Dear Mr. Robertson,
Since the release of your remarks on race and homosexuality, I have found myself literally hurt by your comments. For days now, I have been so mad at you. You see, I occasionally watch Duck Dynasty, ONLY because my gay son is a fan.
My son was born gay, and that does not make him a sinner. This is something he could not change no matter how hard he tried. You may not believe that, because you believe scripture says homosexuality is a sin. But what other reference do you have for making that judgment? Do you even know (I mean personally know) a member of the LGBT community? Have you ever read what the American Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, or the American Psychological Association have to say after many years of research on the subject? I know you don’t condone selling your daughters into slavery, so you must use other references in making moral decisions.
Not long after my son starting walking, I started to suspect he might be gay. It became apparent when he started putting on every pair of women’s shoes he saw by the age of 3. He always preferred what society considers girl toys. When he developed a fascination with Batman, I was thrilled. Every time we went to Wal-Mart, he got a new batman. Grandma made him a cape and he wore it everywhere. I finally realized, the cape represented a dress. I hated it and struggled with it, often seeing my son disappointed because of the “boy” toys I continued to buy and encourage him to play with.
While I had gay friends, I was still uneducated about homosexuality and feared the stigma this would bring to my son’s life, and (selfishly) to mine. Having been raised in rural, Conservative-Christian East Texas, I still believed homosexuality was a sin – though at this point, I was having serious struggles with my Christian faith as well. I eventually reconnected with an old high school classmate who was female to male transgender. Thank the Universe I did. I fear the damage I would have done to my son if this person had not come into my life.
My old high school classmate became my friend. In high school, while he was living as a female, he was miserable. I barely knew “Lisa” and couldn’t even remember her saying more than a few words, but “Mitch” was a happy, healthy, very outspoken grown-man. As he told me the struggles that “Lisa” endured, including a suicide attempt, I felt so much guilt. I had contributed to “Lisa’s” pain. “Mitch” forgives me, but I’m not sure I will ever forgive myself.
As I began to realize that I could not change my son’s sexual orientation, I decided the best course of action was to instill in him the confidence and strength to be exactly who he is. There is no need to change my son, because there is nothing wrong with him. My son is almost 17 now and never had to “come-out” to me or his father.
Even with the confidence he has, growing up in the rural southeast has not been easy for him. More than one of his teachers has made remarks similar to yours, Mr. Robertson, in an effort to make him believe something is wrong with him. Many LGBT children must deal with that rejection at home also, and face merciless bullying by their peers because of this inaccurate portrayal of homosexuality. Therefore we have an extremely high suicide rate in the LGBT community.
Now, my son had to watch yet another person – Phil Robertson – tell him something is wrong with him, when he knows this is something he cannot change – nor should he want to. Because there is absolutely nothing wrong with him.
Please, Mr. Robertson, educate yourself.
Marriage equality as it applies to being an American is a matter of respecting the freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution. Our founders – remembering the power of religion to oppress, and recognizing the value of individual freedom – made a great effort to guarantee that laws were not passed respecting an establishment of religion or impeding the free exercise of religion. Unfortunately, there are those who either do not understand this effort or do not respect it.
Most opponents of same-gender marriage believe homosexuality and opposite-gender identity are wrong for religious reasons. The Constitution guarantees these Americans the right to live according to those beliefs. Some people believe – and science confirms – homosexuality and opposite-gender identity are a biological reality. The Constitution guarantees these Americans the right to live according to those beliefs. Unfortunately, this group is being denied that right by being denied equal marriage rights.
Vocal supporters of marriage equality – like myself – are often accused of forcing their opinions on those who believe differently. Nobody is forcing opponents of marriage equality to enter into same-gender marriage. Vocal support of marriage equality is a constitutional right, while supporting laws denying marriage equality supports a violation of the US Constitution by forcing the beliefs of some on all.
The serious consequence that opponents don’t understand is that these laws pave the way to forcing everyone to live by the beliefs others, including them. Something our founders understood to be a threat to all of our individual freedoms. All Americans should agree that each individual has the right to one’s own beliefs and the right to live according to those beliefs with equal protections and benefits under the law.
Supporting marriage equality is supporting freedom – yours and mine. As George Washington once said, “As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality.” At this point, that is not the reality.