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November 5, 2013

Nov. 5, 2013: Letters to the editor

Civil marriage must be an option for all

With regard to the issue of gay marriage, there is a different point of view.

I am the mother of six children. Two of them are gay. I have a gay son, who has just married his partner in California. I have a lesbian daughter, who has been with her partner for 29 years. They have had a civil union in Vermont, a domestic partnership in New Jersey, and a wedding in Canada.

When I learned I had gay children, I was traumatized. Nothing had prepared me for this eventuality. As a fundamentalist Christian, I had a lot of work to do.

After years of struggle, prayer, agonizing and deep study, I finally recognized that gay people do not choose their sexual orientation. They are God’s creation as surely as any other human being.

Once I embraced that truth, I became a gay rights activist.

I volunteered as a buddy with the AIDS project in Worcester, Mass., for six years. All three of my patients died.

I was appointed to Gov. William Weld’s Commission for Gay and Lesbian Youth. This commission was formed for the expressed purpose of reducing the number of gay young people committing suicide. The suicide rate among gay teenagers is staggering.

I spent 10 years with the group Soulforce, confronting churches about their policies on gay people. During that time several churches have changed their position on this issue. Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ and others now ordain gay people to positions of leadership and to the ministry.

Yet, when I talked to pastors in Kokomo, I found it very difficult to find a church that embraces this new position.

Kokomo very much needs a chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). People are still hurting. Families are still being torn apart. It also needs gay-friendly churches to make that fact known.

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