Monday, September 20, 2010
I met my husband at college. We started dating openly. We were inseparable for our last three years in college. We got to hold hands, walk arm and arm, and even kiss in public. No one beat us up or threatened us or even mocked us for being in love. Our love and our marriage never became political issues. Why should they? Love is happiness. Love and marriage are what is expected of us. Love is a gift from God.
Why is this different for people who happen to be gay? I can't imagine the fear. I never had to feel scared about my feelings. I was a girl who liked guys. I had crushes. I didn't have to pretend I didn't. I could talk to my friends about my crushes. I didn't have to feel scared in locker rooms. I didn't have to worry about what it meant that I was having crushes on the "wrong" people. I can't imagine what that is like. Many people who are gay say they knew it about themselves by age 3, or age 6, or age 9. Can you imagine how scary that feels?
Love shouldn't be scary, and marriage should be a happy thing for anyone who is lucky enough to find love. I don't understand why gay marriage is such a big fear of so many people. What harm is it doing if my neighbor guys love each other and want to marry each other? It doesn't threaten my family in any way. It doesn't weaken the status of marriage. In fact, in my eyes it strengthens it.
The local Catholic powers-that-be are sending a DVD to every Catholic in our state, urging them to take a stand against gay marriage. Why? Do they prefer to force gay people into promiscuity and sneakiness? You would think they would support the idea of commitment, taking a vow to stay together and make a marriage. Isn't that better for our society than forcing people to hide and sneak?
I don't understand it. I guess I've been lucky enough to know lots of openly gay people so that I could learn that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to fear. Fear comes from not knowing or understanding something. The people who are so anti-gay probably don't know many gay people... to clarify: they do know gay people, but the gay people have sensed that they need to tread carefully, so the anti-gay people have not been lucky enough to get to really know them and love them as friends, teachers, helpers, and role models.
I know... there are passages in the Bible that people always quote. Well, I am a practicing Christian, too, but I rely more strongly on the passages where Jesus tells us to love one another and to accept and welcome strangers and to be kind, and hospitable and to "do unto others..."
I could start quoting Bible passages that many anti-gay people are famous for ignoring... adultery? (It's EASY to finger-point on countless non-gay Christians who have violated THIS one.) You name a Bible "rule" and one can point out how people have chosen to ignore it. We all need to stop being such hypocrites.
I think the important rules are the ones that give us an overall guide to how we should live: love one another, be kind, be accepting, be non-judgmental. We should celebrate love as a gift from God, no matter who it happens to. If we could do that, we wouldn't need to be so scared of our gay neighbors and waste time, money, and energy on worrying about their marriages.