North Carolina passes a ban on gay marriage and there is a backlash on the social networks. An outpouring of anger and frustration directed toward backward thinking that denies the LGBT community the same rights as we privileged heteros. But then I saw this series of tweets from The Mountain Goats, a band from North Carolina, that reminded me that 30 other states, among them my own dear California, passed anti-gay legislation. (So embarrassing.) It made me aware that backlash against North Carolina in general, isn’t the answer and isn’t going to change anything.
Then today, President Obama states that he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to get married. Great news, right? I hope so. I hope it makes a difference. I hope it doesn’t cost him his presidency. But he’s not the one who can change the state of marriage equality in this nation. There’s only one person who can. You.
It’s so easy to leap onto Facebook and click a “Like” button to show our support of marriage equality. Easy to hop onto to Twitter and retweet a link. But there’s only one kind of support that really matters. Your vote. We’ve got to back our beliefs and our words with action.
But you know what, that’s not why I started to write this blogpost. This post that has nothing to do with voiceover. I’m writing to express my complete bewilderment that marriage equality is even an issue. Why is this an issue?!? How does a committed relationship between two people of the same gender threaten my marriage to my husband? Family Values groups base their anti-gay views on scripture stating that homosexual practices are a moral impurity that violate God’s standards for male-female relations. Okay, if that’s what you believe, that’s fine. But why should civil marriage as recognized by the state be influenced by your religious beliefs? (Separation of Church and State, remember?) I consider myself agnostic, does my marriage threaten marriage between a man and a woman? Or perhaps you (the anti-gay advocate) believe that homosexuality is against nature. News flash: nature is rampant with homosexual activity! It’s true, I read about it on National Geographic.
Or, if you believe the homosexual lifestyle is defined by promiscuous sexual liaisons with no lasting relationships, why aren’t you encouraging homosexuals to marry? Isn’t that more in line with your views of marriage and committed relationships? I’m truly baffled by this idea that the state of marriage is somehow threatened by allowing homosexuals to take part in it. How does it change anything for the worse? How does it make a heterosexual marriage any weaker or less valid? Do you honestly believe that same-sex marriage will eradicate heterosexual marriage? That your daughter will grow up and think, oh to hell with marrying a guy. I’m going to marry a woman, just because I can!, regardless of her sexual orientation?
There’s already so much anger and hatred in the world. Isn’t it better to put more love in the world? I look at the committed relationships of my homosexual friends and they don’t look any different from my marriage. Why is there such a fight to stop this? It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to be part of a race of beings who tell other beings in the same race they are “less than”. And that “less than” thing?, it’s happening on both sides of the argument. We called North Carolina backward. We’re passing memes around that say, “North Carolina: Where you can marry your cousin, just not your gay cousin.” Really? We’re supposed to be smarter than that, right? Don’t we pride ourselves on being enlightened enough to advocate same-sex marriage?
I advocate equal rights for everyone. Gay or straight. Religious or atheist. Purple or green. I want us to treat each other with respect and dignity, whether we agree or not. And if the other side doesn’t hold themselves to this same standard, it’s no excuse for us to relax our own.