Return to Writing

I have not been writing because I would be inclined to write about the vile I read about in the world (thanks to the deluge of news to which we are all subject) and ask, what is the point of giving this misery any more airtime. For, example, last week a young man in Georgia came out to his family and was promptly vilified, physically assaulted and thrown out of his home of 19 years by his Catholic parents and grandmother.[i] Last week a mega-church Baptist preacher in Tennessee quoted the bible to advocate and justify putting all gay people to death.[ii] Where is the part in all of this reporting that would not drag down the vast majority of us. And if it would not and does not drag down the vast majority of us, I fear for the minority of us who are left to fend for ourselves against this mean-spiritedness and hatred.

Okay, in all fairness, when news of the young man did go viral, benevolent individuals did start to send him money to help him out. Unsolicited, he received over $95,000, and what’s more, this young man donated the vast majority of this money to a shelter for homeless LGBT youth in Atlanta, to help out kids in the same situation as himself.[iii] As it turns out, and as reported in the most recent edition of Rolling Stone,[iv] of the LGBT kids living on the streets, 40% are homeless because they were disowned by religious families once their families learned they were gay. Just think about it, close to half of all LGBT youth who are homeless find themselves on the streets because they have been thrown out like trash. And by people who claim to be following the example of Christ. Where is the abomination in this story!

Why is it not a hate crime for the Baptist preacher to be advocating mass murder against American citizens? Must local and federal law enforcement officials wait until lynchings are carried out before they take any measures? Would they wait to take action if he were egging on his congregation to execute Jews. Why is this call for a jihad against the LGBT community not treated as a threat of domestic terrorism!

So, I have not been writing because I am sickened by the topics that capture my attention, and want to get as far away from their reality as I can. But then again, perhaps if I don’t shy away or hide but instead do express my own thoughts, more other people of good conscience will become aware of these injustices and threats, and perhaps more of us will be better incented to act and shape a world where these stories won’t repeat themselves.

 

[i] http://www.queerty.com/watch-two-god-fearing-parents-assault-and-kick-their-disgraceful-gay-son-to-the-curb-20140828

[ii] http://www.towleroad.com/2014/09/southern-baptist-pastor-gays-should-be-put-to-death-god-can-cure-homosexuality-video.html

[iii] http://www.queerty.com/georgia-teen-assaulted-by-parents-raises-over-90000-in-three-days-20140830

[iv] http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-forsaken-a-rising-number-of-homeless-gay-teens-are-being-cast-out-by-religious-families-20140903#ixzz3ClIcLHSZ

French Minister of Justice speech after the passage of the bill opening marriage and adoption to same-sex couples (VIDEO)


French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira’s Speech to the National Assembly after the passage of the bill opening marriage and adoption to same-sex couples

Mister President, Mister Prime Minister, Congresswomen and Congressmen,

I must admit that I am overwhelmed by emotion. Still, I hope that I’ll be able to say a few words. I am extremely thankful to the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic for giving us the opportunity to pass this beautiful reform. We passed it with force. We passed it with the constant support of the government. We passed it with your active participation. You all improved this bill. You enriched it. You were there during the long nights of debate. You were there. You were stoic, sometimes in the face of hateful speeches that were against our deeply held values. But there were also great and beautiful expressions of democracy. In the opposition, we had speeches from congresspeople who fought against this bill and who made their firm objections known through their arguments. We are grateful to them as well, because their objections will also be recorded by history.

In passing this law, we know that we built something together. We know that we did not take anything away from anyone. When the first signs of dissent sprung up in society, we asked ourselves questions.  We asked ourselves if our beliefs were enough. We attentively listened to the fears and protests of the opposition. We responded. Lucidly. Clearly. Frankly. And we pointed them towards the content of the bill. We asked ourselves what the most precious things in the lives of heterosexual couples and their families are. And we did not touch those things.

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Powerful Open Letter to the Supreme Court from a Gay Couple with Three Adopted Kids (VIDEO)

Written by Jack Montgomery. Published at www.dearscotus.com on Mar 27, 2013

Dear Justice Scalia as well as your distinguished peers serving on the Supreme Court,

First let me thank you for hearing the historic cases this week on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). My husband, Kelly Vielmo, and I adopted three beautiful siblings from DC’s foster care system last year. Being an inter-racial, same-sex family we are used to being conspicuous and sometimes the center of attention on a local level depending on where we happen to be. With the cases being heard in the Supreme Court this week our family is now on debate at the national level. With that said I am following with interest your ruling on these cases. One comment that stuck with me was the speculation of potential “deleterious” effects of kids having same-sex parents. After I looked up deleterious (adj. causing harm or damage) I had to reflect on the harm and damage that has been done to my children. I know that you are listening to these cases from a nationally-scaled legal point of view, but the intent of this letter is to offer you the lens and point of view of one individual family your rulings will affect.

