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LGBT speakers, families share experiences with Utah legislators

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  • county mom Monroe, UT
    March 3, 2014 7:02 p.m.

    So when did everyone that believes in traditional marriage become a racist?
    Sexual orientation is not a race.

    Maybe it is a creed, and it could be genetic? But there is little proof.

    I understand that all people are different.
    We all have our own genetic code.
    Everyone of us lives with things that we are born with, the things we were taught as children and the things we have learned and accepted since we became adults.

    Our race, is the genetic skin color we were born with, it came from generations past.

    Our sexual orientation is far more complicated then that. But it is just sex, lust with little love associated, only through the parents to I see love.

    I have seen little of any of this particular argument that has anything to do with love.
    True love, is not selfish. Love does not need to prove itself, nor does it need be forced on others. Love, real love is tolerance, freedom and gentle persuasion.
    In this argument there is deep hatred.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    March 2, 2014 11:30 p.m.

    Too much drama and hyperbole in the comments to the legislature for me to take it serious. How about being real and sincere?

  • Unicorn 2000 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 1, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    @ wYo8

    "And He made them male and female and commanded them to multiply and replenish the world. The old plumbers knew what they talking about when they named couplers for pipe male and female."

    Maybe the old plumbers did not know about intersex people? Your argument is based on the assertion that A) all people are male and female,therefore, B)old plumbers knew what they were doing when they named pipes male and female. The premise of your argument is incorrect. This is the reality: A) Not all people are clearly male or female bodied. Intersex people do not fit within your definition of human existence and have been shamed and surgically altered out of existence so as to not challenge people's ideas about human existence. Most people, including plumbers and most doctors for that matter, do not even know about the existence of intersex people so they can only name things after what they do know. It is this way because intersex people scare the heck out of people who have to categorize everyone into a dichotomous (male/female)paradigm for their own comfort.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    March 1, 2014 3:49 a.m.

    @ wYo8

    Your paranoia is silly. The First Amendment is still around, so there will be no same-sex marriage ceremonies inside an LDS temple. Also, why would that be their goal? They just want their marriages to be legally recognized.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    CB, I appreciate your thoughtful response. Here's the problem, in every instance of the now defunct ex-gay movement Exodus, claims of change and chastity were not realized over the long term. Christianity Today reported, "Alan Chambers Apologizes to Gay Community, Exodus International to Shut Down." - 6/21/2013. So, no change, and chastity is an unlikely scenario. Gays are as likely to have crushes and fall in love as their straight siblings - that's how it works. Thirty-five years ago in SLC I asked every gay person I met these questions: When did you know you were gay? Are you OK with being gay? I must have asked 500 people and I distinctly remember the one Mormon kid from Wyoming that was not happy; his family threw him out of the house and would not speak to him - just one. Forty years ago, I fell in love (once) and I am in that same wonderful, loving, monogamous same-sex relationship today - life has been really quite wonderful and I cannot imagine it any other way. Love and family are values that I cannot live without - and no one should be asked to.

  • wYo8 Rock Springs, WY
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:22 p.m.

    And He made them male and female and commanded them to multiply and replenish the world. The old plumbers knew what they talking about when they named couplers for pipe male and female. Their ultimate goal will be to force the LDS church to allow gay marriage in the temple. One step at a time and we are almost there.

  • TheReason SLC, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    Unfortunately, all of these arguments about "religious freedom" are baseless.

    Either being gay is not a choice, which would be covered by the 14th amendment.
    Or is isn't, which means that person has a belief that, according to those who believe in "traditional marriage", should be protected and valued by the government.

    There really just isn't any other arguments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not to enforce that opinion on others.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:34 p.m.

    Pack said: "they have a choice about how to handle that attraction and how they act on that attraction. None of us have any type of choice when it comes to our race."

    Awe, but you do have a choice when it comes to religion. (protected class)
    So if one chooses a religion that believes in gay marriage, why do your religious views trump others?

    Nor have they found a hetro gene but we're still in the infancy of these sciences.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    @pack

    So you claim it is not the same? I have two questions then one so are you saying those that are attracted to someone of a different race have no control of it but gay people do? two, since when is biology the determining factor if something is discriminatory? Based on that logic we should be able to discriminate passed on religion, which is clearly a choice. I now In ow the first amendment says... well guess what the constitution also says people have the right to not have you trample over their rights.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    @ Ranch The pretzel logic that some folks use makes me scratch my head. You are asking to be treated the same as everybody else, and according to some this is asking for "special treatment". I don't get it.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    @JNA;

    You're really up in the night and have no clue as to our "agenda" (equality under the law and the right to receive service from businesses like EVERYBODY else).

