I have gay relationships. I have lesbian relationships too. I think God is pleased.
There seem to be quite a few people in my profession who fall into one of the LGBTQQ categories – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning. In fact, our professional association created an LGBT Section a few years ago, much like we have sections for people with other common identifiers (such as ethnicity). The opening reception for the LGBT Section was at one of the association’s midyear conferences a while back, and I was there with a friend of mine who organized the formation of this new group. He even declared me an auxiliary member, since I was hanging out with him as he greeted the other members. Not that auxiliary membership actually exists, but if it did I’d be a shoe-in.
Why was I there? Because, like I said, he’s a friend of mine.
He is one of the people I am closest to, not too far behind my wife in that regard. We call each other up when things are on our minds and we need to talk. In fact, he called last night and my wife and I put him on speaker phone so we could all chat as we made dinner. He’d heard that our daughter’s car got totaled and since she lives 10 minutes from him but 8 hours from us, he offered to loan her his car. He and I borrow sweatshirts from each other when it’s cold. He and his husband have dinner with me and my family. Getting together is rarer than we’d like, since we live at opposite ends of the state, but when we do see each other it commences with a hug. Go ahead and call it an intimate friendship. I do.
I also spend time with other gay and lesbian colleagues from up and down the state. We serve on committees together, make dinner reservations if we’re at the same conferences, and support one another. One of them is even a person I turn to for prayer support at times, as she does me.
As I said, I have lesbian and gay relationships and I think God is pleased.
You see, Jesus spent time with people who were on the margins – the woman at the well in John 4, Zacchaeus the tax collector in Luke 19, the woman caught in adultery in John 8, the woman who used her own hair to wipe her tears from Jesus’ feet in Luke 7, to name a few - and he wasn’ concerned with how it looked to the upright religious leaders around him.
Why do I identify with my lesbian and gay friends? Because I think Jesus would have.
My friends know my faith. It comes up in conversation often. Jesus talked to his friends and acquaintances about God; so do I. In fact, as odd as it may seem, I actually find it easier to do so with these particular friends than with others sometimes.
And let’s face this fact too. Even though my colleagues have reached the pinnacle of their profession, they can still be marginalized at a moment’s notice. Each and every one of them is always a hair’s breadth away from unfair discrimination and downright bullying. Make no mistake about it, it is still dangerous to be homosexual in America.
These are my friends. I like them and find them a pleasure. I think they feel the same about me.
I also love them. I think Jesus does too.
Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17.)
[Jesus also said,] “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10.)
My friends aren’t so different from me. They need Jesus. So do I.