An Open Letter to the American Family Association, National Organization for Marriage, Family Research Council, Chik-Fil-A and others too numerous to name:
Dear misguided Preachers and Pundits:
First off, I will admit that I am openly gay. I also live in the deep south, Mississippi to be precise, with my wonderful partner in a loving, monogamous, relationship. Daily I hear the vitriol of anti-gay hate speech on conservative and “Christian” talk radio shows. None are as vile and caustic as those broadcast by Mr. Fischer and Mr. Wildmon on AFR, but all are mis-guided, mis-informed, and apparently intentionally so. They do have common threads however. Apparently all believe that being gay is a “choice” that can somehow be “miraculously” cured through prayer, and the LGBT community as a whole cannot be “Christian” or even spiritual at all. They all seem to believe that LGBT people “recruit” or prey on your children. They all seem to believe that all LGBT people are openly promiscuous and want to “flaunt” their sexuality. Of course the most recurring theme is the so-called “gay agenda” that, if successful, will cause the downfall of humanity. By repeating these same lies over and over you seem to believe that everyone who hears them will agree with you and join in your hatred and bigotry.
Let’s dispel these one by one. First being “gay” or homosexual desire is NOT a choice, nor is it a mental illness. This is the consensus of not only the American Psychological Association since 1975, but all leading doctors and scientists who have studied the question. I don’t know if we will ever find the “gay gene” or even combination of genes that explain it fully, but I will put forward that in 2008, a Swedish research group studied the brains (through new MRI technology) of LGBT people and found definite patterns and characteristics that differentiate them from heterosexuals. In other words, our brains are wired differently and develop differently in childhood. As I understand your disdain for modern science, I will put it in terms you understand – our Creator made us this way! Do you really believe that anyone would “choose” to be gay and subject themselves to the type of hatred and bigotry that you encourage? Of course since your opinions are not based on science, but rather your interpretation of words written nearly four thousand years ago in a dead language that has been re-translated dozens of times and taken out of context to boot, it’s easy to understand your confusion on this issue, but at least try to be logical.
On the issue of “curing” homosexuality through prayer, let me point out that all credible experts (psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and clinical researchers) have concluded that not only does it not work, it causes more harm, and in some cases drives people to suicide. I would also point out that the founder of Exodus Ministries, Alan Chambers, has even renounced the practice as “harmful.”
Can a homosexual be a Christian? Of course he or she can, and many more than you think are, or at least celebrate their beliefs and spirituality in their own way as many are alienated from most “Christian” churches due to prejudice and bigotry. The only “requirement” to be a Christian is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I would point out that NOWHERE in the four gospels does Jesus condemn or even mention homosexuality or “men lying with men” although we know the practice existed even in old testament times. There is no mention of it in a single parable, sermon, or quote. Although many in the Christian community believe we should literally be put to death, (based primarily on a single verse in Leviticus taken out of context) why is there no mention of homosexuality in the Ten Commandments? The Christ I have studied preached a gospel of love, humility, acceptance, grace, and forgiveness – not intolerance, bigotry, hate, condemnation, and discrimination. Perhaps M. Ghandi said it best when he said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”
Do homosexuals prey on children? The answer is that there are basically as many incidents of heterosexual child sexual abuse and exploitation as homosexual although the perpetrators are predominately male who simply prey on the most vulnerable in our society. Pedophilia is a mental disorder all unto itself and to believe that all homosexuals are pedophiles is akin to believing that all young black men who wear a “hoodie” are criminals. Wait… some of you do believe that, sorry, my mistake, but I hope you see the ridiculousness of your argument. To put it bluntly, you can’t just generalize about every gay person and assign them these mental disorders just because you want to do so without any evidence or proof. Even Jerry Sandusky is not necessarily gay as he obviously had a wife and family, but preyed on young boys. As far as “recruiting,” there is no need. There are plenty of LGBT children born to heterosexual couples every day to more than adequately supply the population without any help from the LGBT community.
Are all gay people promiscuous? The short answer is no, and that you are again generalizing against an entire population. There are “pride marches” and gay bars, cruise parks, and bathhouses that even I admit would lead a casual observer to this conclusion, but the number of heterosexual strip bars, sex clubs, and sex shops far outnumber the gay ones by an overwhelming ratio. Allow me to point out something else that maybe you hadn’t considered. Many gay people are closeted because of the stigma and hatred that people like you cause. Those that are “out” were probably in the closet as some time in their past, and are rejoicing in new-found de-criminalized freedoms they thought they would never see or enjoy. Most have little or no hope of ever having a devoted, loving relationship with a single life-partner like heterosexual people enjoy and even take for granted. That’s because you have passed laws that forbid it. So, they express their sexuality the only way they think they can – multiple casual relationships with little or no commitment involved. Homosexuals are human, and have the same basic needs, such as love and companionship, and yes, sex. It is my contention that when or if the LGBT community can enjoy the hope of a committed life-long bond much of the perceived promiscuity will fade away, or at least be no more prevalent than it is in the heterosexual community. The only true “threat” to heterosexual marriages is the one that exists today, that is a soaring divorce rate that has more than doubled in the last quarter century. But, no one is going to force a heterosexual to marry a homosexual any more than we as a society in this country force anyone to marry. You, on the other hand, would force a homosexual to marry someone of the opposite sex if they want to be married at all.
Now, finally, about this so-called “gay agenda” we keep hearing so much about. Well, if you call merely wanting (1) acceptance (not just “tolerance”); (2) the right not to be discriminated against in employment, housing, and education; and (3) the same right to have a single, monogamous, committed lifetime relationship with someone we love; (4) respect for who we are and the contributions we make to society, – an agenda, then yes, call it what you want. I call it fighting for equality. If my equal rights are “dangerous,” then perhaps we are failing as a society.
Richard “Rick” Davis