Whether you agree with gay marriage or not you should read this and take in the FACTS on the situation. I have tried to address the numerous arguments I have heard against the gay community. If you have any other arguments I would love to debate them with you. I hope that after you read this you will be able to look into your heart and find compassion. I will preface all I am about to say with the fact that I am a heterosexual married female (for those of you who don't know me.) I am also a Christian...but not the judgmental hateful kind. I do not have a personal stake in this fight other than to live in a world with less hatred and more equality.
Argument #1: “But my Bible says right here that being gay is wrong. Let me quote you some passages.”
Response: You can quote Bible verses til the cows come home but the FACTS are as follows. It is NOT a REQUIREMENT of anyone taking vows to be religious at ALL much LESS to be a Christian. In fact you can worship the DEVIL if you like. You can disregard a belief in God altogether! The ONLY stipulation you have to gain a marriage license is that you are a man and a woman. Your Bible verses might be valuable to you but not to others. The Bible is not the LAW. The Bible is a book written by flawed men that you CHOOSE to personally give value to. How would you feel if someone wanted to force you to abide by the rules in another religious work…say the Koran? This is the equivalent of what you are doing…forcing others to live abide by the supposed laws in YOUR religion. And stop using religion as a shield to mask what is, in its truest form bigoted hate-mongering.
Argument #2: “Marriage is a religious institution.”
Response: YOUR marriage might be a religious one but it is again NOT A REQUIREMENT. The GOVERNMENT issues marriage licenses NOT the church. It is not necessary that they be signed or endorsed by ANY religious official at all. In the state of Florida I can…and WAS married by a notary. You can even have your friend go ONLINE and get a license to marry you and no religious affiliation whatsoever is required. If you CHOOSE to be married in a church by an anointed one, that is your choice. Or you can be married by Elvis.
Argument #3: “But if you let gays marry then it will ruin the value of MY marriage.”
Response: It’s not like someone put their car up on blocks or threw a couch on their lawn. This isn’t like home values. If your neighbors are gay it doesn’t bring down YOUR property value. The quality of your marriage is unaffected and 100% in your control. Maybe if more people worried about their OWN marriage instead of keeping others from the same, we wouldn’t have such a high divorce rate in this country.
Argument #4: “Blah blah blah… the sanctity of marriage?”
Response: Really? Sanctity? Heterosexuals have taken away the true sanctity of marriage, if that even ever existed, a LONG time ago. Not only do HALF the couples who marry DIVORCE but I can be divorced 20 times and keep going back for more! Is it really “the one true marriage” if you’ve had more than one?? Furthermore, the ceremony does not require a church or religious anointing of any kind. Hell I don’t even have to say actual vows. I can make up my own shit to say that has nothing to do with God or promises or even love. I can have my lavish overdone wedding on TV wearing 3 gowns and then divorce a week later. Sanctity might be something you value in your own wedding (which is perfectly fine and no one is taking away from you) but it again is not a requirement by the law. Oh and while we are on that subject it also does not affect the sanctity of YOUR marriage if indeed you feel you have that. In fact if gays are allowed to marry do you know how that will affect your life? IN NO WAY AT ALL. Your marriage (or ability to do so as many times as you like and still call yourself SANCTIMONIOUS) will still be intact.
Argument #5: “The gays will make a mockery of marriage.”
Response: Really…the gays do? I think I can prove my point in a few words…DOG weddings, Bridezillas, Kim Kardashian, The Bachelor. We make a complete mockery every day of marriage in this country. But that’s Ok because we like it! It entertains us. As long as it’s a man and a woman we can trash even the concept of marriage in a one hour show. We don’t need gays to make a mockery of marriage. Heterosexuals do it every day.
Argument #6: “I just don’t like the gays. I feel like they are always shoving their agenda down my throat.”
Response: Oh you mean like you are cramming your religion down THEIR throats? You don’t have to like them. You don’t have to interact with them. It’s like avocados. I don’t like avocados but I’m not going to run screaming from the table if one shows up and I am certainly not going to spend my day making other people hate avocados or try to ban them! You can like what you want. No one is asking you to LIKE the gays. All you have to do it ignore them and let them live in peace. No one is forcing you to go to a gay wedding. That is your choice. But again, you have no right to force your opinions on others when it affects their lives.
Argument #7: “We will have to agree to disagree. This is like politics.”
