Letter to the Editor July 29, 2013

Gay marriage backer seeking open minds
Last week, I had the honor to stand with two local gay couples – Matthew and Trey, and Robert and Michael – as they approached the Lee County Justice Center to request a marriage license. Gathered with them were clergy, family and friends.

We prayed together and then entered the building. Both couples were denied marriage licenses because of current Mississippi laws.

We all knew that would happen. So why do it, people have asked.

For me, the first reason is my Christian faith. People are hurting because of laws that treat LGBT people differently. Loving couples are denied the freedom to marry. Parents are considered legal strangers to their children. Gay youth grow up feeling alone. Especially when people are hurting, God urges us to act and to follow Jesus’ teachings – to seek justice, to love our neighbor and to love those who oppose us.

What would you do to be with the person you love? Would you proclaim your love publicly even when you were told it was illegal to marry that person? Those are the questions that Michael and Robert face each day. When they stood up to request a marriage license, they stood up for love. But they also stood up so that gay kids in Tupelo know they are not alone, that there are people ready to fight for their equality.

We are not asking anyone to change their faith beliefs. But we are asking for people to listen to God’s voice in our midst, shining a light on the reality that most American families and churches include LGBT people (whether openly or not), many of whom are hurting. That’s why we are calling for laws to change, to ensure that the freedoms we count as sacred in our country are extended to all people and families. We also take these actions to start a new conversation, understanding that many in Tupelo are wrestling with these issues. Too much is at stake for us to stay silent.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Campaign for Southern Equality
Asheville, N.C.

  • tom Neiman

    Sir, you need to read Romans 1:18-32, I Corinthians 6:9-11, I Timothy 1:9-11, and for good measure on the matter of love–Romans 12:9, I Corinthians 13:6.

    • 1941641

      The USA was not founded on Biblical Law. The verses you quoted are irrelevant to any anti-gay rights discussion.

      On the “matter of love” quote, you forgot to mention the Biblical Love Story of David and Johnathan, Two Biblical Gay Men!

      • tom Neiman

        You do greatly err! God called David a man after His own heart Acts 13:22. If God called David a man after His own that means God would condone what He had already considered an abomination.

        • 1941641

          Can you prove that God ever said anything? Or that God ever existed or exists today? Or is it just more Fundie rant/propaganda?

        • FrereJocques

          You overlook the other, OBVIOUS interpretation: If being gay is not a sin, then God would have no trouble calling David a man after His own heart.

    • FrereJocques

      Ah, yes. The Clobber texts. Already read them. Rejected your interpretation of them. They do not apply to gay people in loving, consensual relationships.

      • tom Neiman

        Rightly did the Apostle Peter speak of people like you when he said “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” II Peter 3:15, 16

        • 1941641

          “Rightly” did this or that. That’s familiar speech to me. I remember reading that from the AFA’s site. “Rightly,” or “Wrongly” the choice is left solely up to the reader!

        • FrereJocques

          Please tell me, tom: What would you EXPECT a book that claims it is unerring and infallible, to claim? Saying that anyone who disagrees with it is doomed to eternal damnation is one of the main ploys to keep believers coming back for more. I used to believe in Bible accuracy and infallibility until the contradictions I found in the Bible were just too much to ignore. At that point, I started to think for myself, and not let my church think for me. I’m a much happier person, religion-wise, than I was before.

          Like Mark Twain said, referring to the Bible, “It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.”

  • James O Coley

    This has nothing to do with the bible. This is about so called gays that have nothing to do but agitates instead of running around trying to stir up things. I love animals but I don”t want to marry them. Jasmine is an antichrist and a hypocrite. Is there really that many that cares about low lives such as was mentioned in the article?

    • 1941641

      If you’re hung up on low lives just stand in front of the mirror and admire yourself every chance you get.

      • James O Coley

        Since I am not a lowlife, i have no need to look in a mirror like it seems you do.

        • 1941641

          Well, you must think you are a GOPER. Gods Only People. You’re not that important. Get over it. You are just a low life!

    • TWBDB

      James, the article never claimed to have anything to do with the Bible. Rev Beach-Ferrara is sharing her own experience, how her Christian Faith compels her to feel toward gay people, and perhaps why she has chosen to be an advocate of gay civil rights. She, unlike you, has chosen not to demonize those with whom she disagrees. She’s offering an opportunity to start a conversation; which you immediately took to the level of name-calling. To answer your question, yes, there are an increasing number of people, millions of people in fact, who care about gay people – - I believe that God loves me too. As such, I don’t believe any of us require your personal contribution – so I wouldn’t feel too put upon if I were you.

  • 1941641

    Tupelo is not the place to find a great number of “open minds.” Tupelo has its very own Homophobic “Dark Side” despite the fact that it has been voted an “All American City.” If its any consolation to interested parties, Tupelo is now in the process of progressing to a more acceptable level of existence.