Thursday, November 06, 2008

Gay Marriage

I, like many others, was so disappointed to see something as hateful as Proposition 8 on the ballot in California - and like minded ones in other states. I was beyond disappointed when people chose to vote to pass them, banning same sex couples from getting married.

I really don’t see what the big deal is about same sex marriage. I just don’t get it. I just don’t understand why people it doesn’t even affect feel the need to get involved. Tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to prevent two people from getting married, all to protect the “sanctity of marriage”. This isn’t about protecting marriage. Adultery, domestic violence, lying, lack of communication and divorce are greater culprits by far.

If people truly want to protect the sanctity of marriage, then make marriage a permanent, once in a lifetime decision. A decision that could in no way be revoked or reversed. No divorce for any reason, no remarriage after the death of a spouse. That, I can almost guarantee would be the death of marriage all together. How many times have we heard “Well, if it doesn’t work out…” Britney Spears anyone? Is that not more damaging to the sanctity of marriage than two committed people?

My parents divorced when I was very young. I don’t really know why, what happened in their marriage, and it isn’t really any of my business, but I can say with all certainty, that same sex marriage had absolutely nothing to do with it. Of all the reasons I heard from both my mom and dad, there was not a single reference to homosexuality. I can say the same thing about all my friends and family that have been divorced.

I find this to be so incredibly hypocritical of a country that is always pointing fingers everywhere else, telling other countries what they are doing wrong. Waving the flag of freedom and opportunity, but at the same time spreading hatred and lies. Today it is a ban on gay marriage. What happens tomorrow? Does anyone really think this will stop with the subject of marriage? Should gay people be refused employment? Should gay people be denied mortgages? Perhaps gay people should not be allowed to vote. Perhaps gay people should be segregated, not allowed to drink from the same drinking fountain as a straight person for fear of spreading that “gay germ” people seem so fucking scared of. Could homosexuality, like smoking become illegal? Maybe it sounds a bit far-fetched, but is it? Really?  When will people realize that gay people aren’t made?  At least not in the way they think. Gay people are not recruited. We are not out to expand our numbers and bring in more “members”. Either someone is born gay or not. People don’t choose to be gay any more than people choose to be straight. I for one never recall making that decision. Well actually, maybe I did...

I got to a point where I was so tired of being a second class citizen. I was tired of being paranoid of saying the wrong thing, making the wrong gesture toward my partner in public, that I decided I was going to be straight. I had a girlfriend, and we even lived together for awhile. It was great at first. I could sit next to her at a restaurant. I could kiss her hello on the street, any street, at any time and nobody paid us any mind. I could talk about her at work and not have to worry about offending anyone. I could go to a work party and nobody would ask questions or whisper. But that joy was short-lived. I was living a lie, and I knew it. She knew it. And yet, if I had chosen to marry her to keep my cover, have a child and then get a divorce due to irreconcilable differences, nobody would have thought anything of it. I would have been applauded. But if two people of the same sex that have been together for years and will be together whether they are married or not, actually want to get married, everyone talks about how immoral and destructive it is. I don’t understand. I makes no sense to me.

But I can imagine the kind of thinking behind this. When my mom first found out I was gay, we didn’t speak much. She said I was no longer her son and that she didn’t know who I was. I told her that I was the same person. I told her that I was just gay, not a child molester or rapist or murderer. I was just gay. She said that if I was one of those things, at least I would be normal, but being gay was an abomination. Imagine, my mom preferring I was a rapist or child molester over being gay. She has come a long away in the twenty or so years since then. But I can imagine there are thousands, if not millions of others who follow that same line of thinking. People who never make the transition my mom has. People who most likely never will. That is one reason so many teens commit suicide instead of coming out. That is a path I almost took as well. I wanted it to go away. I wanted it to end. I wanted to be normal. It took a long time for me to learn that I am normal, and yet there are still people who spend all their energy making sure that I am pushed back, boxed in and denied the exact same rights they have.

Gay marriage is not about making a statement. At least not a political one. It is about equality. It is about the promise that is made to each and every American in the constitution. The same constitution millions of men and women, including my father, fought to protect and uphold. This is about two people being able to stand in front of their friends and family and make a public commitment.

I just hope that these things get to the Supreme Court and get overturned. I hope it is not the start of something that is going to be much bigger and much more destructive and divisive in the future. I think it is time for a proposition that bans hatred and discrimination altogether. It should just be illegal to discriminate. Period.

I hope I have made some sense with this. This is just something that brings up such powerful emotions in me.

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