A straight person's guide to learn what you might want to know.
Please Share This Page With Anyone Who Could Benefit From This Understanding.

Roger&Rachel
Roger and Rachel

About the author of this page.

Send comments to:
indianacares@yahoo.com

If you would like a speaker for
your group or club - please ask.

 

How Can We Save Marriage?. . or . Who Cares About Gay Marriage?

Who Cares About Gay Marriage? Not us. We just care about people who live around us. Many of these people are gay and lesbian or those who have gay or lesbian children or grandchildren, brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces and so on. Some of our friends are same sex couples and some who are single, and do you know what? None of these people have hurt our marriage one bit. In fact, knowing and working with them, as with all friends, has made our partnership stronger - as we hope our appreciation has made their own commitments more solid.

So what is the big deal? Why is the Indiana legislature wanting to discriminate against a sizable portion of our state population? Why are so many people so hostile about any rights that gay and lesbian people might have or get? Where do they dig up their unrealistic ideas about homosexuality and how did anyone come up with the ridiculous idea that they harm marriage? We have no clue, but we think it is important to share what we have learned to appreciate about the issues and the people who are affected by the homophobia that exists in a vocal minority among us. We say minority because we have talked to very few who do not accept people who are gay or lesbian. While there may be people like that in your church or circle of friends, we suggest that you make an effort to broaden your understanding and get another point of view. This page is to share what we know and we hope it will help others.

Why we are interested . . . . Accepting Churches . . . . People & Families Who Care . . . . Why Do People Hate?
To Whom Do Legislators Listen?
. . . . Answers to What You Always Wanted To Know

Now with the California court rulling that will permit mariage between couples of the same sex, people all across America are once again becoming interested in the subject. People like us who have been happily married for over forty years hope this page will help bring a better understanding of some differences in people that really should make no difference to anyone else.

On Tuesday, April 3, 2007- The Indiana House of Representative’s Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee voted five to five thereby defeating Senate Joint Resolution 7 (SJR-7). As a result, SJR-7 died in committee and was not voted on by the full House of Representatives or the Indiana General Assembly.

We applaud the members of the Committee who voted against SJR-7 for their courageous action, and for standing up for the countless Hoosiers and their families who would have faced needless discrimination were this amendment to pass.

We also want to thank the many businesses, organizations, and individuals who stood with us in opposing SJR-7. They were instrumental in making the case that an amendment defining marriage had no business jeopardizing economic development, threatening the security of domestic violence victims, and stripping our citizens of important rights.

The vote by the committee is a victory against bigotry and discrimination. It was a victory for all of us - except for the biggots, religiously challenged and those who are simply not informed.

 


Why We are Interested

We are interested because we have grown to care for individuals. As teachers we have both had students who are gay or lesbian. We may not have known it at the time and may not even know it now, but the fact remains that we cared for them as students and our care has not diminished after they left the classroom, continued to grow and learned to cope with life and their sexuality. We know them from our church which is an "accepting congregation" and we know them from our community involvement. Each person is different and real people do not fit any stereotype. They are for cartoons and bigots. Each person has a unique family, their own personal history of learning and developing understanding, their own personality and each contributes to our society in their own way. One size does not fit all.

They are all around us, but most people never know because their own prejudice keeps others from sharing. Without what is perceived safe environment, most people will keep that part of themselves to themselves out of fear of rejection. Most of us just assume that most everyone else is like us. We assign roles to them based on that assumption, and when we do, we do not learn about the people around us. They do not want to flaunt anything, they just want to be accepted and to some degree understood.

The legislators of our state are engaged in an embarrassing effort to pass a state constitutional amendment to take rights away from people. People who already are suffering because of misunderstanding, prejudice and even hatred. People we know and care about because they too have families, are educated and are productive citizens who serve and work with all of us. We believe that to know little, be misinformed or to be prejudiced, is to miss the opportunity to expand your appreciation and awareness for personal growth and understanding. It also ends up hurting others.

