The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, July 13, 2007

Intolerance v. Acceptance

A few days ago a reader posted a comment at the end of this post about flag burning in which he left the “L” out of “flag” and then typed ‘Oops” and went on typing, rather than erasing the offending word and typing his opinion without conjuring up images of violence against gays. Knowing the person who wrote it, I believe his intention was either to make a cruel joke or even to incite others to violence. But violence against gays is no joking matter.

Does this guy know that a local gay man was beaten and burned to death just a few years ago? And more recently a man in South Alabama suffered the same fate. These horrible murders are still fresh in the minds of gays and lesbians because of constant threat of violence and the hateful rhetoric of people like this writer.

Instead of making jokes about killing gay men and lesbians, why not promote tolerance and acceptance like Abby does. From today’s “Dear Abby”


DEAR ABBY: My husband and I raised our two sons and two daughters. One son and both daughters married well. Our other son, "Neil," is gay. He and his partner, "Ron," have been together 15 years, but Neil's father and I never wanted to know Ron because we disapproved of their lifestyle.
When I was 74, my husband died, leaving me in ill health and nearly penniless. No longer able to live alone, I asked my married son and two daughters if I could "visit" each of them for four months a year. (I didn't want to burden any one family, and thought living out of a suitcase would be best for everyone.) All three turned me down. Feeling unwanted, I wanted to die.
When Neil and Ron heard what had happened, they invited me to move across country and live with them. They welcomed me into their home, and even removed a wall between two rooms so I'd have a bedroom with a private bath and sitting room -- although we spend most of our time together.
They also include me in many of their plans. Since I moved in with them, I have traveled more than I have my whole life and seen places I only read about in books. They never mention the fact that they are supporting me, or that I ignored them in the past.
When old friends ask how it feels living with my gay son, I tell them I hope they're lucky enough to have one who will take them in one day. Please continue urging your readers to accept their children as they are. My only regret is that I wasted 15 years. -- GRATEFUL MOM

DEAR GRATEFUL MOM: You are indeed fortunate to have such a loving, generous and forgiving son. Sexual orientation is not a measure of anyone's humanity or worth. Thank you for pointing out how important it is that people respect each other for who they are, not for what we would like them to be.
You could have learned that lesson long ago, had you and your husband contacted Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) when you first learned that Neil was gay. Among other things, the organization offers support groups and education for parents who need to learn more about gender issues. PFLAG

It is because of people like this writer that we need hate crimes legislation. The U. S. Senate was poised to vote on it this week, but are bogged down in other stuff. Maybe they will get to it soon, it wouldn't hurt for you to call your senator's office at 202/224-3121 and urge them to vote in favor of the Matthew Shepard Act, S. 1105. And contrary to what this same writer has said before, this bill does not muzzle Christians, in fact, over 1300 clergy have issued a letter in support of the bill.

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