SCOTUS Approves Gay Marriage in ALL States and This Former Homophobe is Happy About It!

I’ll keep this one short and hope you read the link to my other blog. Gay marriage is now legal in ALL states and has been recognized as Constitutional by the Supreme Court. It has been a long, hard road for LGBT couples and it is about damn time.

Many people, gay, straight, and everything in between, are overjoyed. Many others are not. They range in their reactions from being mildly bothered to foaming at the mouth, calling down fire and brimstone upon the ungodly.

I primarily want to address the angry folks. Years ago, I was a homophobe due to my former religious conviction. Last year, I wrote an article about my transition from being against the LGBT community to being a strong supporter and advocate. I ask that you take several minutes to read my story, especially if you don’t like me already. Please click the link below.

Confession of a Former Homophobe

To those who are on the side of marriage equality, but know others who are not or are anti-gay, I ask you to please share my story with your family and/or friends who are still on the “other side” of this issue. (I, for example, used to be for the right for gays to marry, yet believed homosexuality to be a “sin”) We are all in this thing called “life” together and are all living this American Experience. Let’s do what we can to encourage togetherness and change rather than division.

Thanks, Luke

Mike Pence Signed the “Religious Freedom Bill

Governor Mike Pence RFRA Religious Freedom Bill

Governor Mike Pence RFRA Religious Freedom Bill

Mike Pence signing Freedom of Religion Bill

Mike Pence signing Freedom of Religion Bill

FINALLY all the people in this picture, who were up until now apparently persecuted in Indiana and deprived of religious freedom, in spite of the State Constitution and Bill of Rights of 1851, will be able to worship according to the dictates of their deeply held religious beliefs! Thanks, Darth Pence! You are the Moses of modern day Indiana, setting the captives free from bondage! (in a private ceremony paid for by public dollars) YAY!

One Scribble From Gov. Pence and Indiana Takes a Huge Step Back

Mike Pence- Indiana Religious Freedom Bill

Mike Pence- Indiana Religious Freedom Bill

Well, the Indiana Religious Freedom Bill is headed to Gov. Pence’s desk and he is likely to sign it. One scribble from his pen and Indiana takes a huge step back in our progress toward equal rights for all Indiana citizens.

This Bill isn’t only about LGBT rights in Indiana. But, I think that it mostly is for many fundamentalist style believers. Listen my fellow Hoosier business owners, if you offer a service to the public, it should be offered to the whole public. You are, of course, free NOT to offer a particular service to everyone. Like, if you are a pizza joint, you don’t have to serve clam chowder. Yet, if you serve pizza, don’t serve pizza to a straight patron and tell a gay customer to hit the bricks. If you bake wedding cakes, you can refuse to make provocative style cakes to all patrons. But, you should not deny a cake that you DO bake to a gay couple. A business, which is open to the public, should not deny services that they provide to paying customers only because they are gay, black, atheist, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, whatever…

We all have the right to our personal religious views. The First Amendment already guarantees that. You can believe what you want, teach what you want, go to fellowship wherever you want OR not. No one will come to your house of worship or home and force you what to believe or how to worship your god. Yet, if you choose to open a business to serve the public in Indiana, serve the public at large. If you want an exclusive private club, then charge membership fees and put “Private Club” on the front door.

Fellow Hoosier (or really anyone) if you find yourself today to be a person who has a downcast gaze upon the LGBT community, please read this blog that I wrote some time back.

Confessions of a Former Homophobe

Years ago, I used to be where you are now and was probably worse. Still, if you won’t change your mind and have a business that will be denying services to a portion of the population, have the balls to put a sign on the door saying so. If you get your morals from Jesus and he said not to be ashamed of him, display his alleged morals on the door for all to see. You wouldn’t want to be refused from heaven over your shame to have a public witness.

