Bryan Fischer calls for new Underground Railroad for children of gay parents

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The Director of Issue Analysis for the anti-gay American Family Association has called for a new Underground Railroad to deliver children from gay parents.

Bryan Fischer has said the concept of a secret network of tunnels used to transport black slaves under borders should be revived for those children growing up with two parents of the same gender.

He posted a link on Twitter to an article written by a California State University assistant professor who was raised by a mother in a lesbian relationship, though his mother never cohabited with her gay partner.

Mr Fischer wrote: “Why we need an Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households” with a link to the article.

In the article, Robert Oscar Lopez described growing up with a mother who was in a gay relationship and wrote: “Growing up different from other people is difficult and the difficulties raise the risk that children will develop maladjustments or self-medicate with alcohol and other dangerous behaviors.”

He continued: “Life is hard when you are strange. Even now, I have very few friends and often feel as though I do not understand people because of the unspoken gender cues that everyone around me, even gays raised in traditional homes, takes for granted. Though I am hard-working and a quick learner, I have trouble in professional settings because co-workers find me bizarre.”

Mr Lopez went on to discuss a study compiled by Mark Regnerus, which compared outcomes for children of still-married straight parents with those of children whose mother or father had had a gay relationship of any length at any point in their upbringing.

The study was sharply criticised for appearing to make inferences about gay parenting ability when its focus was more accurately on the effect of stability versus family break-up.

Responding to criticism, Mark Regnerus reiterated to that it was “not a study of parenting or a study of parental sexual orientation”.

The study was funded in party by the Witherspoon Institute, which has published Lopez’s comment.

Lopez argues in his comment piece that “social complications” will “naturally arise if you conceive a child with the opposite sex but still have attractions to the same sex”.

He continues: “Bisexual parents threaten the core of the LGBT parenting narrative—we do have a choice to live as gay or straight, and we do have to decide the gender configuration of the household in which our children will grow up. While some gays see bisexuality as an easier position, the fact is that bisexual parents bear a more painful weight on their shoulders.

“Unlike homosexuals, we cannot write off our decisions as things forced on us by nature. We have no choice but to take responsibility for what we do as parents, and live with the guilt, regret, and self-criticism forever.”

He argues that bisexual parents “must wrestle with their duties as parents while still contending with the temptations to enter into same-sex relationships”, but does not address whether that “burden” is more difficult than a straight parent experiencing attraction to other men or women.

He concludes: “Being strange is hard; it takes a mental toll, makes it harder to find friends, interferes with professional growth, and sometimes leads one down a sodden path to self-medication in the form of alcoholism, drugs, gambling, antisocial behavior, and irresponsible sex.”

Mr Fischer had earlier tweeted: “Head of Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households goes on trial.”

That message included a link to the story of Kenneth Miller, a minister who is to stand trial for helping a woman abscond to Nicaragua to avoid visitation rights a court had ordered for her female ex-partner over their child.

The women had raised the daughter together from birth, before their Vermont civil union was dissolved and the child’s biological mother, Lisa Miller, renounced homosexuality.

Gary Buseck, legal director of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, has said the mother is “in the equivalent of the underground railroad with the religious people … who see the gay rights agenda overwhelming their religious rights”.

Kenneth Miller, no relation to the mother in question, who has not been found, is charged with aiding and abetting the kidnapping of the child.

The Human Rights Campaign said: “Fischer’s call for kidnapping children from same-sex partners is not only offensive, but a harmful mischaracterization of families that struggle daily to provide loving and safe home environments despite significant legal, financial and dignitary inequality.”

Fischer said on Twitter in response: “No kidnapping involved in Lisa Miller case. She left the US to keep her natural, biological daughter FROM BEING KIDNAPPPED. In Lisa Miller case, I’m advocating AGAINST JUDICIAL KIDNAPPING, in favor of keeping daughter with her own mother.

“In Lisa Miller case, lesbian who wanted sole custody of the daughter had NO legal or biological relationship to the girl. If any kidnapping involved in Lisa Miller case, it’s judges stealing a child from her mother and giving her to a stranger.”