Mama Bear Story Project #39 – Vanessa Nichols


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The Mama Bear Story Project is a collection of portraits and autobiographical essays from members of Serendipitydodah for Moms – a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ kids.



The Bullies Have Arrived and I’m Ready To Use My Words.

My daughter was bullied for the first time two weeks ago.

Unfortunately, I’m not surprised. But that doesn’t mean it hurts any less as a mom.

When you’re a little girl that appears to be a boy, when you don’t fit into a perfect little societal norm box in this hateful world, bullies will find you.

She was on a play date in a different neighborhood. Her and her friends went to the community’s playground and met two boys around the ages of 10-12.

All started out well and fine, they all played together, until they didn’t.

The two boys began picking on my daughter, before even knowing she was a girl, making fun of her clothes, her shoes, her hair. When she corrected one of them for calling her an “ugly boy”, telling them she was a girl, they then called her a “tranny”, a freak, a fag, and gay. None of such terms were even understood by my child. Because she’s 8 and ignorant to such slurs and hatred.

She handled it well enough. She talked it out with me when I picked her up. She asked a lot of questions about the words they used and just seemed overall confused, but not overly sad.

She is the type to stuff emotions a little bit so I’m not sure the validity to her dismissive attitude but I was proud of her strength. We keep open communication about the incident and I made sure to tell her that these boys were just mean because they didn’t understand her and that they must have felt bad and ugly inside to do that to someone else, to which she responded well.

As for me? I didn’t handle it quite as gracefully.

I was so sad. I am so sad.

This is a tough pill to swallow for a parent. This bullying epidemic is some scary shit, especially when you bring the notion of social media into the conversation. It’s fucking terrifying.

I analyzed the incident for days. And by analyzed , I mean obsessed over it. And by obsessed over it, I mean I lost sleep, I cried and I thought about running away with my child somewhere it feels safer than this. Anywhere that posed promise for more open mindedness.

Because I know this won’t be the last bullying incident. I knew this was coming and it was the day I dreaded for years.

When my daughter’s gender identity adventures began at a very young age, of course I was hoping it was a phase. Of course I was.

Who would want their child to have a more difficult life? Who would want their child to be different, to stand out, to struggle? No one. Absolutely not one parent on the face of the earth.

But alas, she continued to express herself in the same patterns: “boy” toys, “boy” clothes, “boy” haircut, all with a bit of a masculine nuance to her mannerisms since age 4.

I’ve never labeled her transgender, as I’ve written and talked about publicly. Let me be clear here and interject- I would label her transgender, and let her socially transition, if she asserted herself that way, if she affirmed that in her heart she feels like a boy, if she ever went into depression or anxiety over it, or if she attempted suicide over it as many young children do when they’re trans. Because I now knowthat being trans a science based fact, because I’ve done my research, because I know families that have had a suicidal 7 year old because their brain doesn’t match their genitalia.

But thus far, that hasn’t been the case. We keep an open dialogue and yes, she sees someone that specializes in gender issues. Because it’s confusing as fuck, for her and more so for me. This is not a made up thing.

So, for now, she’s a girl with a very feminine name who looks like a boy and confuses so many strangers.

Which is where the bullies will continue to dive in. Because they’re afraid. Because whether you’re a child, a teen, a young adult, or full grown, fear breeds ignorance and ignorance breeds terrible behavior, as we have all been privileged to witnessing.

People are afraid of things and issues and other people that they don’t understand. They’re afraid and they react out of that fear. And the bullies aren’t taught to filter that out by their parents. Ignorance is perpetuated in their homes, it’s learned behavior. And that behavior translates into hatefulness. Just look around social media. Adults are the absolute worst offenders.

People ask me all of the time. “why do you write about this? Why do you put this information out to the universe to get scrutinized?”.

And all of this analysis of this first bullying incident solidified my answer- to preach the word of kindness. To maybe, just maybe, educate one person on what it is that makes my child different. To advocate for all differences.

I posted a little blurb about this incident on my personal Facebook page, trying to spread a message of kindness and teaching children to not say anything if they don’t have anything nice to say.

I received a private message from a person I knew from high school who stated that I set my child up for this bullying, that this is my fault, because I “let her dress like a boy”. To which I replied, I simply will not shove my child’s wants and needs aside, force her into a box, for the comfort of everyone else. No way. That would certainly make it better for everyone else wouldn’t it? But that is not allowing my child room to be who she is. That is not setting her up on a solid foundation.

