from the Salina Journal

Christopher Renner is (gasp!) gay


A couple of supporters of Kathy Martin want to make sure you know that Christopher Renner is gay.

Renner, Manhattan, a Democrat, is running against incumbent Martin, Republican, Clay Center, for her position as 6th District representative on the State Board of Education.

In the past few days, those supporters have sent the Journal a few e-mails to make sure we warned voters. That’s Voters with a capital “V” and that rhymes with “G” and that stands for Gay!

Whew! Glad that’s out there. We’re feeling better already.

Can you imagine the caliber of disaster that could result if we elected a gay man to the State Board of Education? Why, he’d likely be showing up at board meetings and … and, he’d be, uh, … well, we’re not sure what he’d be. What do gay men do at board of education meetings?

Study issues? Make comments? Vote? About what everyone else on the board is doing?

Forgive us our silliness. It’s a natural reaction to the idea that in 2008, adults still get exorcised over the prospect of an openly gay man — in Renner’s case — serving in public office. Or as a teacher, or a solider, or banker, or anything. It’s ludicrous.

Unless you happen to be gay. Or have a gay child, sibling, friend or relative. Or maybe you just care about people.

Then you probably can get really angry when someone thinks it’s not only OK to discriminate against gays but also that gays or lesbians are a danger to society.

For our straight readers still struggling with the idea of accepting gays, see if this helps: Think back. Maybe a long time ago, when you first made that decision to become a heterosexual. Remember? You weighed both sides of the issue, did the research, maybe talked it over with friends and parents, perhaps prayed for guidance, and finally, you decided that being a heterosexual was right for you. Remember?

Neither do we. Neither do gays. You don’t choose your sexuality. You might, if you’re gay, choose to suppress it (good luck with that), but no one wakes up one morning and says: “That’s it! I’ve made my decision. It’s the homosexual life for me!”

For those who are troubled by gays, may you find peace and embrace acceptance.

For Christopher Renner, we already endorsed you. We’re looking smarter all the time.

— Ben Wearing

Executive Editor

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