I am your child. Your grandchild. Your sibling. I am your relative.
I grew up with you. I goofed around with you on the playground. I went to your birthday parties and celebrated the holidays with you.
I went to school with you. I joined social clubs with you. I played sports with you. I had your back in school.
I befriended you in college. I served on student government with you. I befriended your wife, and the two you of you gave me the great honor of being your son’s godfather.
I am your neighbor. I bought the house next door. I make improvements on my home, helping to bolster property values in the neighborhood. I spend my money in local stores, helping out Main Street.
I am your co-worker. I work hard at my job. I volunteer on committees to improve the work environment for everyone. With my salary, I pay my taxes like all good Americans.
So why am I not equal to you?
Why do you have more than 1,200 federal rights than I do? Why do you discriminate against me? Why do you not stand up for my equality?
Are we not all God’s children?
Raging homophobia in right-wing politics
In the hate fest that is the Republican presidential debates, one candidate after the other proudly proclaims to be more homophobic than the others. Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich. Some have already fallen by the wayside, including Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain.
"Love the sinner, hate the sin" is the ancient message they continue to send as they fawn over the Religious Right.
Many claim that being gay is a choice and can be "cured," despite a vast library of scientific and psychological evidence to the contrary. Even the front-runner Mitt Romney, who is considered too moderate for the Religious Right, cannot resist pandering to the anti-gay foes.
Most oppose same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships, contending that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Never mind that poll after poll show a majority of Americans support marriage equality. Never mind that clinical surveys show marriage equality is good for a myriad reasons, including health, happiness and stability of the family.
Most also oppose adoption by gay parents, even though clinical evidence shows that gay parents are every bit as supportive of their adopted children as heterosexual parents and that children raised by gay parents are thriving. (Could these opponents fear that gay parents might bring up their children to be open-minded and reject hate?)
Homophobia has dire effects on LGBT youth
Homophobia is at work everywhere, not just in Republican politics.
In Australia, tennis legend Margaret Court recently stirred up a hornet’s nest, claiming that lesbians have ruined professional tennis. Now a Pentecostal minister, Court claims that homosexuality can be cured with reparative therapy, even though it is scientifically proven to be impossible. She is speaking out against gay rights just as Australia is beginning to debate marriage equality.
Homophobia takes its toll on young, impressionable youth. Anti-gay hate speech, junk science and bullying do untold damage to our youth, causing insecurity, fear, isolation and loneliness. LGBT teenagers are four times as likely as their heterosexual peers to commit suicide, statistics show.
Just look at some of the young lives lost recently:
Justin Aaberg, 15
Eric Borges, 19
Asher Brown, 13
Tyler Clementi, 18
Amanda Cummings, 15
Sam Denham, 13
Jeffrey Fehr, 18
Zach Harrington, 19
Aiyisha Hassan, 19
Jamie Hubley, 15
Billy Lucas, 15
Puja Mondal, 17
Phoebe Prince, 15
Jamey Rodemeyer, 14
Jacob Rogers, 18
Bobby Saha, 19
These are your children. Your grandchildren. Your classmates. Your friends. Their blood is on your hands if you do not stand up against bullying and homophobia.