t go through all of the nasty things, but I can tell you that eventually my husband’s father wanted nothing to do with his family. Nothing. I think their reaction was extreme, and I think his reaction is extreme. I am sure my husband has cousins who would not care at all that his mother is Catholic, I doubt the younger generation is as strict in their feelings on such things. The irony is my husband married me, a Jewsish girl and converted. They essentially got one of the grandchildren back and they have no idea, because there is no communication.

My father while growing up had a very dysfunctional family. He had a favorite aunt by marriage who was always very kind to him, but the family more and more cut off from that uncle and his wife, because she was Catholic. When he was not able to be in contact with her anymore that was the day he decided religion is for shit. Last nail in the coffin to becoming an atheist. Not being able to be with people he loved, with family. Now, my dad wonders in his old age (not so old) if he should have raised his children with more Jewish community, he feels a stronger pull towards his Jewish identity. If it had not been for these extreme applications of our religion in his childhood, things might have been different.

Arisztid's avatar

@Qingu I understand your point and agree if both are corrected. However, why is one wrong corrected when another wrong is let go?

@thriftymaid Thankyou. :)

I just do not see how “asshole” is even in the same league as “abomination” and all the rest.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] The difference is this: “Abomination” was not leveled at an individual in this thread, while “asshole” was. Personal attacks are not permitted.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think @itscomplicated has stopped following this thread…

Edit to add: Nevermind, she’s gone.

Silhouette's avatar

—@Arisztid Yep, I flagged you for calling the woman an asshole, it was a direct personal attack and I thought it was completely out of line, apparently the moderators agreed. As to which word is worse asshole or abomination, I guess I’d side with whichever one was used in a personal attack not the one used to explain a school of thought. In this instance the word abomination was used to explain why this woman was against homosexuality. Her religious teachings say it is an abomination. Personally I think any religion which preaches hatred of any kind is an abomination, but that’s just my opinion and as far as I know I’m entitled to it here at Fluther as long as I don’t get into a personally attacking pissing contest. Hope this clears this up for you.

Arisztid's avatar

@Silhouette and @augustlan It does and you are right about it being a personal attack. I am a bit, well, stressed and should know better than to post when I am that stressed.

I do not consider my opinion to be out of line, rather that I used a personal attack to express it being out of line.

Yes, it clears it up and my apologies for having acted the jerk. Usually I am a bit better at expressing myself.

I agree with you about religions, Silhouette.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@poofandmook, I still cry when I think about that young man. If you cannot turn to your family for a safe harbor, it’s very hard. Teens push boundaries all the time, and learning how to lose your temper and overreact is very difficult indeed.

Silhouette's avatar

@Arisztid I happen to share your opinion on this issue. Thanks Aristid.

primigravida's avatar

@prolificus flagged you for spam. it’s rude to use another’s thread to promote your own.

prolificus's avatar

@primigravida – I’m not promoting. I am revealing that I used deception. I am owning up to something.

janbb's avatar

Oh _ I posted my question to you on the other thread. Also, it is not spam to refer to another Fluther question.

primigravida's avatar

@prolificus Again, must you do this in someone else’s topic? Just make your own and be done with it!

janbb's avatar

@primigravida Psst – It is his topic.

prolificus's avatar

Attention everyone who particiated in this discussion:

I sincerely apologize for the hurt and trouble that was caused by my using the alias “itscomplicated.”

This will be my last post on this current thread. There is an explanation of things in this question.


This discussion has been closed.

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