Columnist: A great governor

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 1, 2016

Larry Summerour

Contributing columnist

I believe Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia is an outstanding governor. Why? Because he vetoed the “religious liberty” bill.

Unlike many in Georgia — including Troup County and LaGrange — he wants the state of Georgia to be more inclusive. As Deal put it so well, “Georgia is a welcoming state filled with warm, friendly and loving people.” We should all agree with that statement by the governor.

It’s time for us to accept that homosexuals should never be second-class citizens. My purpose in writing is not to change your personal beliefs. It is to make us aware that law-abiding homosexuals have the same constitutional rights as heterosexuals. Again, it is wrong to say that gays and lesbians are second-class citizens.

When I attended the University of Georgia, I had the opportunity to study the Constitution of the United States. What a wonderful document.

Indeed, it is the foundation of our great republic. It is there to insure that all law-abiding American citizens should have the same rights. If you believe that your personal rights are more important than the rights of others, then you’re wrong.

I am convinced that people do not choose their sexual orientation. I am a heterosexual. I never sat down one day and decided whether or not I was attracted to girls. I just was.

The great male athlete Bruce Jenner, who became a woman, has said repeatedly that he always felt more comfortable being a woman. I take him at his word.

I had a relative who was gay. He was an outstanding citizen who went to church every Sunday and had an important job. He was never in trouble with the law.

Everyone in our family liked and respected him very much. Most of them did not personally agree with his sexual orientation. Nevertheless, they affirmed his right to be different.

On some things I am very conservative. For example, I believe that law-abiding American citizens should be able to buy guns without government interference. Buying, owning and carrying guns is a constitutional right. I have some good friends who carry concealed weapons. That doesn’t bother me at all. They have a legitimate right to do that.

When it comes to gay rights, I am progressive. Under the great Constitution of the United States, homosexuals should have the same basic rights as heterosexuals. If you go into a business open to the public, you should not be discriminated against because of race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Thankfully our great governor agrees with that.

Larry Summerour of Troup County is a retired pastor who enjoys political commentary.