I read a fascinating article from Newsweek.com today, after a friend posted the link on Facebook. As a liberal, it was amazing to me to see some of the very same arguments I have for why same-sex marriage should be made legal (& why I do not understand the rampant intolerance of same-sex couples) coming from the Conservative side of the aisle. The article is very thought-provoking, and I would encourage you to read it, no matter what your thoughts on the subject. I’m all for looking at any issue from all angles – and yes, I do mean any issue.
Here’s a link to the article: http://www.newsweek.com/id/229957/page/1
I’m sure some people think that I “just don’t get it,” or that I’m merely just going straight to Hell. Well, that’s no news to me – if there is a Hell, and it’s what the majority of the South believe it is – then I have a first-class ticket waiting for me. But, you see, though I’m not a religious person I try my best to live a good, kind, and honest life. I actually live by the principles that I grew up believing to be the principles of Jesus – at least the Jesus I learned about in Sunday school. That Jesus seems to be a lot different than the Jesus that I hear so many people referring to now. I’m confused as to when that change occurred, and what Jesus actually thinks about it.
I can honestly say that I have more friends in monogamous, loving, faithful same-sex relationships than I do in monogamous, loving, faithful heterosexual marriages. And I don’t think that’s just a fluke. I have friends, schoolmates, and co-workers who have been divorced more times than I have fingers on one hand. Some of them never spend any time together; some of them are miserable and have many lovers on the side; some of them hate each other and stay together “for the kids.” As a child who grew up in a home where there was a lot of discourse (let’s just call it that), I will never understand the whole idea of staying together for the kids. I was so happy when my parents got divorced – and I know they were both much happier as well to move on and pursue their lives in a way that made them both happy. Which, in turn, made me much happier.
I’m not saying I’m perfect or that my marriage is a glittering, shiny Disney movie – but who wants that? I love my husband very much, and I can’t imagine life without him. He’s my best friend and I’m always restless when we are apart for too long. We’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, for 6 years to have a child and I don’t have too many more years left to try. I get frustrated when I see couples who are miserable and hateful to each other having umpteen children, and I wonder why they think that’s a good environment to keep raising children in. But I digress . . .
My point is that same-sex couples are almost always together because they have a deep love, respect, and friendship with one another. To come out as a homosexual in this country today is not an easy task, and no one would undertake such a feat just on a whim. Same-sex couples have to struggle to be accepted as a couple. They have to put up with so much discrimination and judgement from others. They have to really want to be together to be strong enough to put up with all of these societal pressures & discriminations. (And no – it’s not a choice!) Yes, this is the case with many heterosexual couples, too. The difference is that it’s legal to get married if you are a hetero couple. If you are of the same sex, you’re stuck in a relationship in which you cannot be legally recognized as a married couple, and your partner, in most cases, cannot be recognized as a beneficiary if something happens to you, or as the person to contact about life or death issues should they arise – because you are not legally a “family member.” This is unfair and does not promote the “Christian” values that I grew up believing in.
Let’s see: What did the Founding Fathers have to say about this nation (the one under God)? The people of this country, no matter their political affiliation love those Founding Fathers, right?
From the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
So, our Creator endowed us with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Does that include everyone? Well, it says that all men are created equal, but that’s those Fathers talking, not our Creator. And that was a long time ago – surely they didn’t foresee all of this rampant homosexuality today!! I mean, really!
Okay, forget the Founding Fathers. What examples are we supposed to follow that have been attributed to Jesus? Let’s see – I know that Jesus loves us, because the Bible tells us so. So, he loves all of us? Then, he says to love one another as he has loved us. Does that mean only straight people? Aren’t we all supposed to be “sinners”? The Bible says: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Okay – I get that. But it also says that none of the following will get into Heaven: the sexually immoral, adulterers, the greedy, thieves, etc. Yes, I am cherry-picking verses from the Bible, but most people arguing any given issue do this, as well. There are so many contradictions in and related to the Bible, that it can really be used to argue for or against any issue. So, in my opinion, this makes the whole Biblical argument moot.
How about the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is most commonly attributed to Jesus in the Book of Matthew, but it has roots in many world cultures and is viewed as a way to resolve conflict in a great number of them. The Golden Rule is used by both the religious and the secular as a standard rule of ethics and human rights. And variations on the rule appear in Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Baha’i Faith, and many other spiritual communities, as well as in Humanism. An ethical rule of thumb that is universal for so many people in so many different cultures and religious beliefs – and there is no negative connotation to this “rule” at all. You want to be treated well, so you should treat others well. I want to be “accepted” for myself, warts and all; who am I to be intolerant of someone else, warts and all?
Now, this is where it gets hairy for many folks. “So, are we supposed to be loving & kind & accepting of mass murderers? Child molesters? Those who harm animals?” Well, it’s all relative, I suppose, just like anything else. There are exceptions to every rule, even the Golden one, depending on your outlook & belief system. However – for the most part, I cannot imagine very many exclusions to loving others, as you would like to be loved. There is NO way that a mass murderer can be equated with someone who loves someone else of the same sex.
It’s all really a vicious circle, because many will state that homosexuality is an abomination, and they should repent, blah, blah, blah. But, if that is the case, then anyone who has committed adultery, premarital sex, greed, theft, etc. is also a sinner and should repent. The only difference is that adulterers, greedy people, sexually active people, and thieves all make that CHOICE to perform that sin. If homosexuals make the choice to deny who they really are and what their natural inclination is, they are not being honest with themselves and their nature – which is a sin, right? Honesty is the best policy, etc., etc.
It’s all really relative and a jumbled mass of confusion if you don’t know who you really are, or what you believe. However, I believe that same-sex marriage would only serve to strengthen the institution of marriage. Homosexuals are just like everyone else–they yearn for love and understanding and acceptance. They want a long-term relationship just as much as anyone else, and Lord knows they deserve to have that union recognized in this country for so many reasons.