Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality
It is sad to see statements made in debate playing out across this country.  The people for and against marriage equality are voicing their complaints in the loudest ways possible.  I know which side I come down on and if you read all the way to the end, you will see which way I fall.  Of course, you might be able to tell that before you get to the end, but I'll try to be balanced in what I write.

I realize there are people who live by faith and according to their faith (or religion), homosexuality is wrong.  They will quote referenced statements that they have been taught in justifying their stance to the world.  While I think that they have every right to say what it is they want to say, I believe they are missing the point.  To me, people who call themselves religious but then go around telling people that they love the sinner but hate the sin, are quite frankly judging people.  According to the bible I have read, it says "judge not, lest ye be judged" (Matthew 7:1).  There is only authority that these people claim to believe in and according to the bible, is the only one that can judge anyone.

Often people get so bent out of shape over what is done by others.  It is easier to point a finger at others and make a spectacle out of someone, but at the end of the day, it says far more about the individual than the people they are adamantly against.  It would be much better in this world if we spent more time focusing on how we could be better people ourselves, rather than spending all our waking minutes consumed with what others do.

I see people saying that if we allow gays to marry, it will be like creating a lawless society.  Actually, no one in their right mind could come to that conclusion because the thought is illogical at best.  Sure, people can say and do and see what they want to, but it doesn't mean that there is logic in a thought process such as this rhetoric.

On the other hand, I think that churches should not be forced to marry anyone they don't want to marry.  After all, I don't feel marriage is a God-given fundamental right that is a religious based institution.  If it is, then by all means, let us get rid of over 1000 special protections and rights that married couples get.  If it is about religion, then why have we crossed the line of separation of church and state legislating special rights into the laws of our land?

Regardless of how you feel about marriage equality and homosexuality, it is something that is real and legit in our society.  If you have not guessed by now, I am in favor of marriage equality and that is because I am gay.  I did not ask to be born this way and no, I don't believe it is a choice as some try to preach.  I have a great friend from college who is as gay as it gets, but they were converted by a church in California to believe they are straight.  Anyone that knows this person could see it a mile away.  Gaydar goes off with ringing bells when this person is close.

For me, I've known since I was a young kid and no, my being gay didn't have anything to do with being abused.  Being abused by a male doesn't make you any more gay than being abused by a female makes you straight.  So, please put that one to rest right now before we continue.

I always knew I was different and I knew I had a sensitive side to me that didn't fit in with straight people.  At the time, I didn't know what I was, but I was never really attracted to the opposite sex.  Yes, I tried to play that role in a very limited way, but there was no physical attraction between me and girls that I dated.  I liked hanging out with them and felt more closely aligned to them, than any male friends I had.  I despised the way straight men talked about women, and overall, I just never fit in.

For me, I've been in a committed relationship for over 13 years.  We are still in love and I still cherish the days spent with my partner.  I hate the fact that we have to hide this and I struggle to find a way to respond in work situations when people ask if I am married.  I hate that we are treated as second class citizens and that if something should happen to either one of us, there is no guarantee that we would have the right to be together.  There are so many financial and legal implications we face that most straight people never even think about in their life.

It isn't just about legalities and financial situations because our love for each other transcends all of that in life.  I've been laughed at and told to shut up because I was gay.  I've been put down because I was gay.  I have felt unwelcome and had to deal with those that make crude and derogatory comments about gays.  I have had to endure the hatred and bigotry coming through a TV screen by news organizations, religious institutions and politicians.  I've had friends treat me horribly when I came out to them as gay.  It isn't fun and believe me, if it was a choice I would never have gone through all of this.

I've been in a relationship much longer than most married couples and it is a relationship of love, not a sense of societal obligation.  I'm not sure how that can become such a threat to straight people who hold little reverence to the sanctity of their own marriage or partake in domestic violence and the disrespect of women (a.k.a their wives).   What I do in my life should have no bearing upon what married straight people do.  Who I love and who I spend my days with should not threaten anyone and if it does, than I think the problem someone may have is not with me, but with their own issues.

Although I would love to see all of us respect one another, I realize that in this day and age, it is more about claiming your position and then screaming at the top of one's lungs just how bad or wrong the other people are.  We have lost sight of being human and we've lost sight of what it means to respect one another.  Surely, in the new century we can begin to learn what makes us human, and set aside our differences to learn and help this world evolve into a higher vibration and frequency.  If we don't, the opinions on marriage equality will be of little importance.

Blog Post And Images (c) 3/28/13 by Don Shetterly

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