  • JNA Layton, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    "Equality under the law is the issue, not beliefs. Nobody is asking others to change their beliefs they are just asking for equitable treatment. That is not too much to ask"

    See this is the argument we hear but trust me when I tell you this has nothing whatsoever to do with their agenda, the gay and lesbian community want the acquisition of power to control communities and to make religious organizations bow to their demands or face the loss of governmental protection. Do not get sucked into the lie.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    To Hugh 1 in Colorado,
    If one of my 3 sons had been gay I would have told him what I have told my 2 unmarried
    daughters, obey the Lord's law on Chasity and deny your human driven desires and wait upon the Lord to make all things right. Self indulgence can lead to terrible ends.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    @Mom of Six.
    What are you going to say if you have a gay child or grandchild? Give him the lecture on skin color, and that sexuality is behavior, and that, "The comparison between the Civil Rights Era is insulting?" Good grief! Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, and now Texas have had their discriminatory laws against same sex marriage overturned. You can repeat it and repeat it, but it doesn't change the fact. Forget your right to discriminate - that's over, or will be soon. The battle over same sex marriage is on. It will likely be settled on Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 SCOTUS finding that outlawed anti-miscegenation statutes in the old south. You claim that, "The comparison between the Civil Rights Era is insulting," is in error.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    @Pack

    Isn't the fertility issue irrelevant anyway? There is no fertility requirement in --ANY-- state for being issued a civil marriage license. In fact, in the state Utah, for certain couples, there is a specific requirement that a couple --NOT-- be fertile as a condition for being issued a marriage license. (Think first cousins here).

    So why are we discussing procreation at all as a deal-breaker? Except if one's strategy is to use the "procreation" argument to exclude same-sex couples.

  • Danclrksvll Erin, TN
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    We as a church should show more compassion for those who struggle with same gender attraction and being tempted in this area is not a sin but giving in to it certainly is, just like fornication ,stealing or adultery. If we are not careful we may begin to compromise the Holy standards of conduct that God requires of us, and forget to recoil in horror at the terrible price our Savior paid to deliver us from sin of every type.We must show compassion but never give license to conduct that leads to spiritual death.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    @ Hatch--- So gay people should be tolerant of people treating them like dirt? When you say tolerance goes both ways, what in the world do you mean? Gays should just shut up and endure their treatment?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    @Pack

    If neither heteros nor homosexuals have a choice in who they're attracted to, then what is the basis for expecting homosexuals to act on this differently than heteros do? The implication is that one orientation is inferior to the other. This is also the basis of racism.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    @Pack I agree with you 100%. The comparison between the Civil Rights Era is insulting. No one can help the color of their skin. Sexuality is a behavior. No one has ever found a "gay" gene to prove otherwise.

    With that being said, I do not believe in discriminating against people for jobs, medical, housing etc. This is unfair and unkind. The problem with the gay agenda is that the radicals want to punish those who do not believe that homosexuality and heterosexuality are on the same playing field. There are also those who would like to punish the religious through the court system. Why can't we just all treat each other fairly? If people don't want to service homosexual couples, let their business suffer and move on. There are plenty of businesses that would service anyone. I believe most religious people are pretty reasonable and kind. It seems though that we are always bringing up the outliers rather than the norm.

  • Pack Layton, Utah
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    Values Voter, there is a huge difference between an infertility issue which prohibits procreation and the gay issue which prohibits procreation. The two can't be compared or argued.

  • Pack Layton, Utah
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    I for one am tired of the gay communities comparison to past racial issues. It is NOT even close to the same thing. While a gay person may not have a choice in who they are attracted to, they have a choice about how to handle that attraction and how they act on that attraction. None of us have any type of choice when it comes to our race.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    Unfortunately we are living in the age prophesied when evil would be called good and good called
    evil. The Lord's law of chastity applies to all of his children, there is no allowance for
    gender identity, a confusion that, as earlier stated, was forced upon a young man by his 'one' mother and 16 others'.
    Have we had a similar hearing for those whose lives have been grievously impacted by homosexual
    behavior? Shouldn't they be heard as well before passing a law which takes away their right
    to 'discriminate'? We do discriminate every day, the food that we choose to eat, the movies we
    choose to watch, the radio programs we listen too. The neighborhoods we choose to live in.
    Why shouldn't we have a right to choose to rent to those we find desirable to inhabit our property, we have to pay for, we must pay taxes on, we must keep 'livable" to regain our investment? 'Special rights' to 'special people'? I could make the same argument, that I am someone special too, where are my rights?

