The backlash is coming

I would have preferred simply retiring the guidelines at the Mennonite Church USA special assembly (“Membership Guidelines repealed; LGBTQ-affirming resolution approved,” June 17). Why antagonize the church’s conservative wing?
I came out as gay 41 years ago when I was finally ready to face the inevitable ostracism. Our LGBTQ community has endured much hurt over the generations, but we have enjoyed much progress in the last 20 years.

Knowing what it’s like to be part of a minority, I want to be gracious enough to include those who differ with me in biblical interpretation. Most “anti-gay” Mennonites are not mean-spirited bigots; they sincerely believe progressives are promoting deeply sinful behavior. To insist they repent seems like forcing an innocent person to falsely confess in a plea bargain.

When both sides claim the moral high ground, separation seems inevitable. What saddens me are the broken relationships.

“Victory” at Kansas City may be short-lived. If/when the Republicans regain the congressional majority and the presidency, will they let liberal states retain abortion and gay marriage, etc., or will they push to eradicate nationally all the rights the Supreme Court has evolved over 50 to 60 years? Living in urban/academic enclaves, progressives likely underestimate the rage that has built up in blue-collar Middle America and thus the strength of the backlash to come. When the back­lash arrives, will our straight “allies” continue to support us publicly or retreat into silence?

Dan Leatherman, Fort Collins, Colo.

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