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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,


9 Responses to “Dear Parents of Gay Children”

  1. David Gary says:

    Thank you so much for your very powerful witness.

  2. Cathy Goodwin Moncrief says:

    This is lovely. God has reminded me recently of three important words — two of which you just used: Grace and Love.

    It’s funny when God reminds you of something and then you start hearing it everywhere…

  3. Stephanie Peterson Schneidtmiller says:

    I love reading things you’ve written. I love your inclusive love & acceptance of everyone.

  4. Audrey Torstrick says:

    Malcolm, thanks for your writings.
    Our lesson at SMBC was the Good Samaritan today. We discussed how easy it is to put a box around God and in the center of that box include “only people like me.” The parable reveals how God’s love is inclusive and accepting and erases the boxes men create.

  5. Angela says:

    Hi Macolm:
    Your articles are truly an eye opener. It makes one wonder, will this happen to me? Keep the articles coming. God bless you richly.

  6. Tracy says:

    Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

  7. Malcolm says:

    David, Cathy, Stephanie, Audrey, Angela, and Tracy,

    Thank you for taking the time to write your comments. Your encouragement and your love for others is an inspiration to me.

    Peace be with you,

  8. Dear Malcolm,

    Jim Smith recommended you as a good friend that I might enjoy your writings. I had no idea that it would be friendly and welcoming to me as a lesbian rabbi. I sit and read with tears in my eyes. I am grateful, I finally read your inclusive thoughts and words. I truly know nothing and am eternally grateful for the space that nothing makes for miracles to happen. in joy in being me and having friends and colleagues that believe that everyone can change! May we all be so blessed.


  9. Malcolm says:

    Dear TZiPi,

    Welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind and encouraging words.

    Don’t you ever forget that you are a child of God, as much as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as much as Ruth, Naomi, and Sarah. Sometimes it just takes us longer to realized that we too are beloved by God.


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