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    @ Jamescmeyer

    "Looking at these people as fellow children of God in light of what is done in their name is harder than they can ever imagine."

    You'll get there (being able to look at us as fellow children of God, I mean) -- I have faith in you.

    It will help if you simply work at taking us as individuals. We're neither all hedonistic reprobates, nor exemplary saints. Like most individuals, we fall somewhere on a continuum between those two extremes. Most of us are just trying to do the best we can and be the best people we can be. When the dust settles, we're likely going to be regarded as no better and no worse in terms of character than anyone else.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    People supporting the LGBT community want much to be heard, but perhaps it's time they listened some. On the one hand, they are children of God who deserve dignity; to be loved and not persecuted.

    At the same time these are people who, along with supporters, are bullying us all while desiring not to be bullied. Arizona struck down a law protecting the religion from being bullied-an increasing social epidemic nationally, ironically with the comparatively misplaced fear of gays being the ones bullied.

    They want us to recognize their idea of marriage, even if it involves intimidation and lawlessness, with no recognition for our idea of marriage. Their focus is on changing marriage almost exclusively, with no visible work to address other issues such as the radical rates of sexual abuse involved among those identifying as homosexual, or the prevelance of STDs.

    While some advocate the freedom to embrace their attractions, they oppose the freedom of those who seek to control or change those attractions in themselves.

    Looking at these people as fellow children of God in light of what is done in their name is harder than they can ever imagine.

  • Bruce A. Frank San Jose, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    Huge1--If you think such is media invention, then you have never been to a gay pride parade in San Francisco. The "invention" you describe is real, rampant, and, at best, mild behavior. Live sex on parade floats may well be the extreme radical end of gay "experience." But, all of it comes with the "in your face" gay agenda. Behavior that would get a hetero couple arrested is tolerated in same sex couples. Equal protection under the law was something that CA homosexuals demanded and and got(and it's all we want)in the "Domestic Partners" act. But, after the law was passed they then revealed the ongoing agenda demanding the right to religious marriage. The CA Methodist Church acquiesced and looked to the LGBT community as a new source of revenue in a community where church attendance drops yearly. The LGBT community is not large enough to take up the slack of the congregation that has fled the "why I am gay" church events.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    @ Isaiah 1:15

    "But it still eludes me HOW THE STATE can grant LBGT couples rights which Nature denies them, i.e. the fruits of procreation?"

    Honestly, Isaiah, forgive me for being so repetitious, but your last argument virtually refutes itself. Nature also denies some heterosexuals (and therefore, some heterosexual couples) "the fruits of procreation." Do you believe that state should deny those couples rights? -- probably not, and if not, why not?

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    So impressed with groups of people with differences who are willing to discuss this in a rational and calm scenario in Salt Lake City.
    It is frustrating and sad that those of us in Southern Utah, who would appreciate moderate political radio programs and political gatherings, have next to nothing in options other than the ultra conservative group.
    St. George radio hosts and many who call into these stations, are filled with a great deal of hate and bigotry.
    However, Utah is growing and changing in it's demographics, so we do have hope for moderation, kindness and understanding in the future.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    We decide how life will be! Some things we do as individuals. So much that happens in life comes from how we work together in our society! It is so important! I think that the only way we can truly be happy is when we are able to care about those around us! The reason it has taken so long for gay rights to get considered is because people never took the time to think or care about it! We can not have this great nation we live in without considering the rights and beliefs of others. Nobody wants to take away the beliefs of Mormons or anybody else! We just want the right to live our own beliefs! It can not happen unless people are willing to do it!
    I have a hard time fighting over these things. I have always cared about people in the Mormon Church.I always somehow felt like I was a part of them even when I could no longer go! I miss being able to talk with them! I have to be me! They turn away and it is sad, It doesn't need to be that way! I have to be me!

