Thinking about the title of this blog entry it could mean my life as a woman. What I am going to be talking about the changes in attitudes in many ways but mostly on one subject – the change in attitudes toward gay and lesbian people. I wish I could add the change of attitudes towards transgender people but that is slow but I’m sure it will come.
As understanding of homosexuality grows there have been significant changes. Homosexuality used to be a crime in many countries of the ‘free’ world and now it isn’t. It used to be considered a psychological disorder and now it’s not. It used to be considered a deviant choice and now it …. okay, we still have some work to do on that one.
Homosexuality is something that is, just like eye colour. Come to think of it that’s a very good comparison. The reason I say that is there are contact lens that will allow you to change the colour of your eyes. Your eye colour hasn’t changed but it appears to. Just like these ex-gay ministries, they don’t make gays into straight people they just make them look so. Well, maybe it’s not such a good comparison because putting in a contact lens is easy compared to becoming ex-gay but I’ve talked enough about that issue in past blog entries.
What I want to talk about are the changing attitudes toward homosexuality by the churches. I’m sure most of the Christian churches have opened up their doors and now include gays and lesbians into their congregations but not as pastors, ministers or priests and that is changing. In the US I think the Unitarians led the way with the ordination of openly gay and lesbian ministers. Other churches such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ have since followed with the the Presbyterian Church (USA) being the latest. These all ordain openly gay ministers and bless same-sex unions or conduct same-sex marriages where legal and that is wonderful.
There are still many hold-outs and some, like the Roman Catholic Church, may never change. But then the priests of the RC Church are celibate so they can’t be openly anything but they could bless or marry same-sex couples maybe.
One of the hold-outs is not one I would have expected to be one and that’s the United Methodist Church in the US. It was my understanding that it was more liberal than the Lutheran, Episcopal or Presbyterian churches but I guess I was wrong. This weekend (25 – 28 Aug) there are close to 700 Methodist clergy and laypeople at a four-day gathering called Sing a New Song. They are preparing themselves for the next general conference in April. I wish them luck and will pray for their success.
Yes, I’m Christian but not one like Michele Bachmann. In many ways the United States trails behind other countries when it come to social issues like homosexuality, marriage equality and transsexuality. I’m sure Michele Bachmann, if elected as President of the United States, will put the country back by at least 20 years in this regard. I would have thought that the role of any political leader was to take their country forward and not backward.
On another note, Canadians just lost their most forward thinking leader on social issues to cancer very recently. His funeral is this afternoon (27 Aug) and he will be missed by many. He, and his party, fought for LGBT rights and I hope they continue on as they have before under the new leadership, whoever that might be.
One last note, to those of you who sent me well wishes for my birthday yesterday – thank you. The last 3 years have been exciting and I’m grateful to all of you who have been with me through this journey. I love you and am proud to call you my friends.