If you listen to the debate in the Anglican Communion, or for that matter in the U. S. Congress on issues involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, you will hear repeatedly that those who oppose giving LGBT people the same rights and responsibilities as the rest of us don't actually wish LGBT folks ill, they just aren't sure that they should be allowed to (fill in the blank) for reasons that have nothing to do with personal distaste or, God forbid, bigotry--because maybe they shook a gay person's hand once, or were nice to a lesbian when they could have been mean.
Some of these folks may be telling the truth. If so, it would be helpful to hear their voice when this sort of thing happens:
A local performer, Jeffrey Darling, was getting ready to organize the city's fourth annual Queer Christmas Holiday Bash, and reached out to the Portland [OR] Rescue Mission to see if they might be interested in sponsoring a coat-and-sweater drive at the event. The response Darling got from Portland Rescue Mission staffer Brian Merrell?.
Sorry, we don't work with queers to fight poverty or homelessness.
Darling told the Portland Mercury that the folks at the Portland Rescue Mission were worried that their donors, many of whom are religious, would stop giving to the Mission if they found out that LGBT people were involved.
Or when they read something like this in a religious magazine:
Fr. James E. Mason is a priest in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is Vice Chancellor of the Diocese and Director of Vocations. In an article in Homiletic & Pastoral Review (May), he says it's a "rare seminary or diocese that will recognize the vice...[of] effeminacy." St. Thomas Aquinas said that effeminacy is the vice of delicacy and is opposed to perseverance.
Says Fr. Mason: "Many bishops, seminary faculty and priests...suffer under this vice and are therefore unwilling or unable to recognize it as a vice and address it.... Does the seminary deal with a seminarian that sways when he walks, who has limp wrists, who acts like a drama queen or who lisps? It must."
Says Fr. Mason: "This is not just distracting to other men but I know my sisters will roll their eyes when a Liberace-like priest celebrates himself while celebrating the Mass.... This may be one of the reasons why the church has a difficult time attracting men to Mass...."
Or maybe they could refrain from voting for somebody who says things like this:
"[The TSA's non-discrimination hiring policy is] the federal employee's version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights ... That means the next TSA official that gives you an 'enhanced pat down' could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission," - Eugene Delgaudio, an elected official in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.
Those who oppose same-sex marriage and allowing LGBT people to serve openly in the military, but say they bear LGBT people no ill will, could do much for their credibility by speaking out against the excesses of their allies.