GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

July 8, 2013

Letter: Pastor off base in his depiction of gays

To the editor:

I am disappointed in Rev. Patrick Slyman for writing his Midweek Musings column (the Times, Wednesday, July 3).

In it, he uses small snippets from the Bible to promote ill will towards gays and lesbians.

No one chooses to be gay or lesbian. Like being left-handed, tall or short, this is a biological fact which is just one aspect of who they are. If I shared Rev. Slyman’s beliefs then I would say this is how God made them. This isn’t a good basis for fear, hate or discrimination.

Rev. Slyman writes to encourage us to think of gays and lesbians as sinners. When some community leaders speak up to promote discrimination, we need other leaders to step up to encourage fair treatment.

I am glad that the leaders in Gloucester, Salem, Beverly, Peabody, Lynn and Danvers saw fit to hoist the rainbow flag in June. It was lifted as a sign that we are a welcoming community and everyone is welcome in our city.

When parents learn that their children are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, they usually have a lot of questions and concerns. As Rev. Slyman demonstrates, some churches will not be a source of support at this time.

In this situation, in can be helpful to attend a PFLAG meeting, to meet for discussion, information and support. (PFLAG stands for parents and friends of lesbians and gays).

The local meeting of PFLAG takes place on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the First Universalist Church of Essex, 57 Main St. Essex. Please join us if you have questions or if you have been through similar situations and want to help others. Much more information about PFLAG can be found on the internet by searching for “Boston PFLAG”.

TOM DUFF

Essex

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