I’ve been wanting to write this letter for a while. I have heard that some of your pastors, priests, rabbis, or imams have unfortunately misled you regarding your son or daughter’s sexual orientation. We have made your burden heavier, not lighter.
As a clergy person, I want to apologize to you. I am very sorry. We were wrong.
This issue reminds us of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s when we thought we were right to preach against integration. We thought since our sacred text allowed slaves thousands of years ago, then we could ignore the rights of persons of color in our lifetime. So we supported the laws that restricted where African Americans could eat or sleep or live, or whether or not they could be educated alongside our children or marry whom they loved. We quoted the scripture out of context to support our views. And even worse, many of us were silent, and we allowed others to speak for us.
And now we are doing it again. We have not listened carefully to the struggle or pain of your son or daughter. We have only tried to change them. We have ignored the grief in your heart.
We have used the Bible to exclude rather than to include, to incur guilt instead of grace.
We are afraid. We are afraid we will lose our jobs if we preach the truth. We are afraid that some of our own family members, or even ourselves, are struggling with this issue. We have not found the words in our vocabulary to speak of this issue with love and grace.
So I ask you to remember these three things until we talk again:
1. You did not cause your child to be gay.
2. Your child is not choosing to be gay, it is who s/he was created to be.
3. Your child has so many gifts that our world needs. Love them for who they are, and teach them the same principles you would teach them if they were straight. Be honest with your struggle and be vulnerable with them. It will give you an opportunity to grow closer to one another.
God loves you and your child. Gay or straight, black or white, we are all in need of God’s grace.
I will write more in coming days when I have time. I look forward to hearing from you.
Please pray for us, we need it too,