I join in discussions of religion on the internet and come across a wide range of opinion. Lately, there is a great deal of discussion over the Sweet Cakes Bakery in Oregon, namely, the judgement against its owners who refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. $135,000 was awarded to the lesbian couple for "emotional damages." I do not know all the details surrounding this case, but that said I think this judgement is excessive. News of this judgement is generating a great deal of anti-gay sentiment in the discussions of religion in which I take part. I knew all along there are people who dislike gay people, but in my own life have had the good fortune to largely avoid coming across people who think this way. However, knowing there are people like this kept me from coming out once and for all until 2012. I spent most of my life living anonymously as a gay man in and out of relationships until forming a lasting relationship with Mika. A select few friends and family knew the whole truth about me. When I came out in 2012, I braced myself for a flood of angry comments and discontinued friendships on Facebook and losing hunting buddies. As it turned out, the response I feared never came to pass. No one cares that I am gay, including my Muslim hunting buddies and Christian friends on Facebook. I am truly very fortunate.
That is not to say I am never confronted by anti-gay sentiment in my daily life. I lost an acquaintance many years ago, a man I knew when I served in the Army. I met him some years after we both left the Army and we resumed our acquaintanceship until he started in on all the things the Bible tells us not to do and how he could understand why anyone would choose to be homosexual. Without letting the cat out of the bag, I just stopped interacting with him. There are occasions when I overhear people using anti-gay slurs in public. I remember once having supper at a swanky Greek restaurant with another gay couple and some of our friends. We were seated together at a table, happily eating our meal and quietly going about our business when some cretin at another table made a snide remark about "the faggots" loud enough that everyone in the restaurant could hear. I felt anger welling up inside and expressed my disgust to one of my friends at the table. He calmly advised me to ignore the insult and just try not to let it bother me. Sound advice it was, because when I think about the incident, no one paid any attention to the cretin and his snide remark. All he accomplished was showing everyone in the restaurant want an ignoramus he was. Still, were I the owner of the restaurant, I I would have called him on his obnoxious behaviour and asked him and his date to leave and never return. I do not like rude, vulgar people and prefer not to have them around me. You are free to form your own opinions and to express them, just as long as you understand there are consequences when you do so.