DEAR HARRIETTE: I was talking to a work friend the other day, and the subject turned to a fellow co-worker who is gay. My work friend started in saying she knows we are supposed to be PC and all, but she is a Christian and believes homosexuality is a sin. She knows she should be more open to this guy, but she says it is against her religion to believe that the way he lives is acceptable. This conversation was awkward, to say the least. I understand her feelings, even though I don’t agree. But we are not supposed to discriminate against anyone on the job. Her comments went on and on about this guy and his presumed behavior. I didn’t like it, but I wasn’t sure what to do or say. Can you help? -- Sexuality and Religion, Memphis, Tennessee
DEAR SEXUALITY AND RELIGION: Go to your company handbook and research the guidelines that every employee should follow regarding discrimination. Point to the rules when you next speak to this woman, so you help her to understand she should keep her opinions to herself. Be mindful that she firmly believes she has the right to her thoughts as they mirror her understanding of the Bible.
Also tell her that her comments made you uncomfortable. Explain your views and point out that the beauty of our country is that we can all have strong opinions, but we must learn to express them so that we do not disparage others. You may not be able to change her mind, but you can decide you will not listen to her anymore or endure her criticism.