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In a sad but fitting reminder of the need we all have for love, on this Valentine's Day I came across a story that shows, once again, the personal pain that can result when people continue to rail against two people of the same sex just wanting to love each other.  I woke up thinking about the romantic dinner I planned to make for me and my partner tonight, then read a story about how prominent, homophobic pastor T.D. Jakes' son was arrested in a gay sex sting.  It's yet another troubling story of the destructive power of homophobia.

Last month everyone was talking about Obama's pick of homophobic pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration.  But what got much less notice was Obama's attendance at a private church service the morning of his inauguration where Dallas megachurch pastor and raging homophobe T.D. Jakes gave the sermon. Bishop Jakes has been gaining national prominence for years now, and with the recent release of a major Hollywood film that he wrote and his palling around with Obama, he seems to have hit the big time.

Jakes is the founder of the Potters House, a 30,000-member church in South Dallas. As the Dallas Voice reports, Jakes has been criticized by HIV/AIDS activists for undermining prevention of the disease by stigmatizing homosexuality and drug use,  has said that he would never hire a sexually active gay person, has called homosexuality a "brokenness," and has spoken out against same-sex marriage.  

On same-sex marriage, Jakes once told USA Today: "To date, I have not seen scriptural authority that allows me to stand on behalf of God and say I now pronounce you husband and husband, and wife and wife. This is an issue the government is undecided about. The Bible is not."

This is the type of homophobic environment in which Jakes' son, Jermaine Jakes, grew up.  It can be an oppressive atmosphere for a gay kid, to say the least, and can make you do all sorts of things that you otherwise wouldn't do (trust me, I know).  In fact, Jermaine Jakes worked for his father's ministry, so this is what he was exposed to all day long.  So it doesn't come as too much surprise to me that 29-year-old Jermaine Jakes was recently arrested for exposing himself to two undercover male cops in a South Dallas park.  I'll spare you the details, but to sum it up Jakes exposed himself to the two cops in a wooded area of the park and stared into the eyes of one of the cops as he took care of business, while people walked and jogged on a trail nearby.

I'm sure this is not the way that Jermaine Jakes wants to live his life.  I mean, would anyone want to live their life this way?  On this Valentine's Day, I pray that he can find the strength to live his life honestly, even if it means breaking away from his father's negative influence.  And I pray that his father will take a deep hard look at how his words and actions are damaging the very souls he claims to be saving, including in his very one family.

UPDATE:

I tried not to get too sexually graphic in this diary, but I guess I went too far the other way, to the point that some of you think that Jakes was taking a leak and that there was nothing gay about this.  According to the police affadavit provided by the Dallas Morning News, Jakes approached one of the policemen, stood next to him, pulled out an erect you-know-what and masturbated while making eye contact with the policeman. Now, if it's common for a straight man to walk up to other man, a stranger, and start masturbating in front of him while staring into his eyes, then please let me know, because I'll have to rethink my definition of "straight."

Originally posted to davidkc on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 06:10 AM PST.

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