What Would You Do? ABC News’ hidden camera show, tackled the topic of gay parenting this week in a segment where a woman harasses a gay male couple, child in tow, in a restaurant.
The What Would You Do? producers set up the scenario in two disparate locations — Orangetown, New York, and Bardstown, Kentucky — to see if attitudes towards LGBTQ families were different in the East Coast and Middle America.
“I don’t think a child should be raised that way,” the woman loudly complains in the Bardstown restaurant. “Don’t you think she should have a mother?” (In both instances, the child is wearing headphones and seemingly unable to hear the interaction.)
Amazingly, the patrons at the Kentucky diner were just as quick to shut down the woman, even though gay couples were not able to adopt children together in Kansas before Obergefell v. Hodges.
“Lady, are you nuts or something?” said one diner. “This lady is annoying me, probably these other people. We need it to stop. We didn’t come here to be annoyed by you.”
“You need to lighten up, lady,” another customer advised. “You need to back off. You’ve got two people celebrating and demonstrating love for a child. You’ve got some nerve. It doesn’t matter. Love is love. Would you rather see that child homeless, starving to death? It’s not about your opinion. It’s about the welfare of a child, a human being. The problem in the world is not two men raising a child. The problem in the world is you making comments like that.”
One customer at the Orangetown Classic Diner revealed his wife was raised by a lesbian couple. “It’s still love for the child and that’s all that fucking matters. You got a problem with that, fucking leave.”
At the Kentucky eatery, meanwhile, the entire restaurant applauded when the bigoted woman left.
According to a new study from the Williams Institute, approximately 114,000 of the 700,000 same-sex couples living together in the United States have children. Most gay parents (68%) are raising biological children but more than one-fifth (21.4%) have adopted, exponentially more than the 3% of straight couples with adopted kids.
Studies have shown that the children of gay parents, whether biological or adopted, fare just as well if not better than their heterosexual counterparts. But an amendment before Congress would allow faith-based adoption and foster agencies to refuse to place children with gay parents. It would also require the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold 15% of federal child welfare services funding from states that enforce their anti-discrimination laws.
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) introduced the bill to the House Appropriations Committee, where it passed 29-23. It now goes before the full House for a vote.
Nine states already have “license to discriminate” laws that let taxpayer-funded adoption agencies reject same-sex couples, including Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Aderholt’s home state of Alabama.