friends & foes

The fight continues…

Adding the GLBT community to Anchorage’s anti-discrimination law has been quite the journey. For those who are unfamiliar, this all started in the 70s. At that time, there was a proposal to add sexual orientation to the state’s existing anti-discrimination policy. That proposal passed, but was vetoed by the mayor at the time. A few weeks later, the proposal passed again. Once again, the mayor vetoed. In the early 90s, an anti-discrimination policy including sexual orientation was enacted, but later repealed by a different assembly.

It is ludicrous that we are having this debate. It is absolutely insane that it is so accepted to play with other people’s protections. It isn’t enough to deny actual rights to gay and lesbian couples, these people go the extra step to ensure that members of their own community are not protected from employers or bankers who bring misguided religious beliefs into their business decisions. The proposed ordinance would prevent a person being turned down for housing based on sexual orientation.

Opponents of the ordinance feel that this would be pushing homosexuality on heterosexuals. What they really mean by that thought is they don’t want their right to exclude people they don’t understand taken away. They want to impose their own religious beliefs on others. And that is where their argument makes no sense. This is not a religious matter, but a civic one. Religious belief should keep away from it.

As a Christian myself, this sort of hate-mongering really gets under my skin. It isn’t in keeping with the lessons of love that dominate the Bible. It is such a non-issue. How is it that something so obviously not a part of Scripture has been concluded from it and used to oppress friends and neighbors. What hurts the most from these folks is the very common claim of several gay friends. Why would a person support something that prevents protections from people they refer to as friends. Ludicrous.

And really it all comes back to a larger issue. I’ve been working on some research on gay books and stumbled across a particularly irritating one. The premise of this title was to arm Christians with arguments against the new gay Christian movement. Are they serious? The synopsis claimed that this was an outreach; it stated that there was still hope for these gay Christians and that it was not their goal to push people away from God. Are they serious??? It makes me angry that there are actually Christians out there who are upset that other people are Christians. I think the worst part was the comment by a woman about her gay son. The hate in her comment made me feel so sad for her son that this sort of thinking exists in our world. And I felt so blessed to have the parents I have.

Why does this not make perfect sense to everyone else? How is it that we don’t wish for everyone to be happy and healthy and secure? How can we want anything except love and acceptance for everyone on our planet? I cannot wrap my mind around how parents can send their young children to protest the protections of other people.

Fortunately, the GLBT community is not alone. If we were, concerns about changing laws wouldn’t be as prominently on our minds. We have on our side an army of allies from the straight community who have taken up this fight, having recognized what I mentioned before. This is about friends, neighbors, family members. I owe these allies so much.

Heather & John have done more than anyone I know in Alaska to try to make sure it is a better place for me. I’m humbled by their diligence and cannot begin to express my gratitude. Anchorage Baptist Temple should look to these two as examples of how to treat other human beings. Neither approaches with hate, but with understanding, even when that understanding is for someone whose opinions makes very little sense to their own beliefs.

It is amazing to know people like this.

SOSAnchorage Blog

Enjoying Alaska

Last week, we celebrated Dru’s 30th with merriment at David & Daniel’s house. It was a nice evening, if a bit rainy. I love being surrounded by friends and these moments just seem perfect. We talked into the night in the relative closeness of the dining room and kitchen. But it was nice. Liz & Joan are talkative and enjoyable people to be around and I only regret that I tend to clam up in groups and enjoy the being rather than the interacting. Daniel and David are great hosts.

Tuesday, we celebrated Denis’ birthday with a similar soiree. We’d planned a small cookout, but surprised him with presents and guests. The sun was out and we spent our time on Denis’ deck and around a fire. The food was nice; I rediscovered my love of corn on the cob. The group was similar to last week’s and I once again retreated into myself after a time.

I love Anchorage summers almost as much as I love the winters. It is nice to sit outside with friends until almost midnight in the daylight. It was a good day.

Today was warm. I threw open the doors I could and opened up my windows and just let the air through. It was nice.

what i’m up to:
reading :: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire :: J.K. Rowling
listening to :: We Are Glitter :: Goldfrapp

SaveSave