Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gay Marriage

Let me just start by saying that I have gay friends and family members. I have been exposed to gay people all my life and don't view them any differently than other people. For the people who say they don't know any gay people I would challenge that. It's probably that you don't know any openly gay people. I have heard that approximately 1 out of 5 people are gay. That doesn't mean that 1/5 of people are living a gay lifestyle. Many people choose to repress their feelings and live a heterosexual life or lead a double life on the "down low". Religion, family and friends and public persona are all factors that contribute to one's comfort level of living an openly gay life.

I don't think a person can stop being gay any more than I can stop being black. I think that you can choose to squash those feelings but that doesn't mean that you are no longer gay. There are a handful of priests who have come out and said that they are gay. These are men that will be celibate their entire lives but they were courageous enough to admit that their attraction is to men and not women. I love that. I wish I had that kind of courage.

I was raised Catholic and my husband's family is Mormon (the guilt would be overwhelming if either of us still practiced these religions). Both religions teach that you get married in order to have children. Children without marriage and marriage without children are both frowned upon. Birth control, abortion and homosexuality are all no-nos. I think its fine for a group to say "Within our own little sub-culture, we don't want people who don't live up to our moral ideals". But its not okay to try to extend their influence on the population at large.

This is supposed to be a country where you are free to practice any religion that you want but also a country where religion is completely separate from politics. Obviously that is not the case. Large sums of money come from various religious groups to politicians when certain topics are on the ballot. Religion has secured itself as a prime supporter for conservative candidates. These candidates then turn around and appeal to that segment of the population, no matter what percentage of the total population they represent because they have deep pockets. I don't agree with many of the rituals that I have seen in church or some people's ignorant interpretations of the bible in order to suit their own agendas. But I don't surround myself with these people and can easily avoid them in my daily life. I don't need to carry around a sign stating that these people are wrong and going to hell becuse they don't share my beliefs. I am capable of living my life to its fullest without having the rest of the world think exactly the same as I do.

What I don't understand is the highly vocal protestors that call themselves Christian, Mormon, etc. as they carry around signs with homophobic slurs and scream hateful things at innocent people. If you really beleive that God is watching us and judging all the bad people then let Him do that. Whatever happened to "Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house, Love thy neighbor, etc? If homosexuality is so evil that God is going to send them to hell when they die than why do you need to say anything? Why do you feel that you are in a position of authority to try and push your dogma on others? You are not teaching people about your religion. You are not showing compassion for your fellow man. You are using religion as an excuse for your bigotry.

Everyone in this country should have the same rights. I don't care if a man and woman live together for 10 years and never get married. That couple should have the same rights and my husband and I if they sign a piece of paper that says they are committed to each other. They same rights should be extended to same sex couples. Any two people in a long term committed relationship should get all the benefits that come with it. You can have a marriage between two ideas or two corporations, etc. Why have people decided that the word marriage is strictly the definition of man plus woman. There are several different definitions of marriage in the dictionary, why have we decided to define it so narrowly in this country? It is dissapointing that we are supposed to be the leader of hte free world but our social policies are severely lacking.

How will it hurt you or your family if a gay couple is allowed to have the same rights as you are? Gay people aren't having sex in the streets any more than heterosexual people are. By pretending that gay people are morally corrupt and gonig to ruin the lives of young children isn't going to make gay people dissapear. Just because you don't talk about it doens't mean that it goes away. Heterosexuality isn't taught in schools. It is the school's job to make sure that no one feels left out. Childrens' books with gay people in them don't teach children how to be gay and more than having an Asian couple in a book teaches children to be Asian. They teach children that everyone is born different and there is no reason to discriminate against someone because they are different. Different does not equal wrong.

If your child is gay and feels that they will not be accepted by you if they follow their heart and live a gay lifestyle then you are responsible for whatever happens to that child in the future. Gay children have a significantly higher rate of suicide and drpession than hetero children. Whether it is your child or not you can't honestly believe that being dead is better than bieng gay.

It wasn't so long ago it when it would have been illegal for me to vote because I am a black woman. My husband and I would not have been allowed to get marrid because he is a white man. Various groups argued that the bible teaches that women are inferior to men and that black people are different from white people. At that time, civil rights opponents twised bible verses around to support their bigotry. A lot of people died on both sides of these arguments. When we look back on these times in history we are ashamed at how ignorant our ancestors were and do not question that these policies were ignorant. I hope that we can one day say the same thing about gay marriage and other basic civil rights that are currently denied to homosexuals in this country.

1 comment:

  1. God bless you for writing this wonderful article. I agree with you 100%! I don't think you have a choice about being gay, it is something that you are born with. I don't believe these people are all going to hell. God created them and they will be judged the same as all of us on how we lived our lives and how we treated each other.