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I May Not Always Understand My Gay Son, But I Accept Him

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Gay RightsI picked up my 20-something son, David, at the Metro a few weeks ago. After he got into the car, he put out his hands towards me, and asked:

“Do you like this color? Kind of a deep purple. I get a lot of compliments on it.”
Yes, David wears nail polish — bright, glossy, frequently-changing-colors nail polish. And it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I like the deep purple shade.

When David first told us he was gay in his junior year in high school, my husband and I were somewhat surprised, but when we thought about it, it began to make sense. At first I worried about the increased chances that he would develop AIDS and I was concerned about problems he would likely face being accepted as a gay man in the less tolerant world we lived in a decade ago. But the gay part? We had an inkling. Okay, more than an inkling. (What parent doesn’t?)

As an avid reader and news-watcher, I did have some knowledge of the evolving gay community. I was aware of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, I remember when Barney Frank became the first U.S. congressman to come out as gay in 1987 and when a New York Court ruled in 1989 that it was legally possible for a same-sex couple to constitute a family.

Authored By Nancy L. Wolf – See the Full Story at The Washington Post

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French Mayor Who Opposes Same Sex Marriage Officiates at Gay Son’s Wedding

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

France - Google MapsA French mayor who still thinks gay marriage “is not what nature intended” nevertheless officiated at his gay son’s wedding.

Pink News reports:

Despite being a long-standing critic of same-sex marriage, Raymond Bardet, mayor of Ville-la-Grand in south-eastern France, officiated the ceremony last Saturday. He told the Dauphine Libere:

“My son was getting married, there was no question of letting anyone else do it. If I had asked a deputy to celebrate the marriage, people could have thought that I was criticising my son or that we had fallen out. Only two and a half months ago I discovered that my son was gay. I am his father and I would be the one to celebrate his union, as I would have done for his sister. I didn’t know his partner, but he’s a good person and they make a beautiful couple together. I saw two smart men, very content together. We always think that it doesn’t affect us, that was my way of seeing things, I never questioned it.”

But despite all that, he still opposes marriage equality. It’s beautiful that he did this for his gay son, but it’s sad that he is still trapped in his own prejudices.

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Image via Google Maps

USA, California: Southern Baptist Minister Embraces Gay Son, Marriage Equality

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Pastor Danny CortezA Southern Baptist Minister has embraced marriage equality and his gay son.

Think Progress reports:

The pastor of a Southern Baptist church in Los Angeles, California announced last month that he is now “gay affirming” and has accepted his son’s homosexuality, a declaration that is causing a rift in his local congregation and sparking controversy within the Southern Baptist Convention.

In an hour-long sermon released on YouTube and a letter submitted to John Shore’s Patheos blog, Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church, told his congregants that after a “15-year journey,” he has shifted away from his negative stance on homosexuality and is now accepting of LGBT people.

“In August of 2013, on a sunny day at the beach, I realized I no longer believed in the traditional [church] teachings regarding homosexuality,” Cortez said in his letter. “And it was especially the testimony of my gay friends that helped me to see how they have been marginalized that my eyes became open to the injustice that the church has wrought.”

His church congregation is supportive of his new position on the issue, but the SBC could expel his church from the denomination.

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USA, Indiana: Gay Son of Indiana Committee Chairman Speaks Out

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Chris SmithThe son of the Chairman of the Indiana House committee that passed the marriage equality ban last week is gay, and he’s speaking out against his father’s action. reports:

Chris Smith, the gay son of Representative Milo Smith, chairman of the Elections Committee that just passed HJR-3 on to the full House, spoke out in support of the Indiana LGBT community on Facebook last night, expressing disappointment about his father’s actions. Wrote Smith to the Indiana Equality page:

Hello everyone. I am the gay son of Representative Milo Smith, chairman of the Elections Committee that just passed HJR-3 onto the full House. I’m not here to badmouth my dad. I’m terribly disappointed in his decision and beliefs, but he’s not going to change them now if he hasn’t after all these years of knowing I am gay. I am here to support you and my friends who remain in Indiana. They are my extended family.

It’s sickening that a father would vote on something that would have such a negative affect on his own son.

In related news, it looks like passage through the GOP-controlled house is not a sure thing.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A poll of the 100 members of the Indiana House shows 38 plan to vote for a proposed constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and 38 plan to vote against it, a newspaper report said Sunday. Thirteen other representatives were undecided how they would vote on the measure and 11 refused to answer the poll, reports The Indianapolis Star. The numbers reveal how support has dwindled for the proposed amendment, which the House approved 70-26 in 2011.

So maybe we still have a chance to stop this thing after all.

Indiana resident Peter Monn talks about what it feels like to be in Indiana as a same sex couple right now:

Of all of the times in my entire life that I have been called names, beaten and degraded, and there are have been thousands, justifying my right for marriage is the most degrading and discriminating thing that has ever happened in my life. The state of Indiana should be ashamed for not being part of the upward movement in our country. This is a proud moment for, not only the United States, but the world. Indiana can be with it, or against it.

When I was younger, and called derogatory names, my mother would tell me: “When you walk down the street, hold your head up high and refuse to be a victim of their oppression.” Today I hold my head up high. And so, after all, I haven’t lost anything. It is the State of Indiana that will have lost. Time will roll on, and gay marriage will be accepted in every state in this nation; of that I am sure. Any historian will tell you that history repeats itself, and we are on the precipice of one of the biggest civil and human rights moments in history. What have we learned from our past? The question is simply: Do you want to drive against the grain or float with the river?

