On choosing to be gay
THE EDITOR, Sir:
"I'm a Christian now and I don't live this life anymore" was how a 'former' lesbian friend responded to my invitation to a discussion on LGBT human rights. Her false assumption was that Christians can't also be gay.
However, she is now a Christian with internalised homophobia, which is, of course, her right, and I am a gay Christian married to an Anglican priest. My version of Christianity is inclusive. Hers is exclusionary.
In the Middle Ages, the Church excluded left-handed people who were considered demon-possessed (the word 'sinister' is Latin for 'left-handed'). During slavery, blacks were excluded and told to "obey their masters". Some Christians exclude people in interracial or interfaith marriages as "unequally yoked". Some denominations exclude those who eat shrimp, use contraceptives, or are divorced. And to 'prosperity gospel' believers, the sick and poor are excluded because they simply lack faith and are being punished by God.
While you can choose your version of Christianity, you can't choose your sexual orientation. You are either attracted to someone or you're not.
While the Church forced left-handed people to write with their right hand, sometimes on pain of death, that only caused suffering. Even when those persons learnt to write with their right hand, they still maintained the ability to do so with their left. Similarly, every reputable scientific body has found that 'gay conversion' does not work and is ultimately harmful.
I wish my friend well in her choice of Christianity. I also hope that she finds peace with the fact of her sexuality.