Seeking to “promote community unity,” the Rev. Doug Taylor (April 6) refers to discrimination against gays and lesbians as “a few isolated incidents.” More than 120 religious leaders from 14 different faith traditions across Maine disagree, and have formed the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry in Maine.

The Rev. Taylor seems unaware that the FBI reports that crime related to one’s sexual orientation ranks third in frequency, just behind race and religion. Reports indicate that a gay-bashing occurs every six hours in this country, but who can actually say? An attack because of religion or race does not carry the same stigma as one that would reveal a person’s private life. Sadly, but understandably, a great number of incidents of gay-bashing go unreported because the victims fear being outed. Kids are afraid their parents will disown them.

Others fear their lives will be ruined, and still others fear losing their jobs or homes. Unlike race or religion, in 30 states, employers legally fire employees just for being gay.

The street word for black people is so offensive in our society that most newspapers, including the Sun Journal, won’t print it. Yet the street word for gay people is common from classroom to comedy club.

Gradually, Maine is moving to the forefront in this country and leading the way to liberty and justice for all its citizens. Leaders of faith seeking to promote community unity recognize that truth, not discrimination, will set us all free.

Lew Alessio, Greene


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