‘Respect is due’

Dear Editor:

RE: Rainbow criticism, June 9.

I am a defender of free speech and freedom of faith, but when I read a letter like the one published last week from Diane Breukelman without a disclaimer from the editor, my soul dropped.

Picking on rainbows is the most absurd thing I have read in a long time, and believe me that I have read and heard a lot of absurd things in the past four years from right- and left-winged fanatics to science deniers, but discrimination against putting out rainbows during Pride month is offensive to me as a gay married man.

For almost 40 years I have been “in the closet” because of people like this. Why are homophobes so afraid of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community? Being gay is not something you learn or acquire, you are born this way, so rainbows do not influence anyone to become gay. 

It’s not something you can “catch” or learn in school and before someone comes up to me and says it’s “not natural” or worse, that “God will not forgive me,” let me remind you that homosexuality has existed for thousands of years thoughout human history. It does exists in nature and if you believe God created all of us, well then he created me and many other gays as well!

Here is some advice to those who are offended by the rainbow or don’t know what to teach their children about it – tell them this: The rainbow flag was created to symbolize a peaceful movement to defend the rights of those who are gay (and later LGBT+) and have suffered discrimination, hatred or violence. It is not an advertisement to “enlist heterosexuals” to become gay and it does not “magically convert” people.

No one is forced to like anyone they do not want, but in a civilized society all us Canadians work for, at least respect is due. It is with respect that I refuse to bash someone for expressing their opinions, but it is my obligation to educate them. 

Much evil and harm has, and still is done in the name of God so choose the hard path to go above all the discrimination and hatred. Make a friend of someone that is gay and listen to their struggles and hardship and you will find a human being just like you.

Joao Da Silva,