I don’t usually write posts about religion or politics, but recent events compel me to do a little bit of both. I’ll be honest, when I first heard that the legislature and governor of a state I am usually proud to call my home had passed a bill essentially allowing discrimination, my first reaction was anger. The way this law was passed, the content of the law, and the obvious hatred behind it infuriated me. That it should be associated with my home state of North Carolina broke my heart.
But this is Holy Week, and I’ve been going to church a lot this week. I’ve been hearing stories about acts of love so great as to be almost incomprehensible. And so I’ve made a decision. I have made a choice. I have chosen to meet hatred not with anger and vitriol, but with love. I have chosen to turn one of the worst things the leaders of my state have done in recent times into a force for positive change in my own life.
Here is my vow—know this to be true. If you are a lesbian, if you are gay, if you are bisexual, if you are transgender, or if you just plain aren’t sure, I will love you. Yes, I will support you and I will use my vote to fight for you, but more importantly I will love you. If you see me in the street or at the store or in a restaurant or at church and you need a hug, I’m your man. If you need someone to tell you that you are accepted just the way you are, I’m the guy. If you want me to tell you that I know you to be a beautiful part of the magnificent diversity of creation, I will tell you again and again, because it is true.
If you run a business that is openly accepting of our wonderful LGBTQ community, I will be your loyal customer. If you run a non-profit that serves the needs of these too often overlooked but vital members of our society, I will write you a check. And for God’s sake, if you need to use whatever restroom I am using, come on in. You are welcome. You are welcome in my heart and in my life and in my church and in my community because I love you.
I know that the legislature and the governor do not speak for all or even most of the citizens of this state. So if you live in North Carolina and you are not a member of the LGBTQ community, take this vow with me. Take every member of this community into your heart. Accept them, celebrate them, love them. If we all do this, this law will have no meaning. I believe that love can conquer hate. Will you join me?