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    I read some of the comments and it is hard to believe thatp eople would say that this kind of law was needed! For what? We are trying to tell people our stories show that we care, only to have people slam it down! People feel it is good to pass laws that specifically devalue and dehumanize others! What people are screaming out is that their beliefs include the hatred of their fellow man, because it most certainly isn't love they are showing!
    No, I have grown up Mormon and Mormonism has been a part of my entire life! Even as a gay person, it effects me! My family is Mormon. My friends and co workers are Mormon. People are going to look me in the face and tell me that I deserve to be treated with contempt and that it is ok to dirciminate against me! Do people know what kind of pain comes when you watch the people you have always cared about trample right over the top of you! They walk on your beliefs, and they mock our entire lives!

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    People in Utah need to know that in many places in the world and our country gay people are not treated with the disdain that is common in Utah. There are many places where gay people are treated very well and loved for who they are, not despite it.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    @lehiaggia & @Shimlau
    I assure you that the guy in the thong, just like Paris Hilton, is a media invention. When was the last time you saw someone in a thong? This months Sport's Illustrated? Media inventions. I do get your point though, and it is appreciated - and I'm sure you get mine. As for discrimination and gay marriage, I understand that your religious beliefs may be in conflict - that however is a religious issue for you and your church to deal with. One in twenty is a middle of the road estimate on the gay population - that's a lot of family. Same sex marriage should be discussed honestly; I am convinced this issue will settled in the precedent of Loving v. Virginia. Even if you don't agree, at least try to see the issue through the eyes of these parents. If you want another perspective, watch the documentary movie Bridegroom.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    One thing to think about; If it is equal rights, that's good, but if I'm and employer and I want to discharge an employee that isn't performing. All they would have to do, is claim they are Homosexual, and that they are being discriminated against, and then the state is down on my case for breaking the law, even though the real reason was lack of performance. This will open up a big can of worms.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Stop bringing the gay marriage issue into this discussion with your comments. That issue is very devisive. This type of bill needs to be passed and was almost passed last year. Don't make it harder by bringing up gay marriage.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    People should be treated fairly in employment, housing, etc. However, judges showing an evil disreguard for the constitution and the 1st amendment use such "anti-discrimination" laws to deny religious liberties. It has been done in New Mexico and Washington state. the Edmonds-Tucker laws set precedent in showing the federal government will trample all over religious liberties to enforce their idea of marriage.

    Hugh,
    "A guy in a thong on a gay pride parade is a media invention."

    you've never seen such parades in Seattle (where I used to live) or in SF.

    tell me, what other historical events do you deny? WWII? the cold war? the Kennedy assasination?

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    @DN Subscriber (and others)

    you wrote:

    "But, even if their activities are sanctioned by black-robed judges and thus made legal, that does not make them moral, right, or beneficial."

    Let's cut to the heart of the matter. It appears you believe some version of the following:

    ANY and ALL expression(s) of a homosexual orientation are wrong, immoral, sinful, destructive, unhealthy and so forth.

    I ask, why?

    Let me put forth a different view. My belief is that a homosexual orientation -- all by itself, (just like a heterosexual orientation) is morally neutral. The expression of that orientation can be good or bad, wise or unwise, ethical or unethical, healthy or unhealthy, fulfilling or unfulfilling, beneficial or not -- depending on a whole host of factors, (just like the expression of a heterosexual orientation).

    By overlooking a shimmering ocean of nuance when it comes to the subject of homosexuality, some conservative religious people are blinded to the true complexity of human sexuality. That appears to be changing, even in Utah. I welcome that change.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    Our church should get on the right side and take steps away from homophobia asap.

  • Isaiah 1:15 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:33 a.m.

    A Mormon family adopted me at birth. I found my natural family after graduating from high school. My birth sister is openly gay. She also adopted a boy of color. She and her life partners did everything they could to turn him gay, like convincing him that kissing girls on the playground was something he didnt like, and that he need not do things he doesnt like, or putting one earring in his left ear at age 7. They lived in a woman only commune where their son could not enter the religious sanctuary because he is male. One of her life partners (she has had many) was understandably critical of the LDS stand against the LBGT lifestyle. I pointed out how hypocritical their rules are. When my nephew graduated from HS, as valedictorian, he and his 13 mommies threw a party. He had one constant mommy and 12 others during his first 18 years of life! Yes, LBGT couples should obtain tolerance, anti-discrimination, an apartment, a job etc, by state laws. But it still eludes me HOW THE STATE can grant LBGT couples rights which Nature denies them, i.e. the fruits of procreation?

