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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Will 2013 Go Down as the Annus Mirabilis of the Gay Rights Struggle?

Rev. Steve Kindle
Ex. Dir. Clergy United
www.clergyunited.org
Just as Martin Luther King Jr. either prophesied or intuited, the arc of history, at least here in the USA, continues to bend toward justice.  Just a year ago, few had in mind the rapid fire changes that resulted in now 13 states offering same-sex marriage, and what looks like an irresistible march toward fifty state compliance.  I admit that I am giddy over the prospects.

Then there's the almost impossible-to-call reversal of the stance held by Exodus International, the first and largest ex-gay movement in the world, that gays could change their sexual orientation by either good counseling provided by the reparative therapy crowd, or getting right with God. The bodies that are littering the paths of all who held out such hope are staggeringly high.  Not only has EI repudiated their mission, they have called it quits! We would be celebrating this amazing turn of events were it not for so much carnage wrought getting there.

You may (I hope) have noticed my absence on this blog this past month.  Well, I've learned that when you self-publish a book, it takes as much energy after the publication to get it noticed as it did to write it. That includes writing about it as much as writing it!  So, silly me, I actually have another book on the way.  Some people can put out volumes (check out my friend, Bob Cornwall's blog and book output, for example:http://www.bobcornwall.com/).  But I'm a "bleeder," as they say in the guild.  I suffer over every word and much prefer seeing what I have written than writing it.

I bring this up because of the serendipitous moments that arrive just when you need one. Such a moment happened yesterday. My new book is for parents of gay children, If Your Child Is Gay: What every parent of a gay child needs to know to insure a positive outcome in an often negative world. It should be out next week. (Watch this space!)  I had written what I know is an obvious critique of the leaders of the "Anti-gay Industry." Here's a bit of it:
Not everyone in America is of the same mind on the subject of homosexuality, as I am sure you know. This is not to say that reasonable minds can disagree and we can leave it at that. You see, the opposition, for the most part, is unreasonable to the point of obstinacy. Why? They are most often driven by ideology, not the search for reliable facts or even interested at all in you or your children’s well-being. 
What I wrote is absolutely true, and those of us who are close to the ins and outs of the daily struggle with the Anti-gay Industry are well aware of this.  However, for a parent who is just being introduced to things gay, it is not apparent; it's even counter intuitive to believe that. They come off so sincere and righteous.  So, I knew I had to find a way to make this point and one was not easily at hand.  Until yesterday, that is. So here is how I was able to finish the thought:
A recent apology to the entire gay community from a long-time lobbyist for the largest anti-gay ministry in the world, Randy Thomas, underscores this. Here is part of what he admitted to on July 22, 2013, in a posting on his personal blog http://randythomas.co/2013/07/23/apology/ : 
"I participated in the hurtful echo chamber of condemnation. I gave lip service to the gay community, but really did not exemplify compassion for them. I placed the battle over policy [read: ideology] above my concern for real people. I sometimes valued the shoulder pats I was given by religious leaders more than Jesus' commandment to love and serve. That was wrong and I'm disappointed in myself. Please forgive me."
As could be predicted, the Industry was out in force jamming his blog with so much hateful commenting about his apology that Randy had to install a comment review program before posting any more comments. Such is the behaviour of those who supposedly do their work out of love for humanity.

The huge increase in gay marriage rights and the decline of Exodus International in 2013 may very well mean that this year will be looked upon as the Annus Mirabilis of the Gay Rights Movement, even as 1963 is for the Civil Rights Movement.  Martin Luther King would be proud. 

2 comments:

Robert Cornwall said...

Steve,

And don't forget the large, if not gigantic, step taken recently at the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to call on the church to be Welcoming and Gracious to all, no matter their sexual orientation. We didn't declare ourselves open and affirming, but we took a major step.

Rev. Steven F. Kindle said...

This is huge for the Disciples, and may lead other denominations to take a similar step. We can hope and pray.