As years went by, I became aware that three good friends from high school are gay, and I'm OK with that, partly because I don't see any of them anymore. I had an argument once about gay rights, which I believe in. I am of the opinion that sexuality is private, as long as no one is being forced or getting hurt or under age. The issue the other party had with the gay population was the promiscuity, not the orientation itself. We agreed that we are against promiscuity -- it weakens our relationships and harms our self--identities and scars us, making deep loving relationships later in life harder to achieve, not to mention the health and safety risks.
I'm not interested in anyone's personal sexual orientation details, any more than I want to talk with friends about the sexual part of their marriages. I'm fine not hearing that bit, thanks. But I have to say that just being OK with homosexuality isn't really enough for our society, because the anti-gay voice is so loud. Those of us who recognize that same-gender people can love each other and form healthy, stable homes together need to be a little more supportive, and maybe a little more vocal, to offset extremists. There are extremists on both sides, of course, as with any social issue. The middle ground, the humanitarian voice, the human rights defender need to care actively enough to keep either extreme from getting too crazy.
I worked for an ELCA Lutheran church for about five years and grew a lot in my awareness of, and compassion for, human differences. The organization writes deeply thought out and carefully presented social statements, and the one on human sexuality is excellent. It helped me define and be comfortable with my stand on homosexuality and other non-traditional gender situations.
Everyone's heard about Kim Davis in Kentucky refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Just in case anybody wonders about my opinion, here it is. She has a right to her beliefs, but if her beliefs interfere with her ability or willingness to do her job as a public servant bound by public laws, she needs to find a new line of work. Since her case is receiving national attention, I'm willing to bet she's getting job offers from religiously conservative organizations. She is unwilling to resign, apparently, which puts the onus on the government to let her go, and she can enjoy her unemployment insurance benefits while she transitions to a position more suited to her moral standing. Or a different position within the local government could be offered. She was elected to her position, so a special election may be necessary, which costs the public a lot of money. It would certainly be more gracious of her to step down. And that brings me back to the need for more grace in our society. (See yesterday's post.)
Sexuality is private. It's sad that it takes such a public battle for us to let people live their private lives in peace.