Response: No. No it is not at all. We all have an equal stake in politics and our opinions are our own. By taking a part in an active cause to deny someone rights you strip them of their dignity. You make them a lesser being than yourself. You might as well push to enact slavery again. It is the same thing. You have no right to impose your views on others to the detriment of an entire group of people. When it came to slavery it took a war to decide what common sense should have dictated long before that! Once gay marriage is legal THEN we can agree to disagree on it. When we are ALL held as equal in the eyes of the law.
Argument #8: “Gays are not Christians.”
Response: Not necessarily true. There are plenty of straight people who are not Christians and we let THEM get married!! (again refer to argument #1) However, you are also wrong that gays can’t be Christians. I know gays who ARE Christians and who have had to endure rejection or live secret lives to continue worshiping. This reminds me of the origin of the Christian fish. There was a time when being a Christian required people to worship in secret unsure of who else was worshiping. The fish symbol was how Christians found safety. For a gay Christian there is no safety. I was taught to bring people into the church and not shun them away. I don’t ever recall a lesson that involved in any way picking and choosing WHO I brought to Christ. I guess I was misinformed. I guess what I should have been saying is that you can only come to Christ if you meet his criteria as outlined in the Bible that he did not write!??
Argument #9: “The law says marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Response: An antiquated law born of religion. This law can and should be changed with the times (just as slavery was abolished, just as women were made whole and equal to men in the eyes of the law). As we have become more enlightened, we see that some of the laws created by our forefathers in a very different era, need to be altered, but it seems the self-righteous moral minority still holds its rule over any amount of common sense. Laws are changed every day to accommodate the changing needs of a society. Gay marriage is a movement whose time has come.
Argument #10: “Being gay is a choice. They can choose to be straight if they want to get married.”
Response: First of all who would CHOOSE to be gay in today’s world? To what end? Who would CHOOSE to be ridiculed by society, abandoned by their own families and friends, have their lives threatened? Who would CHOOSE to be victims of violence and persecution? I have gay friends who live in fear every day of losing their jobs if they come out. Who would CHOOSE that? I had a friend whose parents offered him a larger sum of money to “renounce his gayness.” I have watched friends forced to live a secret life and tell their families they have a “roommate” for years because they don’t feel a lesbian/gay partnership would be accepted. I watched a friend die of AIDS unable to tell his own family what he was dying of! Can you even for one moment understand that struggle? I know people who for YEARS struggled to be something they were simply not…straight…and when they could finally (after of course accepting that they will likely lose their family and friends) come out they blossomed into who they truly are and who they were created to be. I dated a guy who was struggling with what his parents and his religion told him was right and who he was deep inside. One day he broke down and cried saying that he has tried for years to date women but it was becoming increasingly more evident that he just had no attraction to women. He told me he could never tell his family because they made it very clear that they would never accept a gay son. We sat on his floor and talked all night long. He expressed how much he wanted to get married and have children and how if he admitted he was gay that hope was over for him FOREVER. I was the first person he uttered those words to…”I’m gay”. I saw in his eyes how terrified he was at that reality. I saw how broken he was and how desperate he was to just “be normal”. How every moment since he was a young child he knew he was different and tried to change and deny who he was but just couldn’t any longer. There was no doubt in my mind after that moment that being gay is NOT a choice. I am still friends with him to this day and proud to say he has found love with a wonderful man…who he shares his life with but still, after all these years, can’t marry.
Argument #11: “God doesn’t approve of gays and they will not be accepted into heaven.”
Response: You know this how? Because God spoke to you? I am pretty sure if you have a little sit down with the creator of the universe he would probably be more concerned with you demoralizing his creations! After all God doesn’t make mistakes right? Everyone is created in his image right? I think maybe God would tell you that you have been put on this earth to learn love and acceptance and he is disappointed that you have been unable or unwilling to open your heart to do that and worse yet using his name to justify it all!! He would tell you that there is NO path through hatred to love. I think you would be humbled and embarrassed by your bigotry in his mighty presence.
It is absurd to me that we are even having this discussion. It breaks my heart to see my friends lives destroyed by this. If you would for one moment take the time to get to know someone who is gay (although I am sure you already do but they are too afraid to tell you they are for fear of your severe judgement!)…if you would open your eyes and look into their lives and see how they have been mistreated and persecuted. If you could see the pain that you inflict every day on people you don’t even know, you would change your mind.