She is who she is.

And that’s why I write.

For her.

To create a better world for her the only way I know how.

And to those that believe writing about this topic is over exposing her- that’s a fair concern but listen, she will grow up knowing her mother is a fighter for equality. And I hope that makes her proud. I will absolutely stop writing about this the moment she asks me to.

But in the meantime, I will fight for a better place for her to exist just how she is. Her authentic self. I will use my writing as a super power of education and plea for kindness.

And hope for a day where acceptance is commonplace and bullies have no place in the world.

A mama can hope. A mama will fight.

Vanessa Nichols is a single mom of one amazing redhead, living in southwest Florida. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, BLUNTMoms, Elephant Journal, and BonBon Break. She’s a lover of yoga, a sun worshiper, a traveler, and a dreamer. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook and read more on her blog.

Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The official motto is “Better Together” and the members call themselves “Mama Bears”

The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 4,400 members. For more info about the private Facebook group email


Mama Bear Story Project #38 – Jennifer Stringfellow


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The Mama Bear Story Project is a collection of portraits and autobiographical essays from members of Serendipitydodah for Moms – a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ kids.


We’re Angry
Do you know what just occurred to me?💡
The reason I and many other moms of LGBTQ kids come across as angry?
Its because we are.

We’re angry!

We did everything right according to bringing a child up in a Christian home. We did all the things. We brought our kids to church, we taught our kids from the Bible, we taught them to pray and prayed with them, we taught them right from wrong, we sang the songs ‘Jesus loves me this I know’ being the A#1 song, we made sure every summer they were in VBS, we went to all the extracurricular functions, we taught abstinence until marriage, we did everything we could do to make sure our children were saved and would enter the kingdom of heaven.
And what did The Church do to our kids when they came out and told the truth about who they are? The Church told them they are broken. That the way they were born to be is a sin. An abomination. That the only way to be acceptable is to marry someone they have no attraction to or to force them into celibacy.
And do you know what a lot of our LGBTQ kids have done about The Churches treatment of them??? They’ve given the middle finger to Christianity. They can’t live… literally cannot stay alive and surround themselves with The Churches options for them for the way they were born to be. And this is why our kids separate themselves from The Church… so they can literally keep breathing.
So yeah, I’m angry. I’m really angry. That all the years and all the work I put in to making sure my children love Jesus has been snuffed out in one fell stroke by The Church. Neither of my kids claim Christianity as their faith.
Thanks Church.
Jesus would have none of this😞
And that’s an explanation on why we come across as angry.
It’s because we ARE!

Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The official motto is “Better Together” and the members call themselves “Mama Bears”

The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 3,800 members. For more info about the private Facebook group email

Mama Bear Story Project #37 – Corina Dulecki


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The Mama Bear Story Project is a collection of portraits and autobiographical essays from members of Serendipitydodah for Moms – a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ kids.


My Journey

I’ve been on a journey. As with any journey, the road has had ups and downs, twist and turns. Let me tell you how my journey started and where it has led me.

A few years ago, my oldest child was home from her university. I don’t remember what day it was or what I was doing but I know I was sitting on the floor (which means I was probably folding laundry or petting the dog). My daughter said she needed to talk to me. The way she said it made me ask her if she was pregnant. She said “No, I’m gay”.

So the journey begins. I’ve always been liberal politically and religiously (surprising since I grew up in a Missouri synod Lutheran Church) so this announcement was not difficult for me to hear. We went on with her visit and soon she went back to school. I don’t know how she came out to friends, but I soon saw some posts on social media. The most noteworthy was a twitter post on national coming out day. For a while after that, she didn’t talk too much about relationships and we didn’t meet or hear about anyone special. I don’t think my relationship with my daughter changed much during this time. We have always had a good relationship and it has only gotten better since she has become an adult. She is fun to talk to and we have a lot in common.

In Jan 2018, my daughter went to Spain to study aboard. My husband and I were blessed to be able to go visit her when she was done with her program. We traveled through Spain with her and I saw once again what a wonderful young adult she has become. After we left Spain, she stayed another week before she flew back to Chicago for the summer.

My husband met our daughter in Chicago the following week and moved her back to the apartment. She was planning to stay in Chicago for the summer to work. That was a big deal because for the past three summers, she had worked at a Lutheran camp as a camp counselor. (She had been a camper there since 7th grade). Since her faith was important to her, she was active in our church and Living Water Ministries while in high school.

