Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An open letter to Reverend Glenn Welsford of Columbia, South Carolina

Dear Rev. Welsford,

The views expressed in your letter to the editor of Swimmer magazine, the official publication of United States Masters Swimming, published in the January/February 2011 issue, reflect such intolerance, bigotry, and utter disrespect for your fellow man that it was truly astounding to learn that you are in fact a religious leader in your community.  As you recall, you wrote that "homosexuality is akin to thievery, adultery and other sins that should not be tolerated or accepted as that of society just coming of age," adding that it "destroys lives, individually as well as that of the society as a whole."  All of which begs the question, how do you reconcile these sentiments with the purpose statement of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, which emphasizes "loving and caring for one another and for other people"?

Craig Siegel, MD


  1. Mr Welsford, I think it is hateful people such as yourselves that should not be tolerated. I was an alter boy for 12 years growing up and the Priest at my church was openly gay. As a child I was unaware that he was gay. I looked up to him as a role model and he was a great person. I can only imagine the hate you are preaching...It is because of people like you that children's heads are filled with hate and this cycle of hate continues..

  2. thanks for your support on this issue. I am moving to austin from san francisco. I was shocked by USMS posting the hateful letter from glen westford. The editor of usms seemed to think than only a gay person would be offended. I explained to her that hateful speech directed at any group offends people not just in that group but others as well. She seemed to miss the point and think perhaps that it was only offensive to the swimmer profiled in the article

  3. Very disturbing indeed. A number of us posted demands for an apology on the USMS website in the discussion forum. Publishing a hate letter such as this was inexcusable.

  4. I also wrote in to USMS and complained of the letter. Only to be told that they made "an error in judgement". An error of that magnitude would cost me my job and it has lost them a new member. And then to learn that he is a minister? The community he tends to should be horrified that this is what they got.

  5. It was a very poor editorial decision, but don't judge USMS as a whole by that. As for Rev. Welsford, I find his views decidedly un-Christian but far too prevalent in our society.

  6. Dr Seigel!
    I too read the letter in Swimmers Magazine and was shocked. I will never share a pool with a bigot like Mr Welsford. I wonder if his views represent his team, the Columbia Masters.