On the Beat

Is it time to just be happy and gay?

By Jim Bucher

As a follow-up to last week’s Dayton City Paper, Pride Edition, it got me thinking of how things have changed but continue to, sorta, be the same.

I can remember when (yes, I was living back then) the west side of Dayton was burning after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and how awful it felt to be white. The civil rights movement was in full swing; it was about equality and not judging the color of one’s skin, but rather the content of their character.

And I think back at the word “gay” and what it meant in the ‘60s to a young kid like me. It meant happy and gay, like in a Sinatra song, carefree.

Then I look at the stars of the day.

The great pianist, entertainer and showman Liberace and how he took great pains to hide his “gayness” even though we wondered otherwise. “Match Game” star Charles Nelson Reilly who “acted gay” but people on TV weren’t gay, that couldn’t happen right? Funnyman and Ohio’s own Paul Lynde, best known for playing Uncle Arthur on the “Bewitched” TV show and a frequent Kenley Players star, seemed to play parts where he was “normal,” you know, he leered at women or had a girlfriend, but again, there was always that question.

It must have been just awful trying to hide being someone you’re not.

I remember friends in school would be taunted because of the way they acted, with ugly words like fag, queer, homo, limp wrist, those words and more were repeatedly spoken. Or, if you didn’t play sports, you were looked at as not “man enough.” My mom would tell us about her aunt who was a women’s physical education instructor, never married and there was always the question, “Was she a lesbian or wasn’t she?” Mom said she was short, round and portly, never wore make-up and had a Moe Howard from the “Three Stooges” haircut. Her aunt lived a long life, but she took her secret to the grave. I can only imagine it was a living hell for her.

You heard the stories later in life about gay bashing and wondered, “Really?” I had friends who hid their homosexuality; kids are killing themselves over it. They don’t want to “come out” because of the embarrassment. Does anyone really care how someone else lives behind closed doors?

Is it our right to judge others, as many in our country once did over the color of one’s skin? Do you think in a few years we’ll look back at all of this, like civil rights, and wonder, “What were we thinking?”

You’ve seen the arguments and the Bible has been quoted many times. Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

And …

Leviticus 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.”

And …

1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

A pastor friend tells me, what the Bible says should be followed but …

“Just because someone is a homosexual does not mean that we cannot love him (or her) or pray for him (her). Homosexuality is a sin and like any other sin, it needs to be dealt with in the only way possible. It needs to be laid at the cross and forsaken,” he said.

“Please understand that I don’t hate homosexuals. I wouldn’t care if my neighbor is gay. I’ve had homosexual friends and have loved them the same as I would anyone else,” he added. “Let them know that God loves us and died for us so that we might be delivered from the consequences of our sin and if you are a homosexual, please understand that I do not hate you nor do I judge you. Sin is sin and the forgiveness of our sins is found in Christ,” he concluded.

So, draw your own conclusion here.

But, I know one thing, this world of ours is full of hate. Hate for those that don’t look like us or act like us, don’t believe in the same things we do. There’s too much. We have a very short time here on earth and I’m a believer in leaving the world a little better than you found it.

Does that include, “Love thy neighbor” no matter what?

In the Bucher book of life, it’s a big fat YES!




The views and opinions expressed in On the Beat are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes only.

For more than 25 years, “Buch”  has been a local television icon. Known and loved by thousands in the Miami Valley, his followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and a role model. When it comes to promoting your business, Buch has the ability to grab your customer’s attention. Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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