If this blog or the blog in the link resonate with you, please take a moment to hit the share buttons below. Thanks! -Luke

Take that Pence… Gay Marriage for Indiana

DING DONG! THE WITCH IS DEAD! The appeal by the Pence administration to overturn gay marriage in Indiana has failed. Gay couples MUST be allowed to marry in Indiana 🙂

I am very happy for my fellow Hoosiers who are LGBT and their newly affirmed legal ability to marry. I used to actually be on the other side of this issue. To read my story of what caused me to change my mind, please read this previous blog (and please share):

https://lukeaustindaugherty.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/confessions-of-a-former-homophobe-same-love/comment-page-1/

I also expect the obvious trolling by fundamentalist about how our State has gone the way of Sodom and Gomorrah now, destined to be rained upon by supernatural judgement. Get over it peeps…

By the way, I am an ordained “Universal Life Church” minister and can legally perform marriages in Indiana. If you are an LGBT couple in my area (Central Indiana) and are having a hard time finding a minister to solemnize your marriage, shoot me a message. I would be glad to provide a simple non-religious/secular ceremony for you if our schedules allow. It can be penance for my former bigotry.

Gay Marriage Ban Overturned in Indiana! (for now) And This Former Homophobe is Happy About it!

Gay Marriage Ban Overturned in Indiana! (for now) And This Former Homophobe is Happy About it!

(click the link above for the Channel 13 story and video)

Great news LGBT friends and supporters of gay marriage! For now, the Indiana ban on gay marriage has been overturned by U.S. District Judge Richard Young. Since this is still Indiana, Attorney General Greg Zoeller will likely appeal today’s ruling and attempt to stay the ruling pending appeal. In the mean time, marriage licenses will be issued to gay couples.

As one who used to be against gay marriage and eventually came out of the dark ages ideologically, I am extremely happy with the current ruling. Congratulations to all those in Indiana who may now legally marry! And to all those who have fought the good fight for marriage equality, cheers to your hearty and victorious efforts!

If you are reading this and are still against gay marriage and/or the LGBT community at large, I implore you to read my story of changing my mind on the issue a few years ago. I think some of my past experiences may resonate with you. Click the link below for that previous blog post, “Confessions of a Former Homophobe.”

https://lukeaustindaugherty.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/confessions-of-a-former-homophobe-same-love/

Confessions of a Former Homophobe: Same Love

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“They call us ‘Homophobic’! I ain’t scared of no queers! They are the ones going to hell! They should be scared!” That was the line shouted by my red-faced, Independent Baptist pastor from behind his sacred pulpit nearly fifteen years ago…

Let me first back up even more to my childhood. Born in 1977, I was primarily raised during the 80’s. It was a time when there were no obviously gay characters on regular TV and “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straights had the lyric “that little faggot with the earring and the make-up” playing on the radio. The 1980’s saw the end of the golden age for those who wanted a primarily gay-free pop culture. Outside of the correlation made between the outbreak of HIV/AIDS and homosexuality, I don’t remember many other references to gays by the media during my childhood.

I didn’t have any inherent dislike of gay people growing up. Though, being called a “fag” or “queer” by a peer was considered highly unfavorable and generally started a fight. Even though homosexuality wasn’t a primary topic of conversation during those years, when it was mentioned, it was always a negative thing and typically spoken of with disgust. “Queers” were people you had to watch out for. They were the kind that messed with little boys. I don’t recall a single correlation of homosexuality with anything less than evil in daily life or the media until I was in my teens. If I’d grown up somewhere other than Indiana, that may not have been the case. But, my childhood was during the 80’s and I was a Hoosier.

I didn’t know anyone who was outwardly gay in school until I was a senior and one girl came out as a lesbian. I did not know her well, but I did give her a ride home from school once. Even with all the negativity toward gays growing up, I had no dislike for gay people. Or rather, since I didn’t really know any, I didn’t dislike the idea of people being gay.

I remember the TV movie “Doing Time on Maple Drive” in 1992. Jim Carrey was in it and played the alcoholic brother of a young, closeted, gay man. I really liked that movie. After watching the movie, I recall asking myself, “Am I gay?” I didn’t feel gay, but I didn’t have a girlfriend at the time either. After a day or two, I concluded for certain that I wasn’t gay.  Shows like that make you think and ask deep, uncomfortable questions. That’s one reason why conservatives don’t want shows like that on TV.

A guy in his mid-thirties, Walter, was the first gay person I actually became friends with. He was a prep guy in the kitchen at the country club I worked at part-time on the weekends my junior and senior years of high school. He was a nice guy and was always joking around. Once, I had a mishap in the kitchen and exclaimed, “Damn! I almost poked my eye out!” Walter told me that it would be horrible if I lost an eye, because my eyes were pretty. After that, my other busboy friends nicknamed me, “Pretty Eyes.” It wasn’t meant to be a derogatory name. They weren’t making fun of me because a gay guy thought I was cute. It was just a funny nickname… kind of like how we called the sous chef, “Spider.” Though, I don’t know how he earned that moniker.

