The Detroit Free Press editorial staff chose to prove how loving, supportive, and inclusive of diverse opinions they are by issuing a scathing editorial against those who oppose the proposed Michigan State Board of Education LGBTQ Policy (available at everyvoicecountsmi.org). In their opinion piece of April 13, they attempted to paint me and those who share my views toward the policy as proponents of “hateful stereotypes” and “bigotry.” Their rhetoric is designed to silence opposition. No one with a conscience wants to be accused of hate or bigotry.
The truth is that, while it would be much easier to remain silent in the wake of such criticism, it would not be loving. Proponents of the Board LGBTQ Policy cite the creation of a “safe and supportive environment” as their rationale for their proposal. The truth is, the policy would do the exact opposite — and therefore it should be opposed.
First, regarding safety: Less than 4 percent of the U.S. male population is gay, yet this population accounts for 82 percent of HIV infections. Furthermore, the lifespan of homosexuals is 8 years shorter than that of heterosexuals. Shorter lives plagued by HIV do not indicate “safety.”
As for a supportive environment, according to the American Psychiatric Association, 73 percent of the psychiatrists who responded said that homosexual men are less happy than others. 70 percent of the respondents said they believed this unhappiness is due more to personal conflicts than social stigmatization. The promotion of this lifestyle does not sound very supportive.
Do you think that allowing men or boys in girls’ bathrooms or showers or sports would result in a safe environment for young girls or women? No. It wouldn’t.
And what about “Professional Development” designed to convert educators into the LGBTQ Policy implementation arm for the State Board of Education? Many educators are opposed to promoting the LGBTQ lifestyle and would not find such an environment “supportive” of their views.
The truth is that there are people such as me with deeply held religious beliefs who hold that the LGBTQ lifestyle is at odds with the expressed will of our Creator — you know, the one who endowed us with our “unalienable rights.” People of faith realize that giving deference to the will of our Creator is not reflective of a spirit of “hate” or “bigotry.” As illustrated by the harmful effects of the LGBTQ lifestyle cited above, it is clear that opposition to this lifestyle is an indicator of love, not hate.
So, why is there such vitriol expressed by people like the Detroit Free Press editorial staff toward me and other opponents to the proposed policy? Simply put, there appears to be no room for people of faith or parents specifically in their vision of a “diverse” society. In fairness, we have been silent on this issue for far too long. When someone of faith finally does speak up, LGBTQ proponents are shocked by any opposition to what they have convinced themselves of being absolute truths. We can no longer be silent.
If we truly seek a “safe and supportive” environment for our students and their teachers, we need to promote policies that are beneficial, not harmful. The proposed Michigan State Board of Education LGBTQ Policy is harmful and should be opposed by those who want what is best for our kids and educators.
Sen. Patrick Colbeck represents the 7th Senate District, which encompasses the cities of Livonia, Northville, Plymouth and Wayne, as well as the townships of Canton, Northville and Plymouth.
 Center for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/HIVIncidence2007-2010SlideSeries508REV-06102014.pdf
 Source: Hogg. RS., Strathdee, SA., Craib, KJP., O’Shaughnessy, MV., Montainer, JSG., Schechter, MT., ” Modeling the impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 26, No. 3, 1997, pp. 657-61.
 Study by Harold I. Lief, Sexual Survey Number 4: 1977, pp.110-111 (Cited in Growing Up Straight by George A. Reker)