Great place for discourse

Published 12:00am Saturday, June 9, 2012

It has been a most interesting week.

To say that the column that appeared in this space last Saturday generated lots of feedback would be an understatement. Some of that feedback has appeared – and will continue to appear – on this page. Other feedback has come in quiet text messages, in personal emails from people I never met, and of course, on Facebook.

I heard from a woman who is married to her same-sex partner, with whom she is raising children. As a couple, they encounter many who, frankly, discriminate against them because they are perceived as different. They know that their lives would be easier if they didn’t live in Andalusia, but they stay here for a reason.

“We like small-town values,” she said. “We want our children to be raised with those same values that we were.”

She offered to be interviewed. But after I heard stories about how she and her wife are harassed, I thought it would be irresponsible of us to bring more attention to them.

A heart-breaking email came from a former resident of this county who is now pursuing an advanced academic degree. He was bullied in high school, and shared the story of the high school quarterback spray painting a derogatory message on his front lawn.

“I always held my head high, though, because my mother and grandfather taught me to always be true to myself, love myself and others, and to always hold my head high and keep a forward outlook into the future,” he wrote.

Said another friend, “It is too easy for straight people to discriminate against all gay/lesbian people based on irresponsible and outrageous behavior by a few in night clubs or gay pride parades. On the other hand, we don’t discriminate against all straight people based on irresponsible and outrageous behavior of a few in strip clubs or Mardi Gras parades.”

Yes, that, too.

Two things I’ve pondered this week. The first lesson comes from the practice of yoga. After two classes that really didn’t seem difficult when compared to my normal morning runs, I could feel muscles I didn’t know I have. The smallest movements have the potential to create shifts in how we feel.

In the same way, sometimes things that are written – be it my position or the position taken by others – can create subtle shifts in how we think.

The second thing is one of the many things that I love about my work. And that is that despite the rise of social media, newspapers are still a great place to responsibly and civilly express point and counterpoint, reaching not just one’s “friends,” but a wider audience.

It is an honor and a privilege to do this work, and all of our readers are appreciated.


  • blabbertruth

    It took courage for you to state your rational opinion on the subject of gays and lesbians in an atmosphere where rationality takes a back seat to ideology. The one question that each person should ask themselves is: ‘At what age did I sit down and ask myself, “do I want to like girls or boys? Boys or girls?”‘ I will bet dollars to donuts that the homones ruled! If you didn’t choose to be heterosexual, what makes you think that one chooses to be homosexual? Think rationally!
    There is much, from a scientific point of view, that we have to learn about human sexuality. However, there are some things that we do know. We know that the distribution of the variation of human sexuality falls under a bell curve with heterosexuality falling under the steep part of the cruve. On one end is homosexuality and bisexualty and on the other is asexuality. I am not qualified nor do I care to go into a deep discussion of sexuality, its origins and manefestations. Suffice it to say that of the various states of sexuality, none is a choice.

    (For the record, Pedophilia, beastiality, and rape is not a sexual orientation condition. These are a need to control and dominate)

    Also ask yourself, how does the marriage of two men or two women impact your marriage? Would your marriage go along perfectly fine if people of the same sex was not allowed to marry? Would your marriage be utterly destroyed because two people of the same sex got married?
    You did a good job Michelle. Just remember, that whe Galileo informed the Church that the earth revolved around the sun, he was placed under house arrest until his death because the Church said that the earth was the center of the universe and all things revolved around the earth. He was declared a heretic. Stay strong.

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