He was cautious. Forty years ago, life was risky for a gay person. He approached a young acquaintance and asked if he was interested in a sexual encounter. The young man seemed to agree with him and they decided to meet at a deserted location. But when they met, the young man beat the guy.
The young man told his friends about it, bragging about how he had blackened the guy’s eyes, broken his nose, and cracked his ribs. His pals approved figuring the gay guy had it coming.
Forty years later, some progress has been made but it’s still risky for people of the LGBT community. They can still get beaten and in some parts of the world, they’re killed. However even if they don’t risk physical injury, they’re still often targets of ridicule and derision. They’re still regarded as unworthy of equal consideration even if the law says they must be given equal rights.
How would you feel to be regarded as “not normal”?
What if your family was embarrassed about you? How would it feel to be told that living alone was the only honorable path for you? What would you think if your church told you that they loved you “anyway,” even if you are an abomination—and, by the way, those are some of the more tolerant churches. Most churches still blame the LGBT for natural disasters and the fall of civilizations—and I wish I was joking.
It’s a sin, the religious folk say. It goes against the Bible.
I don’t care what the Bible says–they’re wrong. Quoting the Bible and claiming to speak for God makes them even more wrong.
I’ve been hoping the United Methodist Church, the denomination where I served as a minister, would make some changes in their attitude toward the LGBT. They’re going to have an expensive, divisive conference to talk about the ordination of non-heterosexual people and same sex marriage. I’ve only just now realized that no one is going to change their minds. The only thing I see happening is that the LGBT will be more resented afterwards.
I want to shout at my former colleagues: “Come on! We were supposed to be the world changers! We were supposed to be champions of the oppressed!”
People are being beaten!