Let us know what you think. If you learn something that helps you understand or have questions, contact us. If you have positive suggestions that would assist others, we would appreciate hearing them. We have tried not to categorize anyone because each person is unique and we would all do well to remember that so we do not hurt others by what we say or do. Everyone, by their own nature, will see all things differently, so what you read here will be a part of what has been our experience to see.

This is a TV news video that includes Roger and Rachel telling their feelings about gay marriage - wait for their comments because the Catholic Church got more time than R&R did. As more people are becoming aware that loving gay relationships can be just as significant in our society as the so called, "traditional" relationships, things will change.


In any class of 30 students, you are going to average at least one gay or lesbian student. In the younger years, these kids have no idea why they feel different from other students - but they do feel different. By middle school and really in high school, they generally know they just don't fit. Depending on their support from family, friends, teachers, relatives and the community, they may feel excluded or they may feel a part of their community. It is up to us to make a difference.

Read one high school girl's editorial and what happened next.

alone boy

Accepting Churches

churchWhile we hear about some extreme churches that condemn homosexuality, there are hundreds of churches in Indiana that are open and accepting to gay and lesbian members in their congregations. These churches are so much more impressive because they show love instead of condemnation. They show awareness, and acceptance as opposed to prejudice and ignorance and inclusion rather than exclusion. By reading the news we see more congregations and their leadership are moving - sometimes slowly and awkwardly - toward understanding and acceptance. My observations are that churches tend to reflect the beliefs and personalities of their leaders and members more than the simple truth of God and maybe that is why we have so many different churches. Please keep in mind, that sitting in all churches (sometimes quietly keeping it to themselves) are the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers along side gay and lesbian children. Acceptance and understanding is the only way to keep many of these families together. While some churches condem, others perform commitment services to show support for the loving relationships of their members and support them and their extended families.

As far as "traditional marriage" I do suggest you read the Bible. It talks a lot about one man, many women. Go figure! !

It seems so basic to understand that when the pulpit preaches exclusion of people, it preaches rejection of those who are members of our families. Condemnation is not a family value. When there is a search for understanding, as was done by the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco in their Blue Book - a great weight is lifted through research and awareness. If you want to learn more about this helpful book, go to their resources page and download a pdf of the book. It is a great resource to share.

Read everything Jesus said about homosexuality.

If your church would like a speaker on this issue - please ask.


People and Parents Who Care

PFLAG momsThe picture shows three PFLAG moms testifying on March 21 before the Indiana House of Representatives against SJR-7

There is a group called PFLAG that supports, educates and advocates for the Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It has saved the sanity of so many who have had do deal with these issues and helped with understanding. One of the saddest and all too common family situations is when a parent, because their negative understanding, condemns or rejects his or her child because the child is gay or lesbian. Sadder still is the fear, confusion and unnecessary shame that goes on within the mind of the child. Those feelings are directly related to the attitudes and actions of others in our society.

On the other hand, for those parents with that special unconditional love, it is not a problem. They have in their nature or have developed thru life experience, an understanding, acceptance and harbor no prejudice. I call these the fortunate families because everyone is accepted and loved - unconditionally.

For most parents, discovering their child's sexuality is not what they had expected, is a confusing time when they internally ask a lot of questions and then search for answers through self education at the public library or the Internet, talk to those who can help, such as PFLAG, and usually come to understand and accept their child. It may take time, but most parents who try come to a healthy awareness - and everyone benefits.

Others, who because they cannot accept a child being different than what they expected or because they have an imposed religious prejudice, have a very troubled time and often reject their own child. These parents lose out even more when their children move away feeling emotionally abandoned. In extreme cases, the rejection has pressured their children drop out of school or to commit suicide. NOTE: Some children do kill themselves, not because of angry parents, but just because they are afraid to tell anyone about the confusion and torment that goes on in their minds as they try to come to terms with their own sexuality. The Indiana government is moving quickly in the direction that contributes even more to confusion and self hatred by our children.

