LETTER- Judge people by actions

I can understand why Michael Ellston [Letters, September 28: "Don't call me homophobic"] wishes not to be called a homophobe, and agree with him that name-calling does not help to bridge the gap between people who disagree on emotionally charged issues like homosexuality.

While I don't begrudge Mr. Ellston the right to his opinions, I do question his logic. Ellston claims that "our children are growing up in a culture where the basic principles of family life, morality, and ethical behavior are vanishing." He lumps homosexuality, or acceptance thereof, in with the disappearance of these virtues.

 This view contrasts sharply with what I encounter in my day-to-day life as a parent. My gay, single, divorced, and widowed friends do exactly what my husband and I, and other married couples, do: take the kids to school and pick them up, join in their assemblies at Sunday School, give them the food, shelter and love they need. These couples, like other couples, do what needs to be done. This is not deviant or anti-family behavior, by any standards.

 Moreover, studies have shown that domestic violence– the greatest threat to the safety and health of our children– is prevalent in all walks of life. As a hotline crisis counselor and teacher of workshops for survivors of incest and sexual abuse, I've worked mainly with clients who come from heterosexual, two-parent homes. The fact that many of these parents called themselves Christian did not protect these children, any more than their heterosexuality did.

I suggest we look at and evaluate people by their actions as citizens and as parents, not by their sexual orientation or marital status, and that we apportion credit (or blame) where due.

 Finally, Mr. Ellston worries about how to talk to his children about homosexuality. It amazes me that, with all the vital concerns facing us as parents– how to keep our children safe, help them get their homework done, talk to them about war, poverty, and other major issues, to name a few– Mr. Ellston chooses to focus his greatest concern on who marries or kisses whom.

Cora Schenberg
Woolen Mills