One way or another, this effort will fail, whether it is now or years down the road when the injustice is overturned by a court. But now would be better.

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Just Because He Breathes: Learning to Truly Love Our Gay Son

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

2013-06-21-ryanprofile1Our friend Arturo Schultz ran across this and shared it with us. It’s beautiful and wonderful and heartbreaking, as a Christian family struggles to come to terms with their gay son. From the Huffington Post – after reuniting with their now-adult son:

Over the next 10 months, we learned to truly love our son. Period. No buts. No conditions. Just because he breathes. We learned to love whomever our son loved. And it was easy. What I had been so afraid of became a blessing. The journey wasn’t without mistakes, but we had grace for each other, and the language of apology and forgiveness became a natural part of our relationship. As our son pursued recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, we pursued him. God taught us how to love him, to rejoice over him, to be proud of the man he was becoming. We were all healing, and most importantly, Ryan began to think that if we could forgive him and love him, then maybe God could, too.

Read the whole thing. It will touch your heart – if only every family with a newly-outed child would read this…

USA, California: Mormon Mother Who Supported Prop 8 Now Thinks Gay Son is a Blessing

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Mormon Gay SonIn a new film getting its premiere at the Frameline film festival in San Francisco, a Mormon mother talks about the discovery that her son is gay. On Top Magazine reports:

Families Are Forever chronicles the experience of Californians Wendy and Tom Montgomery, who say they didn’t know one of their six children was gay when they were working for Proposition 8’s passage in 2008. Jordan, now 14, says in the film that he considered suicide. “To be honest, before my son came out, I didn’t know any other families who had gay kids,” Wendy told ABC News. “It’s one of the things that’s not talked about in my church, which makes it so much harder to deal with and know who to go to for help… I am a better person for having a gay son. I love differently, and I love more openly. I didn’t realize the judgment I had before I realized that having a gay son was a great blessing and not a burden.”

One of the first things I realized when I first knew that I was gay, even before I truly accepted it, was that this was something that had been given to me to give me the ability to empathize with others who are different than myself. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that who we are is a gift.

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Arizona, USA: GOP Representative With Gay Son – I Don’t Care

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Arizona Representative Matt SalmonAt least, that’s the message he’s sending when he says he is still against giving hs own son all the rights a straight child would enjoy. AZFamily reports:

Arizona congressman Matt Salmon isn’t ready to change his opinion on gay marriage.
In a recent interview with 3TV, Salmon said that while he has a son who is gay, he’s not a supporter of same-sex marriage… “It doesn’t mean I don’t have respect, it doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with some of the issues, it means I haven’t evolved to that station, Rob Portman apparently has,” said Salmon.

I omagine it’s really painful for his gay son to hear that. Sometimes even having family who is gay isn’t enough to open a closed heart.

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Ohio, USA: Senator Portman Gives Speech to Constituents for First Time Since Supporting Marriage Equality

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Ohio Senator Rob PortmanFor the first time since his stance to support marriage equality, Ohio Governor Rob Portman spoke in front of a group of GOP constituents. 10TV reports:

Portman was the featured speaker Saturday at the Butler County GOP’s Lincoln Day dinner. The Republican-dominated county north of Cincinnati is home to House Speaker John Boehner, who repeated his opposition to same-sex marriage after Portman’s reversal on the issue… He tells The Cincinnati Enquirer that Saturday’s crowd was split on their views of same-sex marriage but everyone was “very respectful.”

Pink News adds:

He was greeted with a standing ovation when he took to the stage, and rather than addressing the equal marriage controversy, he spoke of the Republican Party as a whole, which he said needed to “change direction”.

I know there has been some controversy on the left over this. Some folks have said we shouldn’t reward someone who took so long to come over to our way of thinking. For others, there’s no way to forgive the original sin of sponsoring and then voting for DOMA. And still others see this as purely a political stunt.

But I believe we need to accept such changes of heart at face value, and with open arms. The hard core of our remaining opposition is the tea party and the far-right republicans. The only way we’re going to increase that support over time is to start winning more of the folks’ hearts and minds. And if we slam the door on anyone in the GOP who tries to make that change, no one else will.

Just sayin’.

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Ohio, USA: GOP Senator Rob Portman Supports Marriage Equality After Son Comes Out

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Ohio Senator Rob PortmanIt’s really all about family. When one of Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman’s sons came out to him, he changed his mind on gay marriage. Think Progress reports:

Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife, Jane, and me that he is gay. He said he’d known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn’t something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. Jane and I were proud of him for his honesty and courage. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he’d always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love. At the time, my position on marriage for same-sex couples was rooted in my faith tradition that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman. Knowing that my son is gay prompted me to consider the issue from another perspective: that of a dad who wants all three of his kids to lead happy, meaningful lives with the people they love, a blessing Jane and I have shared for 26 years.

How many other republican politicians have gay and lesbian children?

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Australia: Former NSW Premier Reveals He Has Gay Son, Pushes for Marriage Equality

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Former New South Wales Premier Reveals He Has Gay Son, Pushes for Gay MarriageFormer NSW Premier Nick Greiner has increased the pressure coming from within the Liberal Party on Coalition Leader Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote on marriage equality after revealing that one of his children is in a serious, long-term gay relationship.

Greiner (pictured) made the admission on television yesterday while blasting Abbott’s steadfast refusal of a conscience vote on the issue as “just bizarre”.

“The Liberal Party I’ve been a member of for 40 years is essentially the party of individual freedom, it’s the party that believes in conscience votes,” Greiner told Sky News program Australian Agenda.

Full Story from GNN

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