A Conversation with My Dad, Part 3 of 3

This is the third and final part of my conversation with my Dad. On Monday, I gave some background about my family. Yesterday, my Dad talked about what it’s like for him to have a gay son. Today we talk about politics, including how he sees this issue playing out among fellow Catholics and laborers.

That’s my Dad pictured to the right, with my Mom (Darlene) in their kitchen. They’ve been married for almost 30 years. I’m their oldest. There’s also Randy, 26; Lindsay, 21; and Mark, 15.

In Michigan, they passed a civil unions and marriage ban in November 2004. Were people around you talking much about it?

They really weren’t talking about it. A lot of people I talked to about it in Michigan were much more concerned about the presidential election. They were mad that the Republicans threw that issue in there to try to get Bush elected. That’s the only real reaction I heard. Everyone I know voted for Democrats, and they just thought [the ban] was a way to get more voters out to the polls to help elect Bush. I think it’s still all a part of that. They want to stir the Christian Coalition types and get them involved. I think it’s more about that than it is really about gays. Trying to get people’s minds away from the real issues.

I remember you telling me that at Sunday Mass they showed a video message from the Bishop urging people to support the Michigan civil unions and marriage ban. What happened?

I think a few people got up and walked out. At that time, we almost got up and walked out. We almost wished we would have. I just don’t think religion is being fair to gay people. If you’re gay, you’re gay. Why try to make them out as sinners? Everyone says they believe in the Bible and God and that we should treat people right, but when it comes to this everybody throws up their guard. They say they accept everybody, but why not accept gays?

This is one of the things I have against the Catholic religion. Gay people are not weirdos, they’re not doing anything wrong. They’re God’s children like everybody else. God created you the way you are, and that’s just the way it is. Why can’t people accept that?

We go to a Catholic church because we were raised that way. We go to church to pray but not necessarily to believe everything they tell us to believe. We have our own minds.

What do you think would be the best way to persuade other Catholics to vote against these amendments?

I would say God created gay people. He created them to be the way they are. What is wrong with that? Why can’t they be accepted? The teaching of the Catholic Church is about love your neighbor as yourself. So why turn your back on one of God’s creations?

How would you say other members of your labor union feel about gay people? How would you convince them to vote no on the civil unions and marriage ban?

Unless they’re educated about it, they’ll probably vote for it. But a lot of labor unions are pretty liberal, so if any group could be educated, I would think it would be them. If you got them individually or in smaller groups it might be easier than trying to educate larger groups at union meetings. In larger groups, some people might say stuff against gays. There’s always going to be those macho guys no matter what, but if you talk in a smaller group, you can get people to come around.

What do you think about marriage for gay couples?

I think it’s a good thing now that I know everything I know. I don’t see why they shouldn’t. If you want to adopt children, stuff like that, you should be a couple. I think eventually gay marriage will be recognized. It’s just one of those thing that takes time for people to get educated about. Eventually it will be common.

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At 4:43 PM, Blogger Tom in Rhinelander said...

Wow, this really does give me hope! Can your dad move to Wisconsin for the vote? He has such a common sense approach. You must be very proud. His ideas about religion and spirituality are my exact same thoughts only your Dad is not gay! I’ll repeat what I said yesterday – This is why everyone needs to be out and proud. It is through knowing a gay person that people can come to these kinds of conclusions.


At 6:32 PM, Blogger Paul said...


I really enjoyed this series of posts. What a great, up-lifting story.




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