Is there room for religion in your gay life?

Religion is such a deeply personal things for many people that discussing it brings so many different views, and arguments for and against, especially if the topic includes homosexuality and religion. As a child growing up Catholic and Hispanic it was a topic that was just taboo and when discussed was in hushed and angry tones from the adults in my family. I remember, many such discussions regarding my uncle Ruben, whom we seldom mentioned and talked about and when his name came up it was with a lot of recrimination. I did not know it at the time but it turned out my uncle Ruben had a thing for drag queens and by what I have gathered from relatives through out the years settled down with one for a very long period of time as a married couple. Well that brought many angry discussions around our dinner table. I mean the verse in Levitiucs 18-22, pretty much put it a lid on any idea of open and varied discussions on being gay and living a gay life free of recrimination.

torres2But times have changed and gay people search and find God, in many different ways and practices. Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality. There idea of homosexuality doesn’t go any further than the verses in Leviticus, or Romans 1:26-27. Many take their cues from old passages like the one in Corinthians that deal with child molesters and the molested in one equal form of punishment-eternal hell.

But finding your own spiritual bearings can be a difficult task, being born and raised a Catholic, I had to leave my old feelings of self hate and admonition in the closet when I came out. Looking for spiritual guidance and Gods eternal blessings can lead you down many roads. God’s gay and lesbian children need to know of God’s unconditional love and acceptance of them individuals with souls worth savings. Half-dozen biblical references to homosexuality do not reflect what we understand today about loving relationships. I’m convinced the Bible has a powerful message for gay and lesbian Christians — as well as straight Christians. But it’s not the message of condemnation we so often hear from the hate mongers and fear we see in so many places in our daily lives as we live gay lives in a straight world. Most people have not carefully and prayerfully researched the biblical texts often used to condemn God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children and therefore need to take more time to understand their personal relationship with God and with themselves.

The bottom line is that we shouldn’t have to choose between gay rights and religious liberties. But just because many of my friends who oppose same-sex marriage are decent people with reasonable views, that does not mean they are right. I cannot understand how a friend’s same-sex union threatens any heterosexual marriage. And if social science finds that on average, gay and lesbian parenting does not work quite as well as straight parenting, what of it? Do we really want a government powerful enough to decree that only ideal parents can raise children Given human nature, negotiating and compromising with opponents is not as sexy as coercing them to do things your way. Yet ultimately, we can only lessen the culture wars by lowering their stakes, finding ways for diverse peoples to live and let live without sacrificing their beliefs. Because people are tribal, anyone can start a culture war, but it takes genuine tolerance of others to defuse one.

By: Rey Torres