By Maria Bosford

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a follower of Christ, a mother and wife, and daughter of a lesbian.

God has been resting a lot on my heart lately, and I want to share it. I know it’s opening myself up for criticism, but I will not hide behind that fear anymore. I know God created me, likes me, loves me, and has a plan for me greater than I could ever imagine.

I grew up in the Catholic school, with divorced parents and a gay mom, and yes I punished for that, I was made to feel like a complete outcast, and made to feel like my family wasn’t legitimate. There were parents who didn’t want their kids near my mom in fear she would “turn them gay”, or “the gay would rub off” on them. Both of course, ridiculous statements.?Because of all the people who preached hate and dislike about my family, about my mom, I lost faith in God. I don’t remember in the Bible Jesus saying, “Hate thy neighbor and make them feel illegitimate at all costs”. I wondered why me? Why couldn’t I have a normal family?

Now by no means did I have a perfect childhood and an amazing relationship with my mom. I placed a lot of anger and resentment on her, for being who she IS, who God created her to be. However, my husband grew up and experienced an absent mother, she wasn’t LGBT, she is straight and grew up in a religious family.

While I comment on not having a “perfect” childhood, I certainly did not have a rough childhood either. Though my mom is gay, there are so many children who grow up with straight parents and are verbally, mentally and physically abused.?As an adult I can see that while everyone was preaching their hate, no one was thinking about the effects it has on the children of LGBT families. No one was thinking about how hard it must be for a 7 year old to hear her family isn’t really a family, or that my mother was going to hell. That’s a terrifying thought for a child!

I thank God for never giving up on me, even when I gave up on him. I have a stronger, deeper relationship with him now than I ever knew existed.

Being gay is a choice. I disagree, I know and love enough LGBT individuals to know it is not a choice. Why would people choose to be something that’s discriminated against? Why would people choose to be something they have to fight so hard to be? Loving and accepting our neighbors the way they are, speaking with love, hope and compassion, they’re the choices we each make.

I understand this may be a hard concept for some people to understand, but remember God created ALL of us, he LOVES ALL of us, and God has bigger plans for ALL us than we could ever imagine.

I believe in committed same­sex marriages and believe God loves my family just as much as the family next door. I also believe if a committed same­sex couple wants to start a family, and a adopt a child, who am I to stop them??Who are we as society to stop people from living the life God has blessed them with? I certainly don’t want to be standing in front of my Almighty Father explaining why I didn’t love ALL my neighbors.

My prayer is that people will remember the children of LGBT families when preaching hate, and know how much your words really do hurt. (Heck, I’m 26 and some of the things I read still sting, luckily I have come a really long way in not living in offense.)?Please remember God calls us to “love thy neighbor”. It is not our place to judge one another, it is all our place to share the love of God, his greatness, and his promises. He is able, faithful and will not forsake you.

I fully understand this will not sit well with everyone, and I’m not asking you all to become same­sex marriage advocates (more power to you if you do), but what I am asking is to remember the children who are stuck in the middle of this awful battle. All the mean, nasty and awful hate that is preached to the parents and the families is extremely hurtful, and scarring for children. I respect everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but please don’t hurt others while you try to get it across.

Be Kind. Be Grateful.