The election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States was (for me and millions of others) one of boundless joy, coupled with the sense that we have somehow moved beyond one of the major obstacles that, until recently, prevented us from truly becoming the “Perfect Union” that we strive to seek and achieve. We may never reach that goal, however every step in a forward direction is a testament to the good, decency and social evolution of the American People, in addition to our desire to continue to reach for perfection within our Union. We may have overcome one obstacle, however there are many more that litter the path before us.
The joy and elation that I felt on election night was subdued by a reminder of yet another obstacle that we face, one that must be addressed with the same passion, vigor and commitment as was exhibited throughout the campaign and finally achieved on election night. Although we took a quantum leap forward for civil rights in one respect, we managed to take another step backwards. For this I am disappointed and quite frankly, ashamed.
I am, of course, referring to Proposition 8 (in California) and Amendment 2 (in Florida): Civil Unions / Marriage rights for homosexuals. On a day when the nation rose to take a major step forward as it pertains to race in this country, we still found a way to tell another segment of our population that they are less of a citizen (and therefore, less of a human being) than everyone else who enjoys the freedom to love whom they want and to naturally enjoy the rights that many of us take for granted, as they have never been denied to us.
I quote from Aristotle:
“Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely”
I assert the following statement with absolute certitude: Gay Marriage will become legal in this country, it is not a matter of ‘if’, but a matter of ‘when’. You are given a choice; you can choose which side of history you wish to stand on, however that is the only decision you will be able to make in this matter. It is the way of human progress and the evolution of a higher minded society. It has been so in the past and will continue as such into the future. There have been many who have opposed such progress in the past, and many in the present who will share the fate of those same people in the historical trash heap of bigotry.
During the Women’s Suffrage movement of the 1920’s, it was considered ridiculous to allow women to have an opinion in the matter of politics. Women, being the ‘fairer sex’, could not be trusted to possess the intellectual capacity to effectively render an opinion on such ‘high minded’ matters…’it should be left to the men’. It was vehemently opposed then…and now we have had female Senators, Congresswomen, Speaker of the House, Secretaries of State, National Security Adviser, and a woman run for President who earned over 18 million votes during the primaries.
During the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, much the same argument was made about black Americans in this country. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed and prohibited states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure … to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” African American’s were subjected to literacy tests as an obstacle to voting and its purpose was to disenfranchise the black vote in elections. During Jim Crow laws, African Americans would earn the right to vote if they could exactly guess the amount of jelly beans in a jar…thereby suppressing their vote. Within our own Constitution, it stipulated that African Americans were 3/5 of a full human being and that of property to be bought and sold with no protection or rights under the law. I need not discuss slavery, however another shameful chapter in our history designated which schools could be attended, which restrooms could be used, restaurants they could eat at and which water fountains could be drunk from, based on race. Up until 1967, interracial marriages were illegal in this country and not too long before that, lynchings were commonplace with no legal repercussions for those who perpetrated murder. I do not need to remind people of how far we have come…personified by the results on November 4th, 2008.
Those who stood in the way of this progress, were pushed aside and rewarded with being remembered throughout history as bigots, as the evolution of a society may be a slow moving train from time to time, but it is still a train that continues forward with the same unstoppable momentum. Gay Marriage is no different and history will remember those who stood in its way, as the same train continues (albeit, slowly) forward. Those who were remembered for wanting to prevent women from voting, blacks from voting and agreeing that some people are less of a citizen, less than a human being than others…will soon be joined by those who oppose this next step in our history.
My question for those who oppose gay marriage is this: How does this affect your life in any way, shape or form? How does the union of a same-sex couple somehow diminish your own marriage, personal life or belief system? And if it does, what does that say about the strength of your beliefs…that it can be so easily shattered by the lives of others.
The fact is, it is not your life, therefore your beliefs should not be thrust upon the lives of others and what they chose to do with their own, as the same should not be done to you. I venture that you will use your faith and the Bible as justification.
The Bible says:
“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22)
“If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (Leviticus 20:13)
I will spare you the historical diatribe about how homosexuality only recently became a taboo subject versus the history of the Roman Empire and other civilizations before it that simply viewed ‘sex as sex’ ( a physical act) not defined in any other way or condemned. Or how marriage was a social and property contract and that ‘marrying for love’ was a concept introduced much later.
