The Children’s Home of Lubbock (in Texas) says its goal is “to make life better for children who need to see that caring and love do exist in a world that has often been unfair and unjust.”
Apparently, caring and love only exist for straight people.
Casey Stegall, a Texas Tech University student, was fired from his position as a social worker at the Christian home after introducing teenage students to his fiancé last month. Lynn Harms, president of the organization (who has a fitting last name), said Stegall was “presenting a lifestyle that is damaging to kids” by expressing romantic feelings for another man.
“As a faith-based, church-related outreach providing welfare services, if you will, to children and families, there is a set of biblical values that we adhere to and live by,” Harms said. “When you are implementing life training and so forth — particularly with children — to put a confused message out there is counterproductive.”
Harms further argued that because the children who stay at the care center come from difficult home circumstances, some of them even having experienced sexual abuse, they are more “vulnerable” to homosexuality. Therefore, having LGBT employees around is too much of a threat to the kids.
“It gets garbled in terms of sexual identity, sexual preferences, fears, concerns, re-traumatization,” he argued, promoting the behavior of other gay employees at the Children’s Home who “fly under the radar.”
“If you want to try to force our culture to meet your expectations, that’s not going to go well,” Harms added. “I don’t feel like the culture here has to meet an individual’s desire for the world to be different.”
This invokes the age-old, not-at-all-true idea that gay people are sexual predators, and it’s horrifically offensive — especially because there are undoubtedly LGBT kids in this program who could really use a role model like them.
Lubbock psychologist Dr. Brian Carr also criticized Stegall’s firing in an interview with the Avalanche-Journal Friday, characterizing Harms’ reasoning as “prejudicial and completely inaccurate.”
“There is no effect — that’s ludicrous,” Carr said. “He is combining the idea that people who are gay also have to have some sort of history of either being sexually molested or being sexual molesters, and that is not true.”
There is no state or municipality law in Lubbock banning anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace, so Stegall’s firing is perfectly legal under Texas law.
In spite of this setback, Stegall and his fiancé both consider themselves “church-attending Christians” who “read the same Bible you read” and “believe in the same God you believe in.” This case is another example of why I don’t understand LGBT folks who stand behind churches that cut them down time and time again. I wish Stegall and his fiancé the best, and that includes finding a group (religious or not) that will actually accept them as they are.