The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Couple Ties Up Kid in Car, But at Least They’re Hetero

I wonder what Michael Savage would make of a parent who leaves her kid tied up in the car outside of a restaurant while she has dinner with her boyfriend inside.•

Police in northwest Georgia have rescued a boy from a hot car where his mother’s companion is accused of tying him up.

Ringgold, Georgia, police say a Cracker Barrel restaurant employee called police after seeing Raymond Minchew take the 6-year-old out of the restaurant and return without him — then finished eating his meal. Ringgold is 13 miles southeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Police found the bound boy sitting in the car, crying.

Sgt. John Gass says the child was soaked with sweat and had a rope tied to one of his ankles. Gass says the temperature was in the 80s Saturday in Ringgold.

The 61-year-old Minchew and the boy’s mother — 35-year-old Rachel Gilchrist — were arrested and charged with cruelty to children and concealing a weapon. There was a handgun in the car.

Investigators believe the boy was in the hot car for about a half hour.

Gass says the couple contended the boy had misbehaved, although witnesses at the restaurant disagreed.

The boy has been placed in protective custody.

Does this count as abuse? Sure. But these parents (or parent, since it’s mom and her boyfriend) are presumably heterosexual, so that automatically makes them better candidates for parenthood than the hubby and me, according to Savage and his audience. Our every day parenting is the equivalent of tying a kid up in a hot car.

I ask because I’m at home with Parker today. This morning I took him out for a ride on his bike, and later this afternoon we’ll go for a walk and have lunch at a nearby bagel shop. When we come home I’ll probably read him a couple of the books we checked out from the library, since we have to return them this weekend (and check out more). Later, so can have an hour or so to get some work done, I’ll probably put in one of Parker’s favorite movies. (Though he’ll insist I watch at least part of it with him, and I’ll acquiesce.)

Now, if I were a heterosexual dad doing all of the above, it wouldn’t warrant much notice except maybe for a few comments about how great it is that I’m spending time with my son (something parents are supposed to do anyway). But because I’m a gay dad, and a partnered one at that, my day with Parker — biking, bagels, books and all — is abuse. It’s in the same category as the people above, though we’ve never come anywhere near doing anything like that to our son.

Yes, we’ve eaten out with Parker, and when he was younger if he was making too much of a fuss in the restaurant, we’d leave as a family. Usually one of us would get the kid out of the restaurant and the other would take care of the bill and getting our meal packaged to go if we hadn’t finished. And we’d never leave him in the car alone. I’ve gone out to the car with him sometimes, when he couldn’t behave in, say, the grocery store, and we’d sit with the windows down or with the AC running depending on the weather. Call me crazy. Maybe that’s “abuse” but I call it responsible parenting.

I guess being heterosexual doesn’t automatically make you a good parent, but in Savage’s world being gay automatically makes you a bad — even abusive — parent.

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  1. Same-sex parents= abuse is just insane.

    How I wish I would have had two same-sex parents who actually wanted and valued me instead of the hetero parents who didn’t give a crap less…

    People like Savage are the ones with warped value systems. Only people who never suffered abuse or neglect as a child could conflate their own political hang-ups with the very real problem of abuse and neglect.

    Shame on him.

  2. dear t;

    i am a heterosexual woman who married a man who came out when our son was 5. i am also was abused as a child by my father. it wasn’t easy, his dad has aids and had drug addiction to meth and heroin. but now dad is straight, living with his son, who is now 19 and attending college. i did keep him away at times for the drugs, but not because of the gay. gay men don’t make good husbands, but they do make good parents.
    my ex has had full blown aids since 1990. and that’s when having aids was on par with being a muslim named osama. life was hell and i understand his need to escape his hell. aids is a terrible condition. but he straightened up because he loved his kid. and that is what makes a good parent, and that alone.
    my son’s 19 now. i am so proud of him. he’s very left of center politically, he is active in politics as an election judge, aids organizations, and gay rights. doing well in school, and completely drug free. watching dad get arrested on tv and go through heroin withdrawl was the best drug education i could give him.
    you are right about the discrimination you face, but i think you are a very lucky man to have what you have as a family. i came from a very upper class family where everything looked perfect on the outside, but when the doors closed my father did some seriously fucked up stuff. i told teachers, councellors, other family members, and no one believed me, because our family looked so ”perfect”. i’m ok now at 47, but i sure had a tough time growing up and trusting men.
    thanks a lot for the post.