Walter was a cool guy and was very kind to everyone. I once got upset when a drunk wedding guest at the country club was joking about gays within Walter’s earshot. I could see that it hurt his feelings and that bothered me. There was another gay man that worked there for a while. He was the head chef and was a jerk. I learned that being gay doesn’t make you act one way or another.  As is the case with all types of people, regardless of ethnicity, color, creed, or sexual orientation, you are in charge of your own character and behavior.

It wasn’t until I became a Christian and started really caring what the Bible had to say that I found out gays actually were evil after all. I got “saved” the summer after I graduated high school and later began attending a fundamental church when I was nineteen. At my first church, they didn’t talk a lot about gays. Most people were nice. They loved gays, but just despised their sin like you were supposed to. Only after the pastor left and that church dispersed did I end up in a church that really hated gays in a comprehensive fashion.

The only other congregation I knew anyone at in the town of Mooresville, In. was Victory Baptist Church. I’d been to a revival there and it seemed lively. As a newly married couple of twenty-one, my wife and I started attending Victory and quickly made it our official church home. We remained members there for several years and I also did some ministry. But, the general disdain for gays was more than obvious. They weren’t “gays” anyway. “Gay” means happy and gays are actually miserable people, so we were told. They should only be called “queers,” “fags,” “Sodomites,” or other similar terms.

The ideology was an uncomfortable fit for me, like a sweater two sizes too small. But, I was a young, impressionable man. And the most important thing was that they had “Bible” on their beliefs. The Bible DOES say to stone homosexuals in the Law. Jesus DID validate the Law of Moses. Paul DID write that those who burned in lust for the same sex were worthy of death. Not only that, but those who supported them deserve condemnation as well. I didn’t particularly have anything against gays, but my God did. I didn’t want Him mad at me, so I accepted that ideology for a span of time.

Let me give you a “through the looking glass” view of what it’s like to be in that place dogmatically… you say you aren’t “homophobic” because you aren’t afraid of gays in a one-on-one way. (I mean, they’re sissies right? So they can’t beat you up.) Yet, you are terrified of their impact on culture at large. The idea that the traditional, fundamental voice may lose the cultural microphone in America is unspeakable. Any one getting to speak a positive word publicly for gays equals persecution of you personally. The “Gay Agenda” is evil, anti-God, and wants to steal your Christian liberty in America. That’s what the fundamental pastors say anyway. You outwardly express that you “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” Though, you quietly despise the sinner too. They are an abomination to God. You can’t love God AND love those who implicitly spit on His Word at the same time in any genuine or uncondescending way. You won’t even allow yourself to enjoy watching Ellen on TV. (Our pastor always referred to her as, “Ellen Degenerate”.)

In the end, the pastor’s racism got to me more than his homophobia. The New Testament, for the most part, disagreed with his racism. So, I talked to him about the racism issue privately. After being called an “Antichrist,” I left the church. But, the condemnation of gays followed me out the door in the Bible tucked under my arm.

As I grew in maturity and compassion over the years, my “too-small sweater” convictions became ever tighter and more uncomfortable. To be clear, I was very compassionate toward gays prior to adopting Biblical dogma about homosexuality. It took my religion to numb my natural instincts for some years. I did not hate or despise gays during those next few years. I actually had quite a love and understanding that I had to forcibly repress in order to align with the Sacred Text. The final nail in the coffin for the negative convictions I had embraced toward LGBT individuals came in 2012.

One day when I was messing around on Youtube, I saw a video post titled, “Same Love.” I had no idea what it was, but I clicked on the link.

I watched that video which now has well over 1oo million views when it was a new post gone-viral. I was sitting alone at my laptop in the house. I don’t recall where my family had gone that afternoon. The words of that song, the story, and images were exciting a part of my human conscience that I had turned off for over a decade. It actually made me cry. I think I watched it several more times right after. But, even though it moved me deeply, I wasn’t bold enough to share it on my Facebook wall at the time.

