Jason Collins

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I won’t lie to you – I seriously thought about not writing about this story. I think some in my circle of family and friends don’t understand my support for gay rights and same-sex marriage and I know for a fact, that they really wish I’d change my mind or at least be quiet about it. And yes, I’ve gotten more than a few emails and Facebook in-box messages – some of them not so nice – questioning not only my “manhood” but my belief in God and my sanity and one that surmised that “you must be ‘one of them’” for my position.

Well, for the record, I believe in God and by all acceptable metrics I am sane and no, I’m no more “one of them” (whatever) than the non-black people who marched and worked for Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s were black.

But, as I was considering whether to write about this, a few people including my Facebook friend Iris Vazquez, asked me if I was going to and that made me stop and think. Why was I reluctant to speak out today of all days? Jason Collins had the courage to step out and express himself on a far bigger stage and at more possible risk to his professional life than I could ever imagine so, what was there for me to be afraid of? My late grandfather, the Reverend D.S. Cunningham, wasn’t too afraid to put his life on the line when fighting for the rights of black Americans at a time when doing so could mean death. Others have stood up and risked far more than I to be on the right side of an issue, no matter the risk. So, why shouldn’t I write about this today or any other day?

I recently saw the film “42” about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947. The things he and his wife endured are still shocking and somewhat unbelievable almost 70 years later. There were those who didn’t want him to play baseball just because of the color of his skin; nothing more, nothing less. And there are and will be those who don’t want to play basketball with and against Jason Collins just because he’s a homosexual. But, I think he knows and accepts that, but he’s not going to let it define his life and nor should he.

God made us all, Jesus died for our sins and civil rights belong to EVERYONE.

Good luck Jason Collins and may Almighty God bless and keep you every step of your journey.

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