By the time I was a young adult I discovered that some of my friends were gay.
That they were gay didn’t really bug me, but I couldn’t identify with it, because I am not gay.
This was back in the 1970’s and 80’s, at the time of the rise of anti-gay politicking among the ‘religious.’
For the life of me I couldn’t understand where all this gay-phobia came from. Anti-gays kept quoting the Bible though, so I assumed the Bible must have some horrible things to say about gays.
I will not pretend to be a religious scholar. I went to church as a child but didn’t start reading the Bible until I was an adult.
I was at a point though, where I was somewhat familiar with the Bible. It seemed to me that the overarching message of the Bible was ‘love.’ (Happily, this was also the overarching theme of the Beatles, but I digress…)
I couldn’t rectify the Bible’s ’love’ theme versus all the vitriol I was hearing about how evil the gay people were supposed to be.
If two people love each other, and want to be together, wouldn’t that be good? Doesn’t the Bible promote ‘love?’
My gay friends didn’t seem ‘vile.’ They certainly weren’t hateful and, to a great extent, weren’t even political. They just wanted to live their lives and be left alone.
The anti-gays would have none of that. They started introducing anti-gay legislation all over the country. Much of it legalized discrimination against gays, in housing, in jobs, in the military, etc…
They were making laws, and the sole purpose of each was to discriminate.
How were gays supposed to react?
A) Lie down and be run over by these legal tanks, or
B) Stand up, ‘out’ yourself as gay, and fight against this type of discrimination.
I tip my hat to those pioneering gays who outed themselves early. It is one thing to risk a job, but many of these people ended up being disowned by their own parents and other family members.
It is hard to imagine what it would be like to have your mom and dad never speak to you again, to act as if you don’t exist. We all need affirmation that we have a purpose and, for the most part, we get that from our parents.
Even I, the non-scholar, know that Jesus said nothing about ‘sinful gayness’ (gaydom? gaiety? gayitude?), but does the Bible?
I could quote you chapter and verse, but I will limit this to verse……
Thus sayeth the Beatles: “Love is all you need.”