Tags: bigotry, gay, gay-rights, hate, politics, religion
I have had gay friends all my adult life. I have been comfortable with homosexuality for a long time. A few things lately have made it clear to me that a lot of people have very little understanding of homosexuality. I want to make a few points clear.
People are born gay or straight. Many people grow up hiding their sexuality for various reasons, but the fact that they announce they are gay after they are adults, or even after they have had spouses and children does not change the fact that they were gay when they were born. They don’t get converted or victimized into it. Nor do they choose it. It is a very difficult thing they usually struggle with for years before they admit it. They choose when they call themselves gay, but not when they are gay.
This is extremely difficult for many to deal with because it means God created gay people as gay and yet, we are all told God hates homosexuality. To believe people are born gay is to believe that God is a liar or something. What do you do?
The answer is that we live in a very different time than when the Bible was written. Some things are as true today as they were 4,000 years ago, but many things are not. We don’t take laws set down by God concerning donkeys to literally apply only to donkeys. Things change. In this case, we now know that homosexuality is an inherited trait as much as red hair or black skin. They didn’t know that a couple thousand years ago. Times change. Things change. We have knowledge they didn’t. It doesn’t nullify God’s Law, it amends it. And it gives us the chance to be more righteous and good than the saints and the prophets.
The good news is, homophobic men don’t have to worry any longer that they will turn gay from a hit on the head or perhaps a drunken fling with another gay. You’re straight, get over it.
A lot of very dumb things are perpetrated because of this lack of understanding. Many people are trying to limit knowledge of homosexuality as a means to limit homosexuality itself. They think that if people know about it, it creates it. The truth is, people are gay, and some know what they are and some don’t. When they find out that what they are is gay and there are millions of other gay people, they are relieved and announce what they have always been. To the paranoid outsider they imagine that the knowledge created the homosexuality. That’s as true as finding out that there is something called hiccups and realizing you have them and they are normal. Knowing about hiccups didn’t cause hiccups, it gave it a name and a context.
This is the issue of our time. It is the Jim Crowe era for gay people. They can’t have the legal protections and rights others take for granted. They are ridiculed without consideration. They are mistreated. They are discriminated against. They can work their entire lives with a partner and end up with no rights to share in their life in terms of inheritence, etc. as they would were they straight and married. All these things happen because of the way they were born. Same as skin color. They had no choice and would likely have made a different one if they could. And so they are mistreated because of how God made them.
Be glad you were not born gay in these times. Just as there was a time when simply being born black in this country was going to be a struggle against society, today, being born gay makes you an instant victim.
And much as in those segregation times, the people who have the strongest feelings against gay people, have not been around them. My growing up with black people in my schools and churchs and as my peers and friends made it impossible for me to be a racist as my parents generation was. Having many gay friends lets me see how normal it is and I can’t imagine a reason to treat them as less than equal humans and citizens. But for those who live where no one dares come out of the closet, they are free to continue to imagine that gay people are some monster to be fought. It’s the same way in the all white counties of this country where racism continues to be passed down without being contradicted by the existence of people of color in their lives.