Fortunately while at Loyola, my daughter found a home at a Methodist Church. Not only did she worship there, but she also worked in their after school program. I was able to visit a few times. It was much smaller than our home church but it was very welcoming and very progressive. I noticed this even before I entered the building. There was a “no guns” sign as well as a pride flag out front. The sermon was social justice focused. Every time I attended, I was welcomed with open arms. I always saw God’s love shining through when I visited.

Meanwhile, my church (an ELCA church) announced that they would be holding a series of three forums on same sex marriage. The purpose was to help the church council establish a policy about whether to perform same sex marriages. It never occurred to me that the church didn’t already allow this, so I started researching and learning. As I said, I’ve always been liberal politically and religiously, but this was different. This was my baby girl we were talking about and this was the church where my baby girl grew and developed her faith.

Ironically, at about the same time I found about the upcoming forums, I found a Facebook group called Serendipitydodah for Moms-A place for unexpected discovery. This is a closed Facebook group for mothers (mainly Christian) of LGBTQIA+ kids. I joined the group and quickly posted a question explaining what my church was doing and requested resources and books to help me learn about gay marriage and the Bible. The other moms responded right away with books, articles and other resources. I was worried about what my church would decide so I started reading and researching. I read everything I could.

I also started thinking about the LGBTQIA+ community in my town. To be honest, I knew little about it. From conversations with my daughter, it didn’t seem that her high school had been LGBT friendly. I wondered what other LGBT folks thought of our city. Although I want my children to live wherever they feel comfortable as adults, it made me sad to think my child may not feel comfortable where I lived. I started following the local Pride Center on Facebook. I went to their parent’s group a few times and met some lovely people.

I also continued going through the resources that I had learned about on line. First, I read the book “Torn” by Justin Lee. Although I already believed that homosexuality was not a sin, I didn’t really know why I believed that (outside of the fact that I believe that my God is a loving God). This book helped me to begin to understand how this is biblically true. I shared the books and resources with my husband and we seemed to be on the same page.

Next, I listened to a podcast called Blue Babies Pink. It was created by an evangelical Southern Christian. It was his life story of coming to terms with his homosexuality. His story was amazing.

I continued to read books and resources throughout the summer and fall. David Guhee’s “Changing our Mind”, “The Sin of Certainty” by Peter Enns and “A Bigger Table” by John Pavlovitz were all wonderful. These writers really helped me see that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. I started learning about the “clobber verses” and how they were traditionally interpreted. I started to learn a new way to understand those verses. I also began learning about affirming churches.

As I was discovering all these resources, I found out about many local events that were happening and attended several. I heard John Pavlovitz speak at a United Church of Christ service. John was an amazing speaker but what was more amazing was the church itself. The pastor was a gay married man with whom I had the opportunity to speak after the services. I told him what was happening in my church and he said he would pray for us. I drove home filled with much peace and joy and was more sure that gay marriage is okay in the eyes of God.

I learned that the local Christian Reformed Church has a group called All One Body which advocates for unrestricted participation in all areas of church life by all members who confess Christ, whether single or partnered without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. This group had speakers come to a local CRC church so I went to a few of their events. One was Justin Lee (author of Torn). I had been moved by this book so I was glad I could hear him speak. He was amazing! This group hosted another speaker who was a local pastor, Rev. Jim Lucas who founded GIFT (Gays in Faith Together). Hearing his story and testimony gave me one more reason to believe God did not condemn gay marriage and homosexuality is not a sin as many Christians believe.

A local United Methodist Church hosted and event called Inclusion First. It was a week-long series of events to “transform ourselves, our churches and our community to be more inclusive to our LGBT+ neighbors”. My husband and I had the opportunity to hear a panel discussion with several LGBTQIA+ people that was nothing but inspiring.

The more I read and saw, the clearer I was that the Bible is not against gay marriage. I was seeing scripture in a whole new way and was becoming very passionate about this topic, but I started to get worried about my own church. What if my congregation does not vote to allow gay marriage? What if my church did not allow my daughter to get married there if one day she wants to? I also started to wonder what the conversations were going to look like at the forums. What would happen if people I have been friends with for years would look at my husband and me from across the aisle and say they believe that homosexuality is a sin and for that reason your child cannot get married at our church?

