I woke up on June 23 to what I believe is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen in a long time. Mike Azinger, WV State Senator representing Wood County had the pleasure of publishing a highly offensive op-ed in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. In this op-ed Azinger uses his theistic knowledge to put down the LGBTQ+ community, calling us sexual deviants and claiming that we live our LGBTQ+ lives by choice. It pains me to know that he believes any part of what he said was morally permissible.
As a transgender woman, I feel obligated to share the truth. I was born in this identity and it truly is who I am. I have been the victim of numerous hate-filled threats (some of them on my life) and feel very confident in saying that anyone who would actually choose to identify as LGBTQ+ is completely insane. You don’t choose this life; it chooses you.
Though, I need to be honest and say that while I am disturbed by what he said, I’m not shocked. Using God as an excuse for hate is something that people like Azinger love doing with the ill-fated hope that it strengthens their argument. What did surprise me, however, is that he discussed the Bible as if it were the basis of our constitution.
It is to this effect that I ask: Has Mike Azinger ever heard of the First Amendment? I imagine he has, but don’t believe he has read it thoroughly. It is our First Amendment that gives us freedom TO and FROM religion. It is the First Amendment that declares that our government is not ruled by religion. It is the First Amendment that gives Americans the freedom to any religion, not just Christianity.
At this point I would like to give the suggestion to Mr. Azinger that rather than sending out hate-filled op-eds, maybe he should spread love to his fellow citizens, as that is what a real Christian would do.
God doesn’t hate the LGBTQ+ community because He made every single one of us. Above all else, #LOVEWINS.