It seems obvious that parents who love and accept a child, open the door to a healthy environment for their son's or daughter's future. I know of so many happier parents who accept and continue to love their gay or lesbian children. Many have attended their "commitment ceremonies", consider their adult child's partner as a "member of the family" and have attended special events with their children. These are the best parents in every sense of the word and the relationships with their children are strong, loving and meaningful. What a fortunate difference from those people who try to destroy understanding - just like (let me say it again) some in the State of Indiana are trying to do.

PFLAG

 

 

 

Many Indiana
communities
have helping
PFLAG groups.

Go to PFLAG to
learn more about
people who care

Find an Indiana
PFLAG Chapter

for support

PFLAG Fort Wayne


Why Do People Hate?

Hateful Church
Some people do not even want to allow others to show acceptance.

stop spiritual violence
Others want to stop using religion to foster hatred and violence against gay and lesbians.

fear sells

Read one high school girl's
editorial and what happened next
.

"Hatred" can be used to describe feelings of prejudice, bigotry or condemnation or shunning against a person, or a group, such as racism, and intense religious or political prejudice.

Hate might even be a rational reaction to people whose interests consistently conflict with one's own. It is an emotion, hence it can serve as a protective mode of a person. People whose perceived behavior threatens one's own survival interests are to be hated, while people whose behavior enhances one's survival prospects are to be liked or even loved.

The passions of hate arise from several features of our thinking process. These include wanting to assign blame to others for our misfortune, protecting our self-esteem, a desire to strengthen our community, alleviating our fears (by destroying the evil others), and several types of errors in reasoning, including cognitive bias. The ability to quickly separate friend from foe is essential to self-defense and safety and provides the origins of hate.

It is interesting that while some churches in Indiana accept gay and lesbians in their congregations, there are others who teach a message of fear and rejection. It seems to again demonstrate how hate and the resulting fear are mostly in the mind of the believer.

To us, compassionate churches are so much more impressive because they show love instead of condemnation. They show awareness, love and acceptance as opposed to prejudice, ignorance and exclusion. By reading the news we see that more and more congregations and their leadership are moving - sometimes slowly, carefully and with some difficulty - toward more understanding and acceptance. Our observations are that churches tend to reflect the beliefs and personalities of their leaders and members more than the truth of God - and that may be why we have so many different kinds of churches.

It is easy to hate, mistrust or find fault with what we do not understand. When we understand, by questioning, researching and looking for alternative answers, we often learn that what we once feared is no longer a threat and we are more at peace as are those we once feared.

One of the best ways to get elected and stay in power is to build on the fears of people and have a proposed solution to those fears and use it - even if it hurts other people. That is what is happening in Indiana and many other states. Banning some people from marriage (who are already excluded) as well as other opportunities will not save one single marriage or will it make anyone's marriage better. It will only encourage bigotry.


To Whom Do Legislators Listen?

IN Flag

 

 

 

hoosiers

 

Is Indiana
The
" Who's Yer "
Partner State?

 

 

What a state!

 

 

Proud to be
a Hoosier?

Apparently many in Indiana are listening to those who have little understanding and a lot of dislike for our gay and lesbian citizens. We seem to have some legislators who simply listen to and follow the vocal minority and do not look for ways to help or support an important group of citizens. Some legislators, one we know has a gay brother, are sympathetic to the plight of gays and lesbians in Indiana. There are others, unfortunately mostly Republicans and some Democrats too, who seem willing to take away rights of our citizens because of the prejudice and misinformation of others.

The people pushing for SJR-7 want to make life as difficult as possible for Indiana's gay citizens and know same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana, and that Indiana courts have upheld the current law. There is no reason to pass this amendment except to void those few benefits that gay couples now enjoy. This amendment has absolutely nothing to do with saving marriage. It has to do with discriminating against our own sons and daughters, grandchildren, uncles and aunts, cousins and even parents who happen to be gay or lesbian.

