First off: the fact that I have to write this out is problematic for me- this falls under the category of “General Sense of Decency” for me, but here goes.
I was born a gay male, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. I don’t like cauliflower or the color orange. I am interested in psychology, spirituality, social justice and equal rights for all human beings. I like chocolate- but not really bitter dark chocolate. Why?
It’s a mystery.
There are many mysteries about our humanity, but sexuality isn’t one of them. Science is on my side: I was born attracted to other men. I know that because I certainly wouldn’t have chosen this difficult life for myself. I can’t help what piques my curiosity or interest. It just happens.
There’s an excitement that happens when we see an attractive person- that’s how we know they’re attractive. I can honestly say that I have never felt that for a woman. I tried. but I realized that going against nature is a waste of time.
My church respects me. My Federal Government (for now) respects me. My State can’t be bothered to get to know me.
Or else it wouldn’t have so callously dismissed HB417.
A bill that would add a few words to take away the significant pain that LGBTQA Montanans are feeling (and if you love an LGBTQ person, you’re the “A”). As a psychotherapist, I am privy daily to stories of LGBTQ persons feeling disrespected, feeling afraid of an uncertain future. It breaks my heart. And as a Christian, I have to wonder why our culture is so willing to promote and add to the pain of another human being?
Monsters are the only things that do that- and I need to believe the people of Montana are not monsters.
This is an easy fix- adding a few words.
A few words will be a step toward decreasing pain in the lives of thousands of Montanans. And it’s there, believe me.
Being gay is who I am- it is not a choice (who would choose to be so discriminated against?). And being who I am should be good enough to add me and my brothers and sisters to the Montana Human Rights Act.
If a landlord refused to rent to me because I am an Episcopal priest, they would be in legal trouble. Ditto if I was refused service because of my race, national origin, beliefs or disability. But as a gay man, I have little recourse.
Back in graduate psychology, I learned that a hallmark of bullying is exclusion. By definition, this exclusion of LGBTQIA persons from The Montana Human Rights Act is bullying with legislation.
It must stop.