Sunday, December 28, 2008

Making Sense of the Gay Thing

Melissa Etheridge (left) and her wife, Tammy>

Frank Rich, in his New York Times column this a.m., followed the conventional left-leaning wisdom in criticizing Rev. Rick Warren as a primary inauguration participant, but singer Melissa Etheridge, an aggrieved party, took a line that I would consider evolved. She asked for understanding, forgiveness, tolerance and communication.

Warren, a man who has shown no Falwellian proclivity toward bigotry, made a stupid remark during the heat of California's Proposition 8 debate (which made gay marriage illegal), linking homosexuality to various sex crimes. He told Ms. Etheridge, when they met at Christmas prior to a concert in which both would participate, that he regretted what he said and that he believes no such thing.

My tendency here is to take Warren at his word and watch closely as he attempts to make ammends. That's what Ms. Etheridge, who is gay, married, with a child, is planning to do.

Here's some of what she says in a Huffington Post blog:

"We have the world's attention. We have the capability to create change ... but before we change minds we must change hearts. Sure, there are plenty of hateful people who will always hold on to their bigotry like a child to a blanket. But there are also good people out there, Christian and otherwise that are beginning to listen. They don't hate us, they fear change. Maybe in our anger, as we consider marches and boycotts, perhaps we can consider stretching out our hands. Maybe instead of marching on his church, we can show up en mass and volunteer for one of the many organizations affiliated with his church that work for HIV/AIDS causes all around the world."

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