And we've heard all of the pious assurances that the language in "part B," (forbidding any court from interpreting any law in any way that might confer the "incidents of marriage" on unmarried couples) isn't meant to deprive gays of health benefits or hospital visitation rights. It's just an effort to "clarify" that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Just wait untill this passes to see how many others are affected by that part of the amendment.

The vocal and non-accepting "religious right" is pushing this as are some others who are just not well informed. Churches will never have to celebrate what they reject and we, like most others, oppose this group forcing their prejudices on others.

Twenty years from now people will just shake their heads at the ignorance of this harmful notion. If passed and made a part of our state constitution, this will seriously discriminate against some of our best citizens, cause more to leave their home state and families and it will send a negative message to business interests that do care about and respect their gay and lesbian employees.

Some believe a compromise can be made by making civil unions legal for heterosexual or homosexual couples for tax, social security, health/life/auto insurance, inheritance, life/death decisions, etc. Come on, how about a little understanding and kindness rather than building a legacy of hurt, discrimination and fear.

* * If you care about doing what is fair and right for our fellow citizens, write your state representative and ask them not to make the same mistake our state senate made when they passed this discriminative bill. Tell them to let it go and vote NO. Everyone who believes in equal rights or has an understanding of gay and lesbians knows this is just pretending it is about marriage. It is about supporting prejudice. It is about ignorance, hatefulness and it is hypocrisy.

If you are an ellected official, we are available to share our extensive understanding.

Suggestions:

NEW: Learn what happened at the hearing at the Indiana State Capitol on Wednesday, March 21

Go to the Indiana Equality web site to learn more about how to fight this bill.

Another informational site is Stop The Amendment

* * Find your state representative and write or call them to make a difference.
. . . . Click Indiana House and put in your zip code

Read the letter I wrote to my state representative.

I suggest you read Sheila Kennedy's Sex, Lies and Politics in the Indianapolis Star.

Read more lower on this page and then get out there and make a difference. If not you, who?

In the culture of our personal home and family, among our friends, church and most people we know, gay and lesbian issues do not carry any negativity. We understand, accept and support them and because of that we have much better and happier lives because we have more good and supporting friends. It is sad that some people who do not understand their gay and lesbian neighbors and are motivated to hurt them even more than some in society hurt them already. We know of the hurt because we work with many of them and have heard the stories that they cannot always share because of the prejudice of some of our fellow Hoosiers.

Please Share This Page With Anyone Who Could Benefit From This Understanding.



Now, Some Answers to What You Always Wanted To Know

There is so much misinformation floating around and believed about gay and lesbian people. To fit any one person into a box that simply identifies one small part of them is to miss the big picture. To put a religious condemnation on them says more about your personal religious perceptions than it does about the person you have condemned. We ask that you open your mind and heart and learn what we have come to understand.

Are Gay and Lesbians perverted and a threat to others ?

How many times have we heard about perverted men or women who harm children or adults. Almost all of them are heterosexuals - NOT homosexuals. There is misbehavior in all groups of people.

How many straight guys are out there who try to have sex with as many women as they can? Being perverted has to do with individual actions and has nothing to do with someone's sexuality. Almost all the gay and lesbian people we know are, or want to be, strong family members. If they have children, they love and care about them. If they have nieces and nephews they talk about them with pride and love. They want to be good family members and want to love and care for their families. Being a pervert is a defect in behavior that is not related to sexual orientation.

As teenagers and young adults, almost everyone goes through the hormone explosion and gay people are no different. There are some in any group of people who go off the sexual deep end into waters that can get them in trouble, but most of us - straight or gay - are able to keep it under control. Remember that almost all homosexual kids grow up in families just like everyone else and learn most of their social behavior from their parents and the society around them. Children raised with love and acceptance are much less likely to harm others. The bottom line is that gay people are not that much different than you and us.


