Because children imitate adults, we dare not think that recent suicides of young people are unrelated to what they see in us. In several cases the suicide has been in response to persecution over sexual identification.
Society repeatedly tells homosexual and bisexual children that they are not as valuable as straight children.
The Sun Journal article about retired military chaplains who oppose the repeal of "don’t ask, don’t tell" shows just how deep is American prejudice against gay persons. Ministers of a faith that places love at its center, in the military of a nation that places equality at its center, do not treat gay soldiers as equals.
I appreciate that the Sun Journal shared that news, because it is part of the problem that ends in suicide.
When policies such as "don’t ask, don’t tell," when we defeat laws that give equality to our gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-gender and questioning neighbors, when we preach sermons that condemn people for being as God created them, when we elect candidates who stand on anti-gay platforms, we tell our gay children that they are not worth what “normal” people are worth.
Thank God most of our GLBTQ youth have the support, resilience and faith to say, “I deserve to love, I deserve to serve, and I demand my rights.”
My heart breaks for the others.
As a Christian pastor, I deeply apologize to those whom the church has made feel unworthy. We have a lot more repenting to do than they have.
The Rev. Stephen Carnahan, Turner