Cold, shmold

Thanks to all those who came to the “Love Needs No Cure” vigil this past weekend. (The only decent article I can find about it is from Kansas! Click here.) Yes, it was damn cold, but worth it. This is an email that was sent out by Dennis Nicely, co chair of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Metro-St. Louis Chapter:

“As you’ve probably heard, more than 300 men, women, and young people showed up in support of the nonviolent protest before the conference began this morning [6:30-8:30 a.m.]. Around 11:00 a.m., I went to the site of the protest / LWO conference to see how things were going. There were about a dozen individuals still holding their signs. While I stood there talking to some friends of mine, two young men approached us. They had just come from spending 3+ hours listening to lectures about changing those who are gay. Both young men shared that their parents had brought them there and wanted them to hear how they can change. One young man, a high school senior, was there with his dad who is a Baptist minister. They drove to St. Louis from Arkansas just to learn how to change him. He was so happy we were out there. It was as if we were a sanctuary for him. The wind was blowing heavily and he was cold but he said he would rather be standing in the cold with us then to be in there where they were telling him there was something wrong with him. As I was getting ready to walk away, he thanked me for our conversation and asked for a hug. The other young man shared that he was a student at a local community college. His parents were also at the conference and want him to see he does not have to be gay. He picked up one of our signs and began walking with the others. He said it felt good to be amongst those who understood and accepted him for who he is without having to change. I understood. I have been there myself and have been blessed to have many friends and family members who accept me without expecting me to change. If for no other reason, I am glad we were there to provide a sanctuary for those young men. Peace, Dennis”

Earlier that morning, Bill and I had an interesting discussion with a young pastor from a nearby nondenominational Christian church. He said he was intending to go to the conference, but instead he decided to talk with those of us outside. He seemed conflicted. He believed the Bible spoke against homosexuality, but he also recognized that it spoke against lots of things, and that there was a lot of unjustifiable picking-and-choosing going on. We were polite to him and he to us, and we shared a little bit about the many healthy, happy gay and lesbian couples and families we know. He wandered off in the direction of a mother and daughter who was holding a sign that said “I Love My Uncle Robert Just the Way He Is.” (Bill took a picture of them but it came out unflattering, so I won’t post it.) I hope that young pastor stopped to talk to them as well.

I hear the local television coverage was mostly biased and lame. What can I say? This year’s Turn-Off-Your-TV Week is April 24-30 (see here). Spread the news.

*And an addendum to Sunday’s platform. A. tells me that the “liberal vs. literal religion” schema has been popularized by Texas UU minister Davidson Loehr.*