Homosexual Lefts and Rights




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During our 62-year marriage my first wife Margaret and I adopted a daughter and were foster parents of a preteen boy; why should people who were born lesbian or gay be denied sharing their love by adopting or being foster parents? Why do most GLBT people not have the same protection against being fired only because they are LGBT? Or denied housing? Why should LGBT people be treated any differently than straights?

Early as a social worker I realized that some of my colleagues were probably gay or lesbian. They worked just like everyone else, we depended on each other, they were team players, and they were fine friends. I realized it, because in my social work training in the 1960's we listened to and questioned gay activists and psychologists and others. One of the gay men told us secret ways that gays communicated without fear that straights will understand. One told some gay humor.

Given the normal distribution of people, likely some of your colleagues or clients or friends are LGBT whether open, or hidden "in a closet."

Conservative churches get it all wrong!
When many
lesbians and gays "came out" of the closet decades ago, some church people objected. Their feelings were based on fear and a few isolated passages in the Bible. Some church leaders used their feelings of discomfort, and became fundamentalist moral police who convinced voters to enact laws denying lesbians and gays equal protection in housing, on the job. In many of their churches they rejected LGBT youth. One lady, Kathy, pushed back with T-shirts that say,

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What's the truth?
As a retired clergy, I knew that the statements in the Bible are about homosexual acts. Those Bible statements are very few and explained by the cultural environment of the time. The word and idea of homosexuality was unknown until the 19th century. So, why are these passages emphasized, while the Bible’s message clearly welcomes people and is concerned for people and for justice.

As an active social worker, I know that most pedophiles are heterosexual. I know that generally lesbians and gays want to live like the rest of us, and are not trying to convert straights. Why do these conservatives not conserve the Bill of Rights, instead of denying these holy rights to gay and lesbian people? I personally know the Christ of the Creator God is deeply offended when people are denied these Creator given rights — "We hold these truths to be self-evident, all are created equal and endowed by their Creator…".

Consider Zach Wahl's experience raised by lesbians that he described to Iowa Legislators.

Cure left-handedness?
I realize that being gay or lesbian is like my being left handed. A few generations ago people tried to "cure" left-handedness. The results were tragic. These children’s brains were short-circuited. Many like my great aunt continued using their natural left hand privately. And later I learned how many of the creative people through the centuries were left-handed.
Almost half the astronauts are left handed!

Today some want to "cure" gays and lesbians the way society used to force the left-handed to be like the majority. Many lesbians and gays say they felt attracted to and "fell for" people of their own gender in their early teens, when most of us were fascinated by the opposite gender. That certainly suggests that being gay and lesbian is not a choice, but is like some of us being left handed. And our left handedness does not impact your life in your right-handed world.

So, if you have read this far, a simple question. Fundamentally, why not think about and treat lesbians and gays as you do left handed people? Left handed comes from the Latin word sinistral while right handed from dexterity! Sinister we really are not! And most gays and lesbians are like left handed people. They want equal housing and job protection — to be treated just like the rest of us able to adopt children and be foster parents. Why do conservatives deny basic human rights; when will they come after us sinister left-handed people?

Today we realize we must be concerned about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — LGBT — people! Beautiful people as you get to know them! Deeply so of transgender people. To glimpse them read She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders.

Within some churches today welcoming and ordaining gays and lesbians causes conflict. The Bible clearly accepts slavery, which we now condemn; we realize the Bible is wrong about slavery. Gay and lesbian clergy are effective, but often must deny their souls and selves and appear straight. In my ideal church gay and lesbian couples can show their caring for each other in various ways just as hetero couples do, and clergy's orientation is irrelevant.

About lesbians and gays and left-handedness, perhaps think of this slogan on my desk my first wife gave me: "!Left is always right."

Our thinking must first be about the persons and not gender. LGBT couples benefit from the kind of work my wife and I did for over 50 years, developing our attitudes and relationships as a couple and as parents. At the same time we had to be our individual selves with interests, professions, and more.

Sex is obviously a central and critical part of that development. Some critics of the LGBT focus too much on sex and too little on their personal relationships — the pair we see at church or socially.

While some Americans think homo- and heterosexuals are different, the reality is that we are a continuum. Some at one extreme are thoroughly homo and at the other hetero; the majority have some of both. Most of us have very close friends of both genders that we find attractive, pleasant, fun to be with — whom we hug!

The "rainbow cross" welcomes and is made by a few individuals and includes at the center the triangle homosexuals had to wear under Hitler when many were sent to death camps.

To find rainbow crosses or comment

Copyright © 2002, 2015 John F. Yeaman