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Posted at 4:18 PM ET, 11/23/2009

Gay Marriage in D.C.: Heroes in a righteous cause

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Samuel Johnson
Crofton

I was raised Roman Catholic, and as a youth I always dreamed of being married one day. But like so many closeted gay youths, that dream stayed silent within me because I truly wanted to be with a person of my sex. Meanwhile, at Catholic school, I was beaten, pushed, spat upon and harassed — not because I was gay but merely because I was perceived as being gay. And as a Catholic, I accepted this abuse because the church taught that homosexuality was an abominable sin. This self-hatred took years to undo as an adult. This is not a unique story among gays, believe me.

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and members of the D.C. Council are righteous in their steadfast support for allowing same-sex marriage. Gay people are not merely “activists.” We are people. We are every age and color, every religion and ethnicity. We have families that love and depend upon us. We have friends and colleagues who appreciate us, across the United States and all over the world.

When religious leaders and public personalities attempt to institutionalize discrimination against us, they are viewed as ambassadors of hatred. In the long run, the trends look good for those who are at long last standing up to such forces.

Keep up the fight, Mr. Fenty and members of the D.C. Council. You are the true American heroes. The world is watching.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | November 23, 2009; 4:18 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., same-sex marriage  
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Comments

Thank you for writing this! I've already printed it out and put it in a safe place to remind me I am not alone in a world that is often unkind to gay people.

Some snippets from your post I especially like:

"We are people. We are every age and color, every religion and ethnicity. We have families that love and depend upon us."

Sadly, though, not all gays and lesbians have families that love and support them. And even more sad, I have seen parents stand by their children (both teens and adults) when they commit serious crimes (sometimes murder!) while other parents throw their gay teenage children out on the street or totally disengage from any parts of their adult son or daughter's life...

Another part that really strikes a loud note for me:

"This self-hatred took years to undo as an adult. This is not a unique story among gays, believe me."

This is particularly true!! There are unbearably heartbreaking stories of people (who often call themselves "Christians") physically hurting and verbally abusing gays and lesbians. And don't get me started on "ex-gay therapy." It not only doesn't work, it can wreck severe emotional damage, cause INTENSE self-hatred and even make one seriously consider suicide. I know this firsthand!

I hope someday (preferably soon!) we will find less and less need for opinion pieces and commentaries on such as basic issues as equal rights for ALL people!


Posted by: anglovesmusic | November 23, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Wonderfully written. Thank you.

Posted by: anon82 | November 23, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Legalizing gay marriage: It's the Christian thing to do.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | November 24, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I keep asking the question, how do Catholic groups deal with divorced and remarried people? Do they hire such people? Do they provide services or health benefits for the spouses of such people? Because it sure seems like the church has managed to work its way around this issue, one on which the church is at least as dogmatic.

I am so tired of hearing about "Catholic bashing". Make no mistake, nobody is requiring these Catholic groups to do anything, except obey the law IF THEY ACCEPT public funding. What it boils down to is the Catholic church and groups like Catholic Charities asking for a special right to discriminate against gay people--a special right to be exempted from the laws that any other group seeking public funds would have to obey, a special right not to provide legally mandated services or benefits equally. How is this anything other than gay bashing in the name of religion? I hope the D.C. Council will stick to their guns.

Posted by: MrDarwin | November 24, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The Catholic church uses the tax dollars of gay and lesbian Washington, DC residents by virtue of its tax exempt status. It is outrageous they would use those tax dollars to legally discriminate against those same citizens.

I hope the mayor and City Council will stand up to them. There are other capable organizations that do not practice discrimination in employment.

If this religious institution asked for an exclusion to the law to discriminate against people because of their chosen religious beliefs or their race there would be an uproar from the populace. It is profane and evil to subject people to discriminatory employment practices because of who they love.

Posted by: kpharmer | November 24, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, Mr. Johnson!

Posted by: mikhastur | November 30, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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