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NOE REYES Austin Fil rom my perspective, it is absolutely critical that we fight to maintain the family structure, which is one of the most, if not the most, fundamental institutions in our society. If we can protect the family, I think that will lead to an overall better society. Because of that deterioration of family structure you can see a tear at the moral fabric of the United States. In a family, the mother and father each have important rolescertain leadership abilities of the father, and the special physical connection that only a mother and a child can have. Those different rolesand neither is less than the otherare critical to the development of a child who will grow up with principles of self-accountability, self-responsibility, discipline, and respect. I think that a definition of matrimony as anything other than a union between a man and a womanand I am choosing my words carefullyis one of those things that could destroy the family structure as, in my opinion, it was meant to be. TO: So, i fgay marriage was legalized there would be more homosexuality? NR: I think the answer to that is yes. In some states, people in gay marriages or civil unions can now adopt and raise children; those children will not be raised the way a man and a woman would raise that child. [In those unions] homosexuality will also be promoted, and it continues to grow. We see it on TV shows now. We see it everywhere. Everywhere. It is slowly becoming more acceptable. When I raise my child, and he goes to school with a child with gay parents, do I mind them hanging out? No. That wouldn’t go against what we believe, but you can see how those ideas can make their way inside the church, inside society. Would I say that a practicing homosexual is going to hell? No, but I would say that it is between them and God. I can only tell you what the Bible says is a sin based on our interpretation of scripture, but one’s standing with Godthat’s only between God and that person. TO: Can homosexual Christians join your church? NR: I would say they can join my church. I mean, I can’t turn them away. I can’t turn away homosexuals, prostitutes, drug addictsI can’t. Because if I could turn those people away, I’d have to turn away every single person in my church. I would have to leave churchyou know what I’m saying? Because church is a place where you come to clean up. You come before God to fight all that. You’re asking tough questions, and I know my answer may not be popular with some people”Oh, gay people in the church, oh my gosh. They’re here to infiltrate.” As much as homosexuality is a sin, that’s how much we have to confront it, why we have to deal with it. I know many Christian churches will disagree with me, but I don’t think welcoming them into the church affirms their lifestyle. TO: Is prejudice against homosexuals similar to racism? NR: No. I don’t think being born a Hispanic is a sin. Nowhere in the Bible do I see “Thou shalt not be an Afro-American, thou shalt not be Asian.” I think this is entirely different. Do I see it as discriminatory? Discriminatory would imply that somehow you think those people are less, or that some -continued on page 20 12 THE TEXAS OBSERVER OCTOBER 7, 2005