Thank you Kate Moos and Krista Tippett for exploring this topic with such grace. I wrote in response to your first program on gay marriage circa 2004 feeling very hopeful about the future of conversation around this issue and the progress that might be made. Six years later - though there has been some legislative progress - conversation on gay equality is more heated, emotional, and (in some cases) more toxic then ever. I am a gay man, and I have moved from New York City back to my home state of Oklahoma - tired of being exiled from my family. As recently as a few weeks ago, a 19 year old gay teen took his life after attending a town hall meeting in which one item was to discuss whether the month of October should be observed as LGBT History month in Norman, OK. In this meeting, the young man witnessed many self identified 'Christians' stand up and oppose the proclamation, spouting old myths about children being recruited into a "lifestyle" and what a danger it is to society etc. This, I believe, points to the heart of the rift we are experiencing. Many church leaders are still telling their congregations lies about how being gay is a "choice." This is emphatically false. While there are always exceptions to the rule (humans are complex prisms after all) our rational allies must take a clear-eyed look at official statements from CREDIBLE scientific and medical organizations which say that sexual orientation is NOT a pathology, not a mental illness, that it cannot be changed. This society needs to digest that. Apart from the scientific research, there is no doubt an obviousness about it for the many families and friends of loving, moral LGBT people. Those of us who support racial and gender equality must, at some point, take a stand like we have with those civil rights movements. Civility is crucial, but with all due respect, in SIX YEARS Richard Muow hasn't been able to "sit down and have a conversation" as he likes to say? A conversation that brings more conclusion to his stance? Though its roots may be deeper and more insidious, we must nonetheless recognize that the fuel behind much of the bigotry is driven by religious leaders. I would hope that in producing your next show you might take a sober look at the churches' true role in this problem in the light of science and reason, deflating this lie of "choice" and ask when and where do we begin to take a stand, what is truly the right thing to do for our fellow LGBT human beings? I believe you know the answer in your hearts. Thank you for your superb show. Kent Martin, Tulsa, OK.
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