While those concerns were heavy on my heart, I spoke with a co-worker who identified as LGBTQ+. I told her about what would be going on in my church. She shared with me that her wife might have some more resources (because of her occupation). The two of them were gracious to take a Saturday morning to meet with me over coffee to talk about all of this. It was wonderful to hear their stories and viewpoints and get to know them better. Their love for each other and their compassion for me as I struggled with my fears was clearly a gift from God.

Shortly thereafter, I was in Chicago visiting my daughter and her girlfriend (she is now in relationship with a lovely girl). It was getting closer and closer to the date for the first church forum and it really hit home how important this is to me. I read numerous authors that wrote so intellectually about what the Bible says and doesn’t say about homosexuality. I understand the clobber verses in a whole new way. I have met many members of the LGBTQ+ community in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. I saw what several other churches were doing and I wondered about the ELCA at large. This led me to a website called Reconciling Works: Lutherans for full participation. It’s a program for Lutheran congregations to publicly welcome LGBTQIA+ people and be placed on a Reconciling in Christ roster. I learned what it meant to be a truly Affirming Church.

I continued to be worried about what my church’s forums would look like. What would it be like to sit across from someone I call a friend and find out that they don’t believe like me? I decided to ask one of my pastors if we could meet prior to the forums. We talked about what I had been learning and reading. He let me know that our congregation had people on both sides of the aisle when it came to gay marriage in the church. That made me sad because after months of reading, learning and talking to people, I didn’t know anyone in my congregation could be against allowing gay marriage.

I went into all of this to educate myself so that I could be well spoken about why I believe that my church should allow same sex marriage, but I think God had more in mind. Now I want more than just having a policy that allowed our church to preform same sex marriage. I want a congregation that loudly and clearly shouts “LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ, you are loved and welcomed here. We want you to be comfortable here within our walls. God loves you, we love you. You are welcome and safe here”.

This has been my journey. I know it is not over and I’m not sure where it will go from here. What I do know is that I love my children. I do know that God loves my children. I hope and pray that my church will also show that same love to all of God’s children. I hope that our church becomes truly affirming.

( A post script: My church will have the same sex marriage policy completed in Jan 2019)

Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The official motto is “Better Together” and the members call themselves “Mama Bears”

The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 3,800 members. For more info about the private Facebook group email


Mama Bear Holiday Hugs Project


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Mama Bear Holiday Hugs no frame

The Mama Bear Holiday Hugs Project is hosted by Serendipitydodah for Moms, a private facebook group for moms of lgbtq kids.

The holiday season can be an especially lonely and stressful time for many lgbtq people who have lost support due to their lgbtq status. Members of Serendipitydodah for Moms are invited to send holiday messages of love, hope and affirmation to lgbtq people who need support during the holiday season.

To nominate an lgbtq person to receive a Holiday Hug message, in the mail, from an affirming mom, click on this link and fill out the form. (Name, address, sexual orientation, gender identity and pronouns are required)


PLEASE help us spread the word by sharing this post!!

If you have questions you can email

Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The official motto is “Better Together” and the members call themselves “Mama Bears” The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 3,700 members. For more info about the private facebook group email


Mama Bears to the Rescue


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If you know an LGBTQ person who is feeling alone and needs some love and encouragement please consider telling them about “Serendipitydodah Mama Bears to the Rescue”

Serendipitydodah Mama Bears to the Rescue is a private Facebook group made up exclusively of moms of LGBTQ kids who love, support and affirm their own LGBTQ kids and want to love and support other LGBTQ people who don’t have that kind of support and affirmation in their life.

The focus is small acts of kindness, making personal connections and being a loving presence in the life of LGBTQ people who have lost support due to their LGBTQ status.

The members of Mama Bears to the Rescue do things such as include LGBTQ people who need support in their holiday gatherings, stand in as affirming moms at same sex weddings, send notes of encouragement, find helpful resources, talk on the phone, text, get together for coffee or lunch etc

If you know someone who is an LGBTQ person who could use some Mama Bear love and encouragement please click on the following link and fill out the form:


DEFINE IT! – Gender Identity


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Gender identity is one’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither. Gender identity is how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.

It’s a common misconception that gender identity and sexual orientation are connected. If someone is transgender, for example, many people automatically assume that they must also be gay. That, however, is not the case. Gender and sexuality are different, and it’s an important distinction to understand. Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a person who transitions from male to female and is attracted solely to men would typically identify as a straight woman.