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Today, I Am Reborn a Non-Catholic

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To His Eminence: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Today is Easter Sunday, the day in the Catholic calendar most devoted to the celebration of rebirth. Today, in this 48th year since my Confirmation into the Catholic Church, I choose to be reborn a non-Catholic. I am renouncing both my Baptism and Confirmation into the Church. You will find my 1965 Remembrance of Confirmation, performed by Bishop Fearns at St. Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue, returned with this letter. A record of my Baptism should be in the records of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on West 71st Street. Please remove me from your roster of adherents.

Why?

Today, on national television, you offered that gay couples are entitled to friendship, but you added that in the eyes of the Catholic Church, they were precluded from the happiness that comes from a loving, long-lasting romantic relationship. Here are the exact words you used in your exchange with the host of the program:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (HOST): And you know, especially this week – because it’s been at the top of the news – for many gay and lesbian Americans –– gay and lesbian Catholics, they feel unwelcome –– in the Church. And what do you say as a minister, as a pastor – to a gay couple that comes to you and say, “We love God. We love the Church. But we also love each other, and we –– want to raise a family in faith. What do you say to them?

DOLAN: Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, “I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God’s image and likeness. And – and we – we want your happiness. But – and you’re entitled to friendship.” But we also know that God has told us that the way to happiness, that – especially when it comes to sexual love – that is intended only for a man and woman in marriage, where children can come about naturally. We gotta be – we gotta do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that.

And so once again, Your Eminence, you affirmed that the position of the Catholic Church is that marriage is intended only for a man and a woman. Fair enough. I would have expected nothing different, nothing less. But to add that gay couples are just entitled to friendship, and that anything more is precluded by God, Your Eminence, you are just wrong!

I am a gay man. I am in a 12-year relationship – a relationship that has endured much longer than 50% of the marriages in this country – a relationship which has seen its ups and downs, its fun and its frustrations, its honeymoon periods and its less than honeymoon periods. My honey, as I call my partner, and I have struggled to know one another, to appreciate and accept one another’s peculiarities, to talk candidly, to argue and to compromise with one another. We have learned to both embrace interdependence and safeguard independence. Along the way, where a lot of couples might have called it quits, we called a couples therapist and made weekly visits. And we are stronger for it. You better believe this is a friendship. And you better believe this is a whole lot more – regardless of whether you deny it. Regardless of whether you would deny us, and hundreds of thousands of couples like us, respectful inclusion in the institution that treats what we have together as a whole lot more than a friendship, it is. And it deserves to be honored as such. And Your Eminence, the happiness that you say was intended only for a man and women in marriage, God is granting that to us too.

There are other Churches that would welcome and honor what we have built together as more than a friendship. Even the new Pope Francis, while he was battling same-gender marriage laws in Argentina (a campaign he cast as a “war of God”), worked behind the scenes to start a conversation in favor of civil unions as an alternative – as a way to recognize that what loving, long-term gay couples have is more than friendship, and is entitled to be treated as more than friendship. You have never even hinted at such a generosity of spirit.

You are the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. That makes you the highest-ranking Catholic cleric in the country. I accept that your pronouncements reflect the position of the Church in the United States. Your Eminence, your words on this Easter morning, on this day of rebirth, have given me the final bit of inspiration I have needed to be reborn. I leave the Church with no ill will. I leave because I am ill at heart with each new Church pronouncement of the limitations of God’s desires for me, for my happiness, and for the fullness of my experience as a human being, born in His image, just because I am gay.

Today, I am reborn a non-Catholic.

Respectfully,

Peter Alduino

cc: His Holiness, Pope Francis

Response:

Response from Cardinal Dolan (April 9 2013)

Source:

Cardinal Dolan To Gay Couples: You’re Only ‘Entitled To Friendship’

Cardinal Dolan Interviewed by George Stephanopoulos (VIDEO)

On Gay Unions, a Pragmatist Before He Was a Pope

Related Readings:

If the Church is Serious About Welcoming Gays… (NYT, Op-ed)

Kids with Same-Gender Parents say: “Let My Parents Marry” (VIDEOS)

In January 2011, Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would eliminate the existing rights of same-sex couples to civil unions in Iowa.

“Good evening, Mr. Chairman,” he started. “My name is Zach Wahls. I’m a sixth-generation Iowan and an engineering student at the University of Iowa, and I was raised by two women.” He went on to tell the lawmakers he was a top student and an Eagle Scout — and concluded his remarks by saying: “Over the next two hours, I’m sure we’re going to hear plenty of testimony about how damaging having gay parents is on kids. But in my 19 years not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple…And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero (negative) effect on the content of my character…”

Two weeks ago, 12-year-old adopted Daniel Leffew, who is adopted, heard the news about Supreme Court Justice John Roberts having two adopted kids and decided that he wanted to write a letter to Justice Roberts about his adoptive parents. He talked about life with his two dads and asked the Chief Justice to allow them the right to get married.

Additional Reading:

Refuting the Myths About Gay Parents