Many years ago I was in Costa Rica (a very gay friendly country) and I sat intently watching a male couple across from us. I looked at how they held hands and laughed and looked lovingly into each other’s eyes. I couldn’t help but think, as I sat there with my own husband holding his hand how lucky I was to be able to openly embrace him…to wear his ring as a symbol of our love and fidelity. When I saw that couple…their hands were our hands, their laughter was our laughter. I thought of all my gay friends back home and how to enjoy that simple pleasure they would need to LEAVE THE COUNTRY. It saddened me so deeply that a country like ours with all its wealth and power would choose to use it to step on an entire class of its citizens... to not allow them to openly love, when we certainly allow people to openly hate. A country, by the way, founded by people fleeing from oppression. The same oppression we now impose on others! And what is even sadder is that by being a society that denies its citizens the right to show love in an open forum we actually hurt ourselves…ALL of us. When I was in Europe in high school (MANY years ago) we noticed that people would walk down the street holding hands. Just regular heterosexual people. Maybe best friends…maybe a mom and grown daughter. Men and women alike were seen engaging in this behavior. We thought it was so cool that WE started to hold hands with each other. I remember how liberating it felt to be able to express my deep connected friendship by holding hands and have no fear that anyone would view it as inappropriate. Upon returning to the U.S. I remember a conversation with a friend of how sad it was that we can’t hold hands anymore. This was a totally friendship based 100% non-sexual form of showing our feelings for each other but something that would NEVER happen in this country because everyone is so homophobic. By making such a production of what society considers “inappropriate love” we condition OURSELVES to hesitate to express our own love…as mother daughter, father son, friend to friend. THAT is a loss to ALL of us. If you think it isn’t then you have never held the hand of a friend and if it makes you shudder to think of it, THAT is how conditioned you have become to society’s judgment. And to not even be able to consider showing affection to someone you care about is just sad…for you. Because I know the feeling of being able to fully express emotion and affection and it is liberating and beautiful.
But at the very heart of this issue is something much deeper than just affection and marriage vows. Anyone can take vows…in front of God or otherwise. It’s now 100% about those vows being recognized by the government…because along with a marriage license comes a recognition that now by law you are one. If my husband was in an accident or dying I, as his wife, would be able to visit him in the hospital, to hold his hand, to share our last moments on this earth together. I would also be able to assist in making decisions about his care and to carry out his wishes. But NONE of that would be allowed if we were a gay couple. I could be with my partner for 50 years and at the end of their life a parent who disowned them could come back and make care decisions for them! And worse, by LAW I would not even be recognized as family and could be denied access to even SEE my partner!! Anyone who thinks that is fair…my god I can’t even fathom someone thinking that is OK!! Especially not someone reading this who I have accepted into my life and called FRIEND! I am begging you…pleading with you to see how inhumane this is. When you rise up against the gay community you fill in all the gaps of love with hatred. No one is denying your rights to your religion and to your beliefs. They are only asking for the respect and dignity of being treated as an equal by the law. Who are you to deny that to them?
A very vivid memory of mine is my dear friend David and the day he told me he was gay. He said “I have something I need to tell you and when I do you will probably not want to be my friend anymore…” It breaks my heart that in his mind even for a second he wondered if my love and friendship could stand against the pressures of a society hell bent on destroying anyone who was admittedly gay. I will remember that moment as long as I live. I will also remember my response to him. I told him I thought he was going to tell me something awful! I told him that I love and accept him exactly as he is and that my feelings for him have not and will not change. I then hugged him. And over 20 years later we are still friends and I embrace him and all that he is every day. What is so sad to me is thinking of ALL my gay friends and knowing that each and every one of them had that moment with me…where they faced me and wondered how they were going to tell me. Where they took a deep breath and pushed the words from the very bottom of their souls and then waited as if their very breath was frozen, for my reply. My reply has always been and will always be one of acceptance and love. And I thank all of them for trusting me enough in that one moment to share with me all they truly are because your lives are all a value and blessing to my soul. I stand up for you now in this moment. And one day very soon, I will stand beside you when the walls of the bigots fragile kingdom come crashing down around them and history rights itself. A day when we will finally be equals in the eyes of the law…Because we have ALWAYS been equals in my eyes AND the eyes of MY God.