How modern America has come to support homosexuals

Wenatchee High School Principal Bob Celebrezze writes as a guest columnist


Kiana Wilson

WHS Principal Bob Celebrezze

I pledge allegiance, to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The flag salute has been a part of my life for many years, first as a student, then as a teacher and now as a high school principal. I believe that our nation is the beacon of hope for all in the world who seek freedom. I am a citizen, voter, taxpayer and parent who is lucky to be living in the greatest country in the world.

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and enjoyed a wonderful childhood going to Catholic grade school before entering the awesome life of a public high school. In high school, I was stunned and amazed at the sheer number of pretty girls and enjoyed chasing, with limited success, their interest. At Kent State University, I met, fell in love and married a long-haired hippie girl named Vicky. I remember well her cut-off Levi blue jeans and a red halter top she wore.

In 1985 Vicky and I married, bought a 1972 Chevy van with flowered curtains in the windows and drove out to California to start our married life together.

It was the same year that my youngest brother Tom entered Stanford University. He had turned down a huge scholarship offer from Harvard to move out west to sunny California also. In high school, he was a standout cross-country and track athlete, valedictorian, Senior Class President and earned the Eagle Scout badge.  In the fall of his freshmen year at Stanford, I remember very clearly my brother Tom calling me on our rotary dial phone to explain to me that he felt he was gay. I took a long walk that day, confused and concerned about my little brother. I worried about him and how society would treat him as a gay man in America.

Tom thrived academically at Stanford and moved to Australia to earn his Doctorate in Environmental Reclamation. He met, fell in love and later married his partner for the past 20 years, Simon. Tom and Simon are two of the finest human beings one could ever know. They live a happy and healthy life together in Sydney.

Nearly 30 years have passed since my brother Tom announced to our family that he was gay. Since that time, most states have passed gay marriage legislation, including our own Washington state. A few days ago the United States Supreme Court effectively made gay marriage legal in states that were contesting gay marriage. This ruling gave me additional respect for our great nation.

I will forever more continue to respect our flag salute, as six words are to me truer now for millions of Americans who are gay — “with liberty and justice for all.”