I had already been wrestling with my faith and beliefs in general for some months. But that song was a sniper’s shot directly to one specific conviction that had to be confronted and done away with. Since then, I have allowed myself to fully break free from ancient and repressive dogmas. My natural instincts to love other people, regardless of sexuality, exist unhindered. I am actually ashamed of the quiet and disingenuous spite for homosexuals that I carried for those years. It wasn’t a preeminent thing in my life. Yet, it did exist. It sat deep under the surface, but ready to be activated when occasion called for it. That is sad. I apologize to the LGBT community for my lack of insight toward homosexuality during that stage of my life. I am sorry for not lifting my voice for your freedom in our culture earlier. I will now.

There are moments and events that can be a tipping point for things in our lives and in our culture. But for me, I will never forget where I was the first time I heard the song, “Same Love.” Many thanks to you Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert. Much love to you. –Luke Austin Daugherty

After HJR-3 is Passed in Indiana, THEN we can Really Work on Getting “Traditional”!

I am in gleeful expectation of the full House vote on the HJR-3 Amendment, also known as the, “Gay Marriage Ban,” this coming week. Of recent days, I have been increasingly unsettled by the proposition that my fellow Indiana citizens (the gay ones) may be able to legally marry in the future.

This has been very troubling to me. I have been happily married to my wife, Angela, for 15 years now. Our anniversary is approaching in May. Though our marriage has been highly stable and we have five kids, I am afraid that if the gays were allowed to have legal unions, my wife and I may never see our 16th anniversary. There is something about the notion of icky gays marrying legally that I think would crumble my own traditional marriage. As a couple, my wife and I have made it through good times and bad, the deaths of loved ones, and seeing each other make it through close brushes with death. But, the weight of living in a culture where homos could have their sinful partnerships justified by legal marriage would be more than our marriage could bear. If that was the case in Indiana, I think my divorce would just be inevitable…

That said, I ask all lawmakers in Indiana that cast a ballot on HJR-3 next week to vote a loud, firm, and resonant, “YES!” Then, let’s get this thing through the State Senate and on the public ballot next November so all Indiana citizens can have their say! And their say should be, “YES! We vote against gay marriage! Because it’s already illegal here, but an amendment to the State Constitution would make it REALLY illegal!”

Yet, once we have that item checked off the list, we have so much farther to go for “traditional values” in Indiana. I’ve been reading my Bible a lot recently and there are some other serious matters that must be addressed. We need a few more key laws and amendments added that can help us navigate our way back to a more “traditional” and wholesome culture, guided by the Bible. Below is my personal wish list for traditional laws that I would like added to our Indiana code in the near future:

  1. Once we’ve blocked the gays from marrying, we need an amendment that solidifies the legality of REAL traditional Biblical marriage…polygamy. If one wife is good, then two or three should be better. If you are super-rich, like King Solomon, you can have hundreds, plus hundreds of prostitutes. Whatever floats your boat. Unless you are a lesbian. Then you can’t have any. (Ps. Make prostitution legal too. Without it, we wouldn’t have the Tribe of Judah that Jesus eventually came from)
  2. With all the pressure to make Indiana a more “business friendly” state, we need to reinstitute slavery. The Bible is very pro-slavery and even tells slave masters the right way to beat their slaves, so we can just copy/paste the Bible text into our state code to keep it simple. Obviously, we wouldn’t want to transgress the rights of our fellow Hoosiers and let’s not make this a “black-white” thing like the last time. Rather, we’ll do as our more moral and ancient forefathers did in the Scripture. We can just send people over to a bordering state (I suggest Illinois) and forcibly bring unfortunates back to Indiana to be our slaves. It’s good for corporations. And what’s good for corporations, is good for Indiana.
  3. Since we have a lot of over-crowding of our jails and juveniles, we should make more crimes capital offenses. If parents could just stone their rebellious and/or fornicating kids, problem solved. Also, go heavy on people who deny Yahweh (and we’ll toss in Jesus). Make belonging to a “false religion” a crime punishable by death again. But, let’s forget about the Sabbath thing. Closing shop one day a week can be bad for business. And, if you could be killed for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, how could you play golf on your day off? Also, go easy on greed, adultery, and lying. We can’t put a portion of our own lawmakers behind bars now can we?

(Please note: the above article is satire. Don’t hate me. Unless you actually like the article…then you can hate me)

Please make your voice heard by your representative before next week. I did. Follow the link below.

http://www.freedomindiana.org/hjr3/

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