Why do we want to dictate to others how to live their lives? Fear? Yes. Insecurity? I bet. Wanting to be in charge? Sure. Probably fear of the unknown or fear of one's own sexual feelings contribute a lot to homophobia.
A few years ago, I represented a man, who was gay, in a car wreck. His sexual preference was irrelevant to the case. I produced my client for the deposition and the other lawyer started asking him if he had ever slept with a man. I was outraged. I yelled and screamed objections. I told my client not to answer. And then I planned what I was going to say to the other lawyer after the deposition and once we were off the record. As soon as he was done, I blurted, "You are a despicable pig!" He said, "Come on, Lynne, you would have done the same thing." I would not have done that. My client was very happy I stood up for him. He was my cousin.
When I was growing up, being gay was not easy. In high school kids made fun of anyone wearing pink and green together because those were "queer colors." I laughed along with everyone else. Gays were a source of derision. I know so much more, and hopefully am more empathetic now, than then. I didn't think I knew any gays then. Ha! How deluded I was.
We need to treat gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals with dignity and afford her equal protections under the law. They need the right to be free from employment discrimination, free to marry, free to live their lives the way they want. At one time I feared this freedom would never be afforded the LGBT community. Our society moves faster and more justly than I ever thought possible. And someday, probably sooner than we think, even in Missouri and Kansas, people will be allowed to follow their hearts. I am hopeful.