I live in one of the states that just voted on and passed legalizing gay marriage. Hooray! It has caused quite a stir among some folks. Recently I was informed by a Facebook “friend” that before this election 32 states had gay marriage on the ballot and 32 states voted against it. This is a “friend” who voted against gay marriage and was quite proud to admit that. There are so many people, like him, and I just can’t wrap my head around it!
What prompted the Facebook debate in which I’ve been engaged, was a post I made about having been accosted by one of these jackasses on my way into my polling place. Walking in to vote with my two boys, I passed an older man at the entrance of the building. He said to me, “I encourage you to vote against the gay marriage question.” My response was, “There is no way in HELL I am going to vote against it.” I said it quite loudly and forcefully as was evidenced by the shocked look on my 4 year old’s face (because Mommy had just said a curse word-oops)! Was this guy kidding me? He stood there proudly and continued to accost others as they walked by. I wanted to punch that ignorant bigot in the face!
Why would anyone be proud of denying another the right to love who they choose and to unify that love through marriage? If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get gay married! Don’t go to a gay person’s wedding ceremony if you ever get invited to one. Why take people’s rights away just because you are uncomfortable with them?
I don’t like religion. Am I going to support a movement to take away people’s rights to worship because I am not a believer? No, I’m not. I’m just not going to practice religion myself. I couldn’t care less what other people do. This country would be much better off if everyone focused on themselves and stopped trying to control and pass judgment on everyone else. Last time I checked, the only person that is supposed to pass judgment is god. Good thing I don’t believe in him because it looks like there are plenty of people lining up to take over his job.
My parents raised me to be open-minded, accepting, and to love unconditionally. They also taught me to respect other people’s differences and to never pass judgment on anyone. They taught me that being prejudiced is wrong. I’m sorry that so many people were not taught those values. I respect myself and other people enough to know that everyone is different and that it’s not my job or my place to tell people what they can and can’t do. Funny that America is supposed to be “the home of the free,” yet basic freedoms, such as marriage, are denied to people that aren’t part of “the mainstream.”
It’s amazes me how much prejudice still exists in this country. This is 2012, yet so many people have outdated ways of thinking. Prejudice is fueled by fear; the fear of change, the fear of things being different, the unknown, being uncomfortable, the fear of having our beliefs challenged. Prejudice and fear are the same. In order for this country to progress, we need to face our fears head on, rather than trying to pretend that they aren’t there and sweeping things under the rug. Change is inevitable, so embrace it.
I have heard people say that they think gay marriage “dilutes the institution of marriage,” Obviously gay people don’t believe that and they want to be able to get married. They have been fighting for it since the 1970s! Why do so many derive such pleasure from causing others such pain? If you don’t like something, no matter what it is, then don’t do it, but don’t take that right away from others.
I sure hope that if those people have children, one of them isn’t gay because it would be sad for their child to not be accepted for who they are and for a parent to not want their child to be happily married. I also hope those people never find out any of their friends or family members are gay for the same reason. If one of my boys is gay, I will love him just the same and I will stand up at his wedding and love his husband too! That’s what unconditional love is about and as human beings we should all love and accept each other unconditionally.
I am not intolerant of people who believe that the definition of marriage is ‘man and woman’. What I am intolerant of and what I am arguing about is that just because someone disagrees with the definition of marriage doesn’t mean they should deny people the right. Have different beliefs, disagree, but accept. There are men and women (some of them gay) fighting for our freedoms everyday. Why should we be able to pick and choose which ones they get to enjoy?
Finally, what I really want to know is, why do we even have to vote on this? Why is government having any part in deciding who can marry? It’s the same question I posed in my post about the Pro-choice debate. Clearly, no one will be able to change those people’s minds on anything, because closed minds can’t be changed. If you are one of those people that would vote against legalizing gay marriage, I’m not trying to change your mind, but I am trying to get you to reflect on what kind of person you are and ask yourself what you are so afraid of?