Eunice Johns, when pressed by the interviewer about what she would tell a child that thought they were gay, or raised questions about homosexuality, said
“I would love him…I wouldn’t tell him it was right… but I wouldn’t love him any less”.Which is fine, unless her idea of loving is to tell the child s/he is wrong, which was a suggestion she had trouble refuting. She went on to give the usual “hate the sin, love the sinner” apologetic that Christians use thoughtlessly as a substitute for true tolerance which suggests that the couple may have a problem dealing appropriately with the situation should it arise.
However Mrs Johns did make another point that was very salient. Given the age group of children they wish to adopt, five to ten year olds, you would probably be more worried that they were having explicitly sexual and gender conscious questions at all. Not that an eight year old say, couldn’t self identify as gay, but the degree of sexualisation they would have had to be exposed to would be an issue in itself. One would hope that the Johns’ first reaction would be to involve the professionals at that stage and not try to deal with it by themselves.
Both Mr and Mrs Johns also went on to suggest the ruling was a discrimination against Christians saying it was fine for homosexuals to have rights, but Christians should have rights too. This is patent nonsense and they are doing their cause no favours by making this an issue of religious discrimination. The ruling was about their ability to support a child through issues of homosexuality, given their attitude to the subject. It strikes me that all this couple needed to resolve their conflict was a little counselling and advice, to the extent of just being honest.
It would be no compromise to their faith or harm to the child to be told that their religion considered homosexuality to be wrong, but that it is not a universally held opinion. They might also say that there are other people who can talk about these issues from other perspectives.
It is a shame that such an obviously well meaning couple have got themselves in this position and I could go on all day about the absurdity of their beliefs, but that is not the problem here. Neither side in this case seems to be employing common sense and by making religion the issue they are both missing the point and the opportunity.