I’ve been asked a few times in recent weeks why it is that I’m so vocal on gay and lesbian rights. A few people offered some unsolicited advice that maybe, just maybe, I need to done down what I say for the sake of my business. After all, I am in a position of some responsibility and leadership within the community, and I wouldn’t want my activism to tarnish that image.

Those that have offered this advice, or even as a concern, usually mean well. They really do. So much so, that I’ve done a bit of soul searching on the matter. Being the kind of person that I am, I will mull over an issue and then come to a hard decision. In this case, my decision is clear:

I will keep going. I will continue to speak out.

“Why are you so vocal?” I was asked. The short answer is: “Because others can’t be vocal.” So many of us have been pressed down by those around them that they have a shadow of hate that follows them wherever they go. They can’t speak out. They know that if they do, they’ll be kicked out of their church, fired from their job, or even tossed onto the street from their apartment.

None of these things are a problem for me. I have friends and acquaintances right here in Clarksville that have been denied housing or kicked out because they’re gay. I know business owners who have fired someone just because they’re gay. People are bullied every single day. They’re picked on, cut down, and belittled at every opportunity.

“But you’re a Christian,” they might say. “Or at least, I thought you were.” Precisely. I am Christian. And that’s what compels me to speak out against injustice. I do it because it’s difficult — because it’s not popular, and because it’s controversial to speak on behalf of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender.

Speaking out against injustice is not a liberal issue. It’s not a conservative issue. To me, it’s a moral issue. It’s a justice issue. It’s a human issue.

The stories that I hope to tell in the future will be about those who have had to deal with injustice — one way or another. I will look for stories that tell of struggles and triumphs alike; challenges to bear and mountains to overcome.

Too many people have been bullied for me to be silent. Too many preachers have damned people to hell with their bad theology and condemned people to misery with their anti-gay hate and their religious bile.

Oh, I’m not just talking about those “God hates fags” ass hats. That’d be too easy. How about when a pastor compares same-sex relationships to pedophiles? That’s just as wrong, and just as hateful.

I’ll pledge to you, dear readers, this much: I might come up with a different opinion than you might like, but I promise that everything I say will be backed up by some form of documented, verifiable evidence. You deserve to know that everything you read on this site will have some credibility — even if you disagree.

If you have a story that you’d like for me to tell, please contact me. Let’s help each other stand for justice.

By all means, disagree. Disagree vehemently. Agree. Agree wholeheartedly. But most importantly, if you do agree with me, add your voice to mine, and let’s continue to turn the tide against hate and bigotry in our city, state, and nation. Let’s stand up for what’s right. The more we unite for fairness, justice, and equality, the sooner we’ll achieve these things.

Our children deserve no less.

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