If you’re trying to prove to the world that you’re a loving parent, you might want to avoid bragging about how you’d forbid your child from living with you in the future if he or she commits some unforgivable “sin.” That’s what Mormon parent, blogger, and podcaster Matthew Watkins did on Friday (before locking his Twitter account on Sunday night), trashing his hypothetical gay daughter.
Watkins wrote that if his daughter leaves the Mormon Church, gets an abortion, lives with a partner before marriage, marries another woman, or does anything else he deems unforgivable, he would still “love” her… but such behavior would not be tolerated in his house.
The grammar makes that tweet hard to parse, but he later clarified that #3 meant his lesbian daughter would never be allowed to live at home (or spend significant time there) because he gets to “set standards” for his house… though she and her partner would be allowed to visit for an hour or two once a week. As if that’s some kind of grand gesture.
(Don’t worry. The internet has screenshots.)
If that was supposed to clarify his thinking, it only confirmed what people already suspected: Watkins is a garbage parent led by his religion to treat his perfectly fine (and hypothetically lesbian) daughter like she’s some sort of monster.
Notice that the dealbreakers he mentions are apostasy, abortion, cohabitation, and homosexuality. I guess he’d be fine with a selfish or cruel daughter as long as she’s straight, celibate until marriage, and devout.
Watkins claims he will love his child no matter what, while in the same thread, explaining that he would ruin her wedding day if given the chance and forbid her from living at home if she ever needed to. His love is conditional. He would functionally disown his child because his religious hate outweighs his familial love.
Why would his daughter still want him in her life?
Why would she and her hypothetical same-sex partner invite him to their wedding?!
If your dad has made it clear your sexual orientation is an affront to his faith, and that your happiness takes a backseat to his religious preferences, the difficult but necessary move is to remove that cancer from your life.
There’s no reason to invite religious bigots to your wedding much less visit them for “game night.” If you have some level of financial independence and a supportive partner, those parents don’t deserve to be a part of your life, and they have no right to tarnish your joy. Your children, if you have them, don’t need to see their hateful grandparents. Why bring that kind of negative energy into your household? (You have standards, after all.)
Is Watkins aware of just how many women have abortions? Is he aware that many of them aren’t simply a matter of choice? Is he aware of what happens to LGBTQ people who are rejected by their families? Is he aware that his religion has slowed its growth rate considerably at least partly because of the religious bigotry perpetuated by people like him?
Maybe he knows. Maybe he just doesn’t care.
While Watkins has locked his account (and his daughter isn’t old enough to respond to any of this), plenty of people online chimed in with their thoughts. Some of them have been in a similar situation to Matthew Watkins’ hypothetical gay child and they know what it’s like to be rejected by someone who only pretends to love them.
At a time when shitty religious parents seem to be advertising their incompetence, it’s incredible that Watkins thought he was saying something sensible. Maybe that sort of faith-based hate is welcome among his LDS colleagues, but the rest of us know better.