A person’s sexual orientation determines who they are attracted to. A person’s gender identity is about their innermost concept of their self as male, female, a blend of both or neither.

One easy way to think about the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity is: “Sexuality is who you go to bed with, and gender identity is who you go to bed as.”

Most people feel that they’re either male or female.  Some people feel like a masculine female, or a feminine male, while others feel neither male nor female.  Feelings about gender identity can begin as early as age 2 or 3.

Most people’s assigned sex and gender identity are pretty much the same, or in line with each other. These people are called cisgender. However, some people feel that their assigned sex does not match their gender identity.  (i.e., assigned sex is female, but gender identity is male). These people are called transgender or trans. There are many gender identities that fall under the transgender label/umbrella including gender queer, bi gender, agender, non binary and gender fluid.

Future “DEFINE IT” series posts will go into more detail about specific gender identities and other related terms.

DEFINE IT! – Pansexual


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Pansexuality or Omnisexuality can be defined as romantic and/or sexual attraction to a person regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. This includes cisgender and transgender men and women, non-binary people, people who are agender, bigender, genderqueer and all who fall outside of the gender binary. Pansexuals are often described as being “gender blind”

However, it’s important to keep in mind that pansexuality can mean different things to different people, which can make pinning down a definition that fits everyone challenging.

Pansexual people often say their attractions are about “heart not parts” and explain that the physical aspect and gender identity of a person do not factor into their attractions. However, others who identify as pansexuals may express that  even though gender may “play a part” in who they are attracted no identity is necessarily excluded from their realm of possible attraction.

The best thing to do is remember that pansexuality is a broad and flexible term that can be claimed by many people.

Always listen to what someone who identifies as pansexual tells you pansexuality means to them and respect their explanation and boundaries.


DEFINE IT! – Sexual Orientation


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Sexual Orientation is different from gender and gender identity. Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and who you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually.

Sexual Orientation refers to a person’s unchosen and natural sense of sexual attraction. However, one need not have any sexual experience in order to understand their own sexual orientation.

Research indicates that a person’s general sense of attraction is set, persistent and resistant to change.

Sexual orientation is not binary and should not be conceived as either straight or gay. Instead, sexual orientation should be thought of as existing on a spectrum where many people fall somewhere in between straight and gay.

Asexual, Bisexual, Demisexual, Gay, Heterosexual, Lesbian and Pansexual are a few sexual orientations but the list is much longer and constantly evolving.

Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The official motto is “Better Together” and the members call themselves “Mama Bears”

The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 3,700 members. For more info about the private facebook group email


More than 500 moms of lgbtq kids are standing by to support, connect with and care for lgbtq people like Seth Owen


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Jacksonville teenager, Seth Owen, shared his remarkable story with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres Tuesday, completing a journey that has taken him from virtual homelessness to the embrace of the nation.

You can read more about it on The Advocate at this link.

Unfortunately Seth’s story of losing support from his family due to him being gay is far too common and doesn’t always have such a happy ending.

That is why members of  Serendipitydodah for Moms, a private facebook group for moms of lgbtq kids, decided to start Serendipitydodah Mama Bears to the Rescue.



Serendipitydodah Mama Bears to the Rescue was started in March 2018. There are currently more than 500 moms of lgbtq kids in the group who are scattered across the country, ready to offer support, connection and care to lgbtq people like Seth Owen, who have lost the support of their family due to their lgbtq status.  Serendipitydodah Mama Bears to the Rescue is a subgroup of Serendipitydodah for Moms, a private facebook group for moms of lgbtq kids.

Members of the group are available to connect with lgbtq people in their local area who need some support, connection or care.

The group is a place where these moms can connect with each other in order to plan and coordinate small acts of kindness such as being a stand-in affirming mom at a wedding, visiting someone in the hospital, helping someone get settled in a new area, providing some transportation, including someone in their holiday gatherings, sending a note of encouragement etc.

The most important thing the members of Mama Bears to the Rescue want to do is be a loving and supportive presence in the life of lgbtq people who have lost the support of their family due to their lgbtq status.


If you know of an lgbtq person who could use some Mama Bear love please email

Serendipitydodah Mama Bears to the Rescue is a subgroup for Serendipitydodah for Moms. The members of the group are available to do small acts of kindness for lgbtq people in their local community who may need connection, care or assistance.