Is Being Gay is A Choice ?

Ok, sometimes maybe it is - sort of - but that is not common and is sometimes the case for people known as bisexual. It also can happen to a person who is homosexual and makes a choice to marry because they have not come to terms with their difference in sexual orientation. You can read more about that later.

In working with gay and lesbian people as well as their parents, they have all shared that even as young children they were aware that their feelings were not the same as they were hearing as to what others expected. Many have tried hard to change and have prayed for hours to be like everyone else. It doesn't work and those who say it does are flat wrong - most of the time. Oh, you do not become gay because your mom is dominant and your dad is weak. We did not choose to be straight, it is just what we are. Being gay or lesbian is not a choice. It is just what they are. There is so much false information and ignorance to overcome.


Gay Husbands and Lesbian Wives

When someone who is gay, grows up in a culture that denies his or her sexuality, they often try to fit in by getting married. This is done despite enormous personal conflict, but it is generally because they see no alternative. Most of these marriages end in divorce. Others continue living a life in frustration and fear of discovery.

Roger knows of many men and women who have gotten married because they thought it was the right thing to do and maybe it would get them over their "problem." All of them are now divorced. Most of these people (both men and women) are now in same sex relationships that are more satisfying, natural for them and they are - to a person - much happier. Most who had children (many college age and beyond by now) have kids who accept and have no problems with their gay or lesbian parents. I know some adult children of gay men who love their dads and are comfortable and accepting of their father's sexuality. It is amazing how an open mind with love can bring acceptance and happiness. Sure it is different than most of us have experienced. But isn't it better to have love and compassion rather than hate and disgust?

If we really want to save marriages, maybe we should accept the obvious that some people should NOT marry someone of the opposite sex if their nature is to be with those of their own sex. That would have prevented the many divorces mentioned above. But no, ignorance, prejudice and social pressure have clouded judgment and prompted convienience marriages that should have never happened.

Ex-Gay Marriage Miracle Cure - a good listen and message (9:30)

 


How Can There Be Gay Parents?

There are a lot of misconceptions about gay parents and no single situation of a gay parent, but many. But before I go any further let me share the simple truth that gay or lesbian parents can mess up a kid just as the rest of us can. Fortunately, they can also be wonderful and loving parents - just as most of us try to be.

Many gay parents are parents because they originally got married because our culture encouraged that notion. Family and society pressure, especially when alternatives were not available and the environment provided little opportunity to learn that they are not the only people who are "different." Getting married was a "choice." While married to men, many closeted lesbians get pregnant, had children and raise their children. But they were living in a personal lie and hiding their secret feelings. It was not good for anyone's mental health. In our experience this seems to happen more often in rural and small town communities than in larger cities where there is broader understanding and a more diverse understanding. The same thing happens to men.

Some lesbian women, as some heterosexual women, are artificially inseminated to get pregnant. Pretty simple explanation there. Maybe they do it the old fashioned way - it doesn't really matter as long as they get pregnant. I even know of a lesbian woman who had a child for her heterosexual sister who was unable to get pregnant. Now that is one sister helping another sister. (and someone asked if she would no longer be a lesbian after she gave birth - the ignorance and misconceptions are astounding)

Children who are adopted by or born to a same sex couple have a natural advantage over children born in poverty or to heterosexual parents who are, frankly, not good parents. Not everyone is cut out to be a parent. The children of gay parents generally turn out just fine - just like most other kids. We know kids who are very happy and grew up well adjusted with their two moms. Read the research by universities.

The sexual identity of parents has less to do with the ability of kids to grow up with good habits, attitudes and morals than the positive relationship of the adults in the family. Having "traditional" parents is certainly no guarantee that children have loving parents who raise them in a healthy home environment.

