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August 31, 2013
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Gay marriage about rights, not morality

Regarding Brian Hamilton’s opinion piece, “Sometimes, I just don’t get it,” the anonymous caller who objected to a gay marriage announcement in The Union exemplifies the ignorance and to a great extent the stupidity of a lot of people. They hold opinions that have no basis in fact and often use the Bible to justify those “facts.”

Being homosexual has nothing to do with being immoral. However, being hurtful to your fellow human being for no good reason is immoral. Unfortunately, many lives have been seriously damaged by the so-called good intentions of Christians who attempt to “fix” homosexuals in programs such as Exodus International.

I and many other gay men have personal knowledge of people who have been so driven by this “therapy” that they have eventually committed suicide because they can’t live up to the expectations of their families and the church (Read “Ex Gay, No Way” by Dr. Jallen Rix). Just imagine trying to change your heterosexuality to homosexuality.

Of course, no one chooses to be gay. I always ask those who claim we choose to be gay, “When did you choose to be heterosexual?”

My one-year-older brother and I went through puberty at about the same time, and as he developed interest in girls, I developed interest in boys. No matter how “hot” the girls were, it had no effect on me just as the “hot” boys that I found had no effect on him.

Prop 8 was a vote on human rights. Obviously many people can’t separate what they perceive as Biblical morality from human rights. These people choose to believe the myths written by bronze age, uneducated people as the absolute word of God. And they insist that everyone follow their beliefs.

This is not a distant trip from the fundamental Islamists in the Middle East who are forcing their myths on the population there and, if they prevail, on the whole world. It has never ceased to amaze me how the fundamental Christians pick and choose what they believe from the Bible.

From my experience, most so-called Christians have never read the Bible or have not read the majority of it. I have yet to hear a call to stone to death a stubborn or rebellious son. Are we still supposed to have slaves? Do I sell my daughter?

My husband and I were married at the National Hotel in Nevada City shortly after the court allowed same-sex marriage in California the first time. Tom, the hotel owner, was great, and the reception went off just fine. There was a lady in the bar adjacent to the dining room where the reception was held learned it was a same-sex marriage. She asked us if we had a honeymoon planned, to which we replied, “No.” She proceeded to offer her cabin in the woods to us for that purpose. Others in the bar were very supportive and gave us a toast.

Charlie and I had been together for 23 years before the marriage. We raised a son, Leo, together who is very well adjusted, college educated and is straight.

It would have been much better both for us and Leo if we were allowed to marry all those years ago. Because we were not married, I had to carry papers with me all the time in case something happened to Leo as I was not his biological father and would not be considered family in case he needed medical care or other reasons.

I doubt the anonymous caller ever thought about my human rights, but I am absolutely sure that if society denied him/her the right to practice her/his religion, that caller would be very vocal demanding his/her rights.

Kudos to The Union for publishing the photo of the engaged men! You did just what you would do to any engaged couple. What could be wrong with that?

Jim Richards lives in Nevada City.

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The Union Updated Aug 31, 2013 09:43AM Published Sep 7, 2013 10:37AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.