'My Son Is Gay' Blog Brings Ultimatum From Church

Pastor told mother that she'd "crossed a line" and "needed to do penance."

February 7, 2011, 1:09 PM

Feb. 7, 2010 — -- When a mother wrote a blog post called "My Son is Gay" in November, it quickly went viral, getting more than a million hits online.

Now her church has accused her of "libel and slander."

"My Son Is Gay," which now has almost 46,000 comments, includes a picture of a boy dressed up as Daphne from "Scooby-Doo." His mother, who asked to be identified only as "Sarah" and declined to say where in the country she lived, said that she received criticism and condescension from other parents when she accompanied her costumed son to school. She refers to him in the blog as "Boo."

A few days after she wrote about the incident, Sarah said she was contacted by the pastor of the church connected to the preschool her son attends. Sarah said the pastor wanted to discuss her "spiritual care." She said he called her "defensive," "vindictive," "disrespectful," "prideful" and told her that she'd "crossed a line" and "needed to do penance."

"I was completely taken by surprise," Sarah told ABC News today. "Never in a million years did I imagine that response. I didn't start off defensive, but I became that way after being called so many things. I said that my job is to protect my children. When adults are bullying him, I have no choice but to step in."

"There has been a lot of talk about the three kinds of people: bully, victim, and bystander. I propose there is a fourth group that should be the largest: the ones that stand up against bullying. And I was livid that my son's well-being was never mentioned," Sarah said.

During her second discussion with the pastor, Sarah said she was handed a printout of the church's response to her blog post. The church said that Sarah had broken the Eighth Commandment, which says "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." The church also said it was worried that she was "promoting gayness."

"I don't even know what that means," Sarah wrote in her blog.

Sarah said that despite the admittedly "provocative" headline, her son may not be gay. She said that if she had a daughter and dressed her up as Batman, "no one would've thought twice about it."

Two months later, Sarah said she was called in for another meeting, in which the pastor told her she needed to apologize to the mothers whose comments she had mentioned in "My Son Is Gay." She said the pastor also accused Sarah of "libel and slander, and told her that she "had taken offense [from the women] where none was intended."

The pastor offered Sarah four steps to restore her relationships with the mothers, including writing an apology, taking down the blog post and perhaps taking down the entire blog. "I was told not to take Communion and that I may have my membership revoked if I didn't reconcile," Sarah said.

"I Am Not Worried That Your Son Will Grow Up To Be An Actual Ninja So Back Off"

After Sarah complained to a higher-up in the church, she said the pastor rescinded the withholding of Communion.

"I felt blindsided," Sarah said. "It was as if my motives had been skewed and turned around in order to take issue with them."

Sarah says she has not received any news from the church since her last post, and she and her husband have decided to change preschools.

"I'm going to continue to do what I've been doing, love my kids, teach them to be good people, blog, etc. I am working on a few different writing projects. We are changing schools. The detective [her husband] and I decided it would be best for Boo and help things calm down at the old preschool. They shouldn't have to suffer because of this incident."

When asked why she thought the post has become so popular, Sarah said today, "We have all been picked on for something. We all want someone to stand by us and stick up for us. Plus my son looked so adorable. It was easy for people to feel sympathetic."

In her original blog post she wrote, "If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to 'make' him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off."

Lee Ferran contributed to this report.

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