How many single parent homes are there anyway? How many homes have been split by divorce or mothers who never married? Having any parent or two parents who love each other, their children and can properly care for the needs of children is what is really important. Prejudice about people does not change their potential for good parenting.

The sexual identity of the parents has nothing to do with whether they are good parents or not - at least that has been our experience. Straight parents, single parents and gay parents can screw up child rearing with the same sad affects. Individuals in those same groups can also be supporting, affirming, nurturing and loved parents. It is often the pressures from those outside the relationships that add the burden of additional damage to the child's self concept. A child raised with love, by any parent or parents, has a much greater chance to thrive. Fortunately, at least when they are little, children only experience the love of their parents and not the prejudice of those who discriminate in ignorance.


What About All That Perverted Sex That Goes On?

As a sociology student I learned that some of the sex between some heterosexual people is the same as that of gay and lesbian people. Go figure! But, if you really care about the sexual experiences of other people, I suggest you ask yourself why do you care? To be honest, I have no desire whatever to see or know what anyone else is doing sexually. Frankly, I don't care - whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. It is none of my business. As with any sexual issue, if it is done with consent, it is no one else's concern. If you really do care I suggest you carefully analyze why you care or are interested.

To those who complain that sex without the possibility of conception is wrong - I suggest that sexual relations are almost always done for reasons other than having more babies. It is fun and pleasurable and brings two people together, to share and to appreciate each other. It builds a bond. I suggest we let it go, drop our misconceptions and hypocrisy, and let others figure out what works for them just like everyone else does. Besides, people are so much more than their love or sex life. It is more healthy for us to look at the parts of other's lives that have an impact on us - not some imagined picture that has nothing to do with us or reality. OK, I know there are bad exceptions that can happen sexually in some relationships - straight or gay - but that is a different issue and we should leave that to the legal system and counselors.


What Happens When Gay People Get Older?

Just like all other committed couples, many gay and lesbians tend to stay together as partners for life. They have caring and love for each other and struggle through hard times and enjoy the good ones. There is little difference in their commitment to each or how they lead their daily lives from any other supportive "married" couple. Of course the state of Indiana keeps them from enjoying many legal benefits and other rights that the rest of us take for granted - but they have learned not to expect their state's acceptance. At least not yet.


Practical and Workable Ideas For Defending Marriage

If the Indiana legislators really want to defend and protect marriage, why don't they make it harder for people to end a marriage or, better yet, make people pass a test to see if spending the rest of their lives with this other person is really the right thing for them to do. We could also ban alcohol, gambling, credit card or other excessive debt, extra marital affairs and all sorts of other things that lead to the breakup of marriages. Those, on some level would defend marriage. But Indiana won't do any of those things because it is not really marriage we are trying to defend. It has to do with discriminating against our own sons and daughters, grandchildren, uncles and aunts, cousins and even parents who happen to be gay or lesbian. Indiana is trying to defend it's own prejudice. What a shame.


Gay Marriage: what's the big screaming deal?

There is so much misinformation floating around about gay and lesbian people and many twisted beliefs spawn from it. To fit any one person into a box that simply identifies them as one thing or another certainly does not aid in understanding. To put a religious condemnation on a labeled group says more about religious perceptions of the speaker or writer than it does about the group condemned. It is time to drop the misconceptions and look at the facts and the people and try to live without fear, predjudice and hurting each other.

If you would like a speaker for your group or club - just ask.

I have said enough. It is up to you, the reader, to help make a difference. If not you, then who will do it?
Time is running out.

Please let me know what you think of the issues presented on this page and if it was helpful. Write us at indianacares@yahoo.com

 

Go to the PFLAG - Fort Wayne, Indiana web site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This page was put up on Friday, February 16, 2007 - updated often

 

 

 

 

S>M> This page was put up on Friday, February 16, 2007 - updated often and sm on U 020807@3p

s i t e l i n k s 1 2 3 4.