  • Visitor from California Berkeley, CA
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    Heartening to hear that legislators from both sides of the aisle called this hearing. Open your hearts, Utah! It's your own sons and daughters at issue, not just the sense of welcome for visitors from out of state.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    Unfortunately the antidiscrimination laws will work one way. If you discrimintate against someone for their orientation you wil be puninshed. If you discriminate against someone for expressing their opinion that homosexual behavior is wrong - as most religioms believe, or that marriage is between one man and one woman, you will get a free pass.

    The problem with freedom is that sometimes people use it to do things we do not like. The only way to stop that is to to take away freedom. However, using the government to force people to do what we think is right is usually the greater sin.

  • wzagieboylo Nofolk, MA
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    One might say the norm in history is for mankind in their pride and self-delusion challenge God's laws with their own ideas. Satan had a better plan that was less challenging and would hurt no one's feelings. It is ease of life which has led to this great apostasy. Brigham Young often said that he feared not persecutions or temporal difficulties - he feared prosperity and ease which would lead the Saints to reject their faith. This is what is happening when mothers rise up and break their sacred covenants in self-righteous defense of their self-indulgent and foolish children. The god of this world is self-realization without judgement, meaning self-indulgence without restriction. These are not hateful words. I hate no one. It is hard for the wicked and rebellious to hear. It may cut to the core and cause burning indignation and rage, but it is the truth.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    A guy in a thong on a gay pride parade is a media invention. Families in Utah and around the country are typically introduced to the gay world in a child's tearful confession, "When Joey Eccleston's son told him at 15 that he was gay, he said he was struck by "a lightning flash of fear."" Parents are often traumatized and the first reaction is to get help, and to change. Mom and dad are confused when the child says he is perfectly happy, and the psychologist surprises them with 'there is nothing to change' and 'it's not possible anyway.' The problem is clearly not the child's, or the parent's (except their fear), it is generated by irresponsible segments in society, particularly religious and political who are in denial - denial that they created the problem. Irresponsible religious leaders and politicians erect barricades to the child's well-bring and his or her ability to live a normal and fulfilling existence. Utah really needs to get over itself on the gay marriage issue, these are your children. Thanks to all those who participated in the story, your voice is welcome.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    It is going to take a lot more than this to melt the glaciers most Utah legislators call hearts.

    @Hatch;

    We should be tolerant of you voting on whether or not we get to marry? To work? To live in an apartment? Absolutely not. You can believe whatever you want and, that, I can tolerate; but I can't and won't tolerate interference in our right to equal protection under the law.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:40 a.m.

    If a belief you hold is that I, or my family member, or my friend is an abomination, or inferior, or immoral, and you have no rational basis for your belief - indeed, the overwhelming evidence is that it is contrary to the facts and that the actions arising from this belief cause great harm - I should be tolerant of this belief?

    Are you kidding?

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:48 a.m.

    @Hatch 10:54 p.m. Feb. 26, 2014

    Just like people of color should have been "tolerant" of the racists' beliefs that denied them access to equality? Equality under the law is the issue, not beliefs. Nobody is asking others to change their beliefs they are just asking for equitable treatment. That is not too much to ask.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:29 p.m.

    Understanding and acceptance a must; Creating laws that promote divisiveness and compel change must be avoided at all costs! If my neighbor won't love me for who I am, creating a law to compel him to do so will only make him build a taller fence and look at me with greater suspicion. It doesn't matter weather it is a democrat or a republican. Both parties and both leaders patronize everyone by brazenly thinking that all of us are fooled by this propensity to fix societies problems by compulsion! it never has worked and never will. Understanding and acceptance comes from both sides willing to live with each other without pointing a gun at each other.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:00 p.m.

    The "in your face" homosexual activist community and their "tolerance for me, but not for thee" demands are simply unacceptable.

    They are well organized, very adept at using social media to choreograph their events and ensure large turnouts which makes their apparent numbers much larger than the small minority they actually are.

    Equal rights, I can buy that. Special rights, no way! And these days, they are not demanding equal rights, but rather special rights.

    I respect their right o love whomever they like, and really don't care much what they do in their bedrooms. But, even if their activities are sanctioned by black-robed judges and thus made legal, that does not make them moral, right, or beneficial.

  • Hatch Sandy, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:54 p.m.

    Sad to hear about the intolerant treatment these people have endured. It is wrong. But it should work both ways. Straight folks should be tolerant of gay folks beliefs and gay folks should be tolerant of straight folks beliefs.