Before I go into the contradictions of the Bible (of which there are many), I find it amusing that those who quote these passages as their ‘righteous proof’ that their cause is noble, conveniently leave out other passages of the Bible that they do not or could not subscribe to today (i.e. selling your daughter into slavery, killing your neighbor for working on the Sabbath, hair grown beyond the temples of a man being a sin etc), as they are universally accepted as ‘outdated’. However, ‘fags’ are still ‘icky and taboo’ enough, that you can still get behind that cause, yet ignore or simply discard the other proclamations of your beloved sacred text.
“Selective Religiosity” is amusing to me and no doubt stereotypical throughout the history of all religions, in which all shoplifted their dogma from each other with a slight tweak here and there over the centuries due to the influence and ambitions of man…a flawed being.
What is particularity (and humorously) ironic to me, is the belief that Christians only seem to be happy if they believe that they are being persecuted somehow…when, in fact, they are the ones persecuting others. Funny how that happens, Christian’s ridiculous “persecution complex”, when according to most polls, they are the vast majority in this country. For those that fear your child’s exposure to a homosexual or a child that has been lovingly adopted by a homosexual couple (versus growing up in an orphanage), that it will somehow “rub off”, “is contagious” or will “corrupt” your child, I submit to you that you should have more faith in the way that you raised your child and that simple physical contact with a gay child will not result in your own child showing up to school the next day in “assless chaps and a feather boa” (intended sarcasm and ridicule of those who have this false perception of all homosexuals being “flamboyant”). Additionally, the arrogance and temerity that they feel that they are able to interpret the will of their God and that only they know HIS word…despite the multitude of interpretations…I digress.
The overall point of this blog is that opposition to gay marriage will follow the same failed route as the opposition to other civil liberty battles of the past. You can decide which side and how you wish to be remembered by history on the matter, but the winning side has already been decided, it is just a matter of when it will fully come to fruition. At least you have the benefit of advanced knowledge, as history continues to teach us.
My argument is this: stay out of my life and I will stay out of yours, but if we are equal in any way, then we are equal in every way. The fact that people voted to define some American’s as less than a full citizen of this country (despite expecting that they pay the same taxes and obey the same laws…yet are not afforded all of the same rights) and are therefore less of a human being, saddens me, yet reinvigorates my passion and purpose to continue to affect change in this country. For those who feel homosexuality is a choice, I ask of you (if all things be equal according to your logic relating to sexual preference): When did you consciously decide to be attracted to the opposite sex, it being a ‘choice’ and all? I venture to guess that it was never a choice, therefore what gives you the right to think the opposite is true of others?
Marriage is a legal, not divine, institution. It is recognized by the law only, which is why you may have a priest perform the ceremony, however that is only because they are recognized by man’s laws and the rights granted to married couples…and why you fill out a legal document for your certificate. Your priest is just the “MC” that performs a ceremony under the guidelines of your belief system, but that ceremony does not make it legal…it is what you sign afterwards that makes it legal. It is also why your priest cannot preside over a divorce.
If you oppose gay marriage in a church based upon your outdated literature (which is what the Bible is – a disjointed library of contradicting stories) – then what harm does it do your faith if a legal (non religious) ceremony is performed? None. Get over yourselves, not everyone believes the same as you do, which is their right.
For those grasping to your Bibles and the last passages that could be applied today, I submit the following passages from the same book and ask why you do not endorse or support them as you have selectively chosen to oppose homosexuality?
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies only to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? Do I factor in inflation? Does she lose value with age?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors and people from PETA. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear glasses and have for some time. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here? If I get Lasik Eye Surgery, can I go to heaven then?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? What should I do about my Fantasy Football league and the Sunday games they play?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
To use the Bible as justification for your opposition to gay marriage, than it must also be used to endorse and subscribe to everything in the Bible (or you must admit that it is not literal and you, in fact, are selectively choosing what to believe), regardless of what is considered outdated versus still socially taboo today…the latter (homosexuality) becoming less so as each day passes.
“Do unto others as you have them do unto you”. – (Matthew 7:12)
That is all,