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One man's 'heartening' is another man's 'heartless'

by Jeremy Hooper

Tn-10-2Responding to some new polling data that shows a majority of Tennesseans are still opposed to marriage equality, Focus on the Family's Jeff Johnston today makes the following statement:

It’s heartening to know that, despite years of rhetoric by gay activists, the people of Tennessee believe the truth," he said, "that God designed marriage to between a man and a woman.”

To which this Tennessee born and raised writer responds:

"Living in fear that others would find out my secret. Hearing jokes with punch lines involving he death of "fags." Being told by anti-gay leaders that I was hellbound. Feeling that I would never know the same happiness as my heterosexual peers. Being shunned and even wholly cut off by members of my family. Being told that despite my sharp mind and strong performance, I would always be "broken" even if I cured cancer, won an Oscar, and negotiated world peace on the same day. Not being able to truly date until I was 19. Feeling like the only place I could be out without fear was in a gay bar. Being shocked when I met a fellow gay person who WAS still close with their family rather than when I met one who wasn't. Seeing my friend murdered in a hate crime when I was 22. Having the aforementioned incident fell me with soul-numbing terror. Still not having the ability to share my rich and rewarding adult life with my parents.

Somehow I don't find the stagnant nature of Tennessee homophobia all that "heartening," Jeff! But you keep up the good work, buddy. There are many more young gay Tennesseans who will also become stronger because of the anti-gay bias that they'll be forced to overcome. If it doesn't kill them, that is.

Tennesseans Stand Behind Traditional Marriage [CitizenLink]

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