Dear Amy: I have a guy friend with whom I have had a platonic relationship for a few years.
We are in our 50s and hang out a few times a month.
I have always known he was Christian and very involved in his church. But last week when we were discussing which movie to go to, he said he wouldn’t go to see certain movies because either the character played a gay man or the actor was gay in real life.
After two years of friendship this is the first time this has come up, but what he said bothered me. I am very open-minded and accepting.
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He didn’t say hateful or mean things. Just that he didn’t approve of that kind of lifestyle and wouldn’t support those actors. It may not even come up again.
I am now questioning our friendship, but should I let this affect me?
Dear Friend: You seem to associate being a Christian with not accepting gay people; this lack of acceptance is so un-Christian that this might be a mistaken assumption on your part. Although some Christian groups do discriminate against gay people, some people are just free-floating deniers and haters-without-portfolio. Of course this viewpoint affects you, because it comes from someone you respect — not “letting it” affect you probably isn’t an option.
Homosexuality is not a “lifestyle” any more than heterosexuality is. You say your friend’s stance bothers you and so in the name of friendship you should express yourself — just as your friend expressed himself. It is up to you whether to continue to accept this friendship despite this man’s prejudice; it is certainly within an open-minded person’s power and abilities to accept a variety of people who hold divergent views. This is where you and your friend are different, and if you stay in this friendship — who knows — you may influence him to open his mind and heart.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson’s memoir, “The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them” (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)