At least where many of us live, if our husbands or wives are gay, getting help for ourselves does not mean a death sentence to our LGBT spouses.
Yes, in many countries, it is actually illegal to be gay. In January, Ugandan legislators proposed a law to make being gay and participating in specific sexual acts punishable by death. Last week, a Ugandan tabloid published the names of the “100 top homos”. Many of these people are in hiding, fearing for their lives. A tag on the front page reads “hang them”. Bulleted points mention “recruiting” a million innocent kids, and “parental heartbreak as homos raid schools”.
And of course, opposition is from outside agitators with an agenda. Of course.
There is no mention in mainstream media accounts of the effect of this action on these people’s families. However, it is also illegal to assist homosexuals. So if you advocate for them to be treated as regular human beings in Uganda, you can also be prosecuted, arrested, jailed for life.
So just imagine the unimaginable. You discover you are married to a gay person. WHAT?? Hey, that never happens. After all, they married YOU, and have children, so how can they be gay? What is wrong with you marrying one of THEM? Maybe YOU are one of THEM. Nevertheless…
You discover you are married to a gay person.
You want to be tested for STDs. You want to tell your best friend how hurt you are. You want a divorce.
If you do those things, your spouse could be arrested. Imprisoned. Lynched.
Maybe you want to tell your priest, your minister. But…
This whole push to execute gays in a country where homosexuality was already illegal was started by three American missionaries who self styled themselves as “experts” on homosexuality. Churches in Uganda largely view homosexuality as a threat to the African family. So now, the hunt is on to purify Uganda…and of course, the missionaries now say, well, wait a minute, we didn’t say to KILL people….You’d think that these “experts” would know what would happen as a consequence of their expertise in a country in a volatile region with a history of violence against its citizens. But hey, who knew? After all, it’s not like homosexuals marry anyone and have famiies like everyone else….not like they marry straight people, because if they did that would make them straight….uh, right?
Of course there is no outreach to you. And in the west, there are scant resources for you. Churches often are not much of a resource for us, either supporting the gay person and not helping us through our long and profound grief, or requiring us to be “accountability partners” so the homosexual can rid themselves of the “addiction”. But with all the money spent on supporting and opposing gay marriage, there are no significant ministries to straight spouses and their families.
Well, at least no one has to die.
At least here in the west, you are free to contact the Straight Spouse Network for free, confidential peer to peer support. We operate on a shoestring. We do not have the golden coffers of the “agenda” organizations of either right or left wing. We struggle with invisibility, ignorance, bigotry. We struggle with financial survival.
But at least we are not facing watching a parent of our children die by hanging. We are not facing having our children endangered, our lives ruined by violent vigilantes encouraged by our legislators and our clergy.