An Oregon pastor has shared his
struggle to accept that two of his sons are gay.
In an op-ed published Sunday in The
Oregonian, Gilbert Rossing, a retired Lutheran pastor who is
a former minister of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Portland, reveals
that his first instinct at learning that his oldest son was gay was
to attempt to have him “turn back from this identity.”
“When he tearfully pleaded, 'I don't
want to lose you!' I realized that my pontificating was driving him
away. I needed to listen and learn.” Rossing wrote.
“When I first wrestled with Scripture
passages, I was struck by the disconnectedness between the idolatrous
and sexually abusive behaviors the Bible condemned in contrast to the
high character and integrity of my son. I began to see that my
quickness to judge contradicted the Biblical mandate not to judge,
and violated the basic command to love our neighbor – my son – as
we love ourselves.”
“Through ensuing years I developed an
understanding not only of my older son, but also my younger son, who
is gay as well. I was fortunate to become friends with dozens of
devout, godly people who are gay, lesbian and transgender. I saw
that we may seem different, but we all have a lot more in common.”
Rossing, who has along with his wife
raised four children, also endorsed an effort to legalize gay
marriage in Oregon.
“Now, they want their love for each
other recognized in marriage. Their desire to marry is not much of a
leap for me to understand. Knowing many families headed by
same-gender couples, including my sons and their partners in
particular, I know that marriage is eminently appropriate for them.
I believe, as do many other clergy, it is a Godly thing to bless and
celebrate the love of same-gender couples.”