Saturday, February 9, 2013

It's time to let gay people go free

I am the recording secretary for our local chapter of the Knights of Columbus.  We do good acts of charity in our neighborhood.  We champion for Catholic causes, such as pro-life events, and pray for politicians to come to the realization that abortion is killing.  Yet one other thing that was brought up at a recent meeting was the idea that we should support efforts to keep gays out of the Boy Scouts of America.  I want to admit here that such an effort will no be supported by yours truly.  

One of the best pieces of advice my grandma gave me before she passed away was to think for myself, and not let other people or groups think for me.  Perhaps it's for this reason that I find myself differing from both the conservative cause and the Catholic church in regards to the treatment of gay people in our society.  I see no reason gay people should not be allowed to participate in things that every other American can.

The topic the Knights were discussing that made me so uncomfortable is recent efforts by the Boy Scouts to possibly make a rule that local councils will be allowed the right to decide if they want to allow gay boys into the council.  One member of our nights stood up and said we should support efforts to stop this.  "Do we want to put our kids into a council that may have protesters standing outside," he said.  "Do we want to have to explain to our kids about this topic. I think not. I think we should support efforts to stop the Boy Scouts from allowing gays into local councils."

Then a discussion ensued that probably had my face red.  I couldn't help but think that this may have been how the few who opposed slavery felt who lived amid people who thought blacks were inferior to whites.  I wanted to duck my head under the table.  Yet out of fear I might be ridiculed for my opinion, I said nothing.  Yet if a vote comes on this, I will have no choice to voice my opinion with a loud "Nay!"

I think that if any kid needs the Boy Scouts its a gay kid.  He's the one kid who would benefit the most from what the Boy Scouts has to offer.  Yet he's the one we are keeping out.  And can you imagine how uncomfortable it would be for a gay boy to sit amid the scouts knowing that he has a secret.  Can you imagine?  "If I come out they will ridicule me and kick me out," he must be thinking. 

If a gay wants to enter the Boy Scouts he should have that right.  However, the Boy Scouts do still have a right to keep gays out.  I may not agree with that right, but they do have a right to do this.  They have a constitutional right to be wrong.  They have a right to be ignorant in this way.  But I find just as much wrong with teaching my kids that gay is wrong, as I do with those who ignorantly hate gay people and want to prevent them from living the way they want. 

Gay people should have the same rights that married people have.  They should be able to share their assets just as married people do.  They should be able to allow the items they obtained during their lives to be inherited to the person of their choosing.  If people don't want to give them the right to marry, fine.  But at least allow them to enter into some form of civil union.  

It's time as a society that we quit being ignorant, and it's time to let gay people go free into our society so that they no longer have to worry about being denigrated and ridiculed if they simply be themselves.  It's time we stop teaching hate, and spreading ignorance.  It's time we stop being pig-headed morons and open our eyes. 

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