The past 24 hours, my Facebook and Twitter feed have been overtaken by beautiful rainbows of harmonious love, happiness, and joy. Aside from a handful of narrow minded bigotry, the United States survived not only the recognition of marriage equality, but the start of Pride, and on a more personal note, my bathroom remodel should be completed this weekend.
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY ME!
Now in other news, some folks are mad. Outraged. Sickened. They are railing against the injustice handed out by SCOTUS, blaming Obama, throwing out Bible verses, calling for the end of days, and fearing for their children.
Here are a few discussion points I would like to share on the topic. I’m not in any way saying that a person has to agree with marriage equality. Or that a person needs to change his or her beliefs on what marriage needs to be in his or her eyes. One must simply accept that in our country, ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. Period. That includes straight men, gay men, white men, black men, women, trans men and women, and any other human as a citizen of the USA.
It wasn’t that long ago it was forbidden for an interracial couple to marry. Can you imagine that now? Women were not allowed to vote. Segregation was a very real thing, and still is in practice in many places, even though legally it was abolished decades ago. Read your history books, and do the math… how long ago was it when people were allowed to OWN other human beings?
Our country has gone through many changes, and progress is a natural part of growth. Every major change that has affected a large group of people, be it gender, race, socio-economic, or sexual orientation debate has been met with resistance and argument. Passionate protests were made against abolishing slavery. Passionate protests by men and women standing and shouting with a Bible in their hands.
Protests were made against women voting. Because if we allow the other HALF of our population that right to vote, what is going to happen? They might actually USE that and have a say in what happens in what was previously a patriarchal society. Don’t they know their PLACE?
Protests were made, people died for the right to sit where they chose in restaurants. To use public restrooms. To share water fountains. And this was met with resistance. By the people who did not want to share what was “theirs” by someone who was different in their eyes.
I’m seeing the same narrow minded bigotry over marriage equality. People are saying that allowing same sex marriage “ruins” the sanctity of marriage in God’s eyes. How many of you sat down and had a one on one with God about this? Because until you do, your argument, even if you pull a snippet out of the Bible to use as your ammunition, it’s YOUR argument. Not God’s.
And taking it a step further, nobody is asking you to change your religion. Or demanding that a pastor in a conservative church perform gay weddings. If a Catholic priest refuses to marry a same sex couple, he has that right. Just like he can refuse to marry a couple if one partner has been divorced, or for a host of other reasons.
What this means though, if you happen to work at the county courthouse, you can’t tell a couple you refuse to issue their marriage license due to your beliefs without a risk of getting fired. And I have heard how unfair that is, because it’s not respecting your beliefs, etc. I would suggest not working in a government office if you are not capable of performing the duties of your job due to your personal beliefs.
Before you get all pissy with me, think about this. A police officer is sworn to protect and serve. His or her personal beliefs may be strong. But that officer is not going to refuse to help a citizen who needs assistance because that person is gay, or Jewish, or not white.
Marriage equality is not an indication of the end of days. We aren’t bringing the wrath of God upon us for recognizing the very real need for people to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities most of us were born having. At the end of the day, allowing couples to get married, be it a man/woman, man/man or woman/woman has little to no bearing on your life unless you let it.
In a time where people try on marriages like pairs of shoes, I find it lovely when the notion of commitment is strong enough for people to fight, and fight hard to experience it. I am close to several same sex couples, some married because they live in a state that recognizes it’s 2015 (Hello, Texas… just saying… can we please come up to speed now thanks), some not. Acknowledging their relationships, their marriages, does not diminish my own.
The only people who can diminish the sanctity of my marriage? My husband and I. Period. Allowing other people the joy of marrying the love of their lives in no way devalues the vows I made to love, cherish and honor my husband.
So give love. Accept people for who they are, what they stand for, and their rights as human beings.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it until I’m blue in the face. You do not have to understand another person to accept him or her. There is no need to be afraid. I’m certain there is no big liberal “gay agenda” determined to take away your beliefs.
Take a deep breath and relax. Change is here. I hope acceptance ain’t far behind. So put on your rainbow colored glasses and raise a glass to a beautiful victory.