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NBA Center Jason Collins Announces Publicly 'I'm Gay', Christians Offer Differing Perspective

( [email protected] ) Apr 29, 2013 11:55 AM EDT
NBA center Jason Collins has announced Monday that he is gay, which makes him the first male athlete in major American pro sports to announce that he is gay.
In a Sports Illustrated story NBA center Jason Collins came out, becoming the first openly gay active player in major sports. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NBA center Jason Collins has announced Monday that he is gay, which makes him the first male athlete in major American pro sports to announce that he is gay.

The 12-year NBA veteran wrote an article published in May’ issue of Sports Illustrated that the NBA player lockout in 2011 “wrecked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want.”

"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation," Collins wrote. "I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."

Collins explained that his parents instilled Christian values in him and that he took the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA, which defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman as husband and wife.

“The strain of hiding my sexuality became almost unbearable in March, when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against same-sex marriage. Less than three miles from my apartment, nine jurists argued about my happiness and my future. Here was my chance to be heard, and I couldn’t say a thing. I didn’t want to answer questions and draw attention to myself. Not while I was playing.”

He also said that he is “glad” that he is coming out in 2013 rather than 2003. “The climate has shifted; public opinion has shifted. And yet we still have so much farther to go.”

While Collins made his announcement in his essay, he also argued for same-sex marriage.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, told The Gospel Herald in an interview last year that gay marriage is not a civil rights issue, for gays already are free to engage, interact, and communicate in the society as they wish without any restrictions. The issue is instead about government sponsorship and encouragement of these deviant behaviors and lifestyles, which does not promote the general welfare of the society.

He listed several reasons: decrease in lifespan, suicide and mental health issues such as depression and relationship difficulties, likelihood of cancer and other diseases. “There is very little room for credible argument for government to support homosexual lifestyle to promote the general welfare of the society, particularly for our children.”

As the society elevates homosexuality as being entitled to marriage, he said, there would be greater indoctrination to public schools to be accepting and giving in to such lifestyle, creating greater confusion to children.

While Collins said Monday that “being gay is not a choice”, Dacus said that it is a lie to say that gay people are born gay looking from a psychological and medical perspective.

“Social factors such as the absence of father and proper bonding and acceptance is much more correlated with the likelihood of homosexuality than any genetic personality traits that the child may have, or even genetic physical built that the child may have.”

“In fact, personality traits or temperament, do not determine sexual orientation, but the society from a non-biblical perspective allows it to be a factor in determining gender identity.”

Yet, Dacus explained that when addressing homosexuality and those struggling with this need to have humility in the context that every human is vulnerable to virtually every sin that exists.

“No one is immunized,” he said.

Dacus explained that when interacting with those struggling with homosexuality the proper context should be that they are “fellow sinners, who are just like us that needs the grace and mercy and transformational power of God to each of us.”