By Ken Reed

Why do people who are anti-gay continue to use the “lifestyle” reason as the basis for their stance? As in “I disapprove of their lifestyle.”

The New York Mets’ Daniel Murphy played the “lifestyle” card recently after Billy Bean, a gay former Major League Baseball (MLB) player who is now MLB’s Inclusion Ambassador, visited the Mets training camp.

“I disagree with his lifestyle,” said Murphy.

“I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.”

Hello people! This isn’t a choice! You can choose to live an active lifestyle and exercise regularly, but you can’t choose your sexuality. Did you choose to be straight? Did you go outside for a walk one day and at some point on your stroll choose whether to be attracted to men or women?

Alexander Goot, in an excellent piece for Fansided, wrote that whenever people use the “love the sinner, hate the sin” argument when it comes to homosexulity, “what they are actually saying is that they disagree with a person, with their essence, with the very fiber of their being. And they are saying it not just to Billy Bean, but to every LGBT individual who might be listening.”

Billy Bean had a terrific column on in response to Murphy’s comments.

“I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth,” wrote Bean.

“I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings … It may not be perfect, but I do see him making an effort to reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle. It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others.

“Inclusion means everyone, plain and simple. Daniel is part of that group. A major league clubhouse is now one of the most diverse places in sports. It wasn’t always that way, but we can thank No. 42 for that. So, in his honor, with a little patience, compassion and hard work, we’ll get there.”

Well done, Mr. Bean.

After reading Bean’s essay and watching the MLB Network documentary on him a week ago, I’m convinced Billy Bean was a fabulous hire as Inclusion Ambassador for Major League Baseball.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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