Freedom of Religion is NOT Freedom to Discriminate


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The August 2018 synchroblog topic invited bloggers to write about something that Christians do not necessarily always agree on. I decided to write about religious freedom laws and same sex marriage.


50+ years ago religious freedom arguments that are being made today to discriminate against LGBT people were being used to justify the discrimination of people of color and interracial relationships.

At that time scripture was misused to support the exclusion and oppression of people of color and interracial couples. Today, once again, people are misusing scripture in a similar way to justify the exclusion and oppression of LGBT people and same sex couples.

Most Christians have never taken the time to study what scripture says about same sex relationships for themselves. Most Christians read scripture with preconceived ideas that have been formed by believing what they have been told by someone else.

If anyone is willing to set their preconceived ideas aside and take the time to study original language while also taking historical context into consideration they will be able to comprehend that there is nothing in scripture that clearly condemns a loving, healthy same sex relationship. NOTHING!

I know!, because as a parent of a gay son I was diligent in my effort to find out FOR SURE what scripture did and didn’t say about same sex relationships. I loved my son enough to go to the trouble. Do you love anyone enough to go to the trouble? If you do, I would be glad to help you.

In fact, there is more evidence in scripture to support slavery than there is to support the condemnation of all same sex relationships.

Scripture also doesn’t put forth the idea that marriage is to be only between one man and one woman or that it has anything to do with people falling in love. Those who claim that scripture dictates that marriage should only be between one man and one woman are making scripture say more than it actually says.

Scripture proves one thing about marriage … that marriage has been changing since the beginning of time. As society progresses, learns and improves, our institutions change.

Traditionally marriage was not between one man and one woman. The idea of marriage as a sexually exclusive, romantic union between one man and one woman is a relatively recent development. In the ancient world, marriage served primarily as a means of preserving power, with kings and other members of the ruling class marrying off their daughters to forge alliances, acquire land, and produce legitimate heirs. The purpose of marriage was primarily the production of heirs. Often times peasants wouldn’t even bother with marriage since they had no property or position to worry about.

The church didn’t even get involved in marriage until the 5th century. It wasn’t declared a sacred sacrament until the 12th century. And it wasn’t until the 16th century that weddings were performed publicly by a priest and with witnesses. A license to be married wasn’t commonplace until the 17th century which was around the time when romance began to have some involvement. As the middle class formed in the 19th century only then did young men begin to select their own spouses and start marrying without the consent of their parents. The idea of women having rights and not being a subordinate to their husband didn’t become common until the 20th century. It was 1965 before the Supreme Court ruled that a wife could be raped by her husband. Until then husbands who forced themselves on their wives were not guilty of rape, since they were legally entitled to sexual access.

The institution of marriage has always been in a constant state of evolution.

“Marriage, like transportation, has always been a part of human existence. But riding a donkey is very different from flying in a jet, and modern marriage has only superficial similarity to what went before. Just as we embrace each new mode of travel that enhances human welfare, no one should mind adapting marriage to the needs of modern people.” – Steve Chapman

Extending matrimony to same-sex couples advances the same interests cited in support of heterosexual marriage. Legalizing same sex marriages encourages stable commitments that offer a framework for procreation and upholds the interest of children in a legally protected family.

The evidence before us is that same sex marriage offers the same benefits to individuals and society that opposite sex marriage does.

And finally, there is nothing in scripture that would support the idea that Christians should not sell their services or products to someone who is, in their eyes, sinning. In fact, that would go against the very tenets of Christianity.

Any use of Christianity to justify discrimination is evidence of a misunderstanding about who Jesus was and what his good news was meant to convey to and about humanity.Discrimination and exclusion were not values of Jesus and are in conflict with the precepts of the Christian faith.

Oh – and one last point – the First Amendment does not guarantee us the right to discriminate based on our religion, it instead guarantees us the right not to be discriminated against based on our religious beliefs. Many Christians who have been led by their Christian faith to become affirming of same sex relationships are finding themselves to be “discriminated against” based on their religious beliefs and that is certainly unconstitutional.

Be sure and check out the other contributions for this month’s synchroblog:

What God May Really Be Like – Why Can’t Even God-Followers Get Along?

Wesley Rostoll – Why did God accept Abel’s offering and not Cain’s?

Jeremy Myers – Three Views on Hell (and a fourth view I hold)

Liz Dyer – Religious Freedom is NOT Freedom to Discriminate

Jordan Hathcock – Let’s Get Dirty