one of my facebook friends posted the above link and i responded to her friends who dissented with Christian faith-based opposition to marriage equality.
i posted this comment:
We live in a country where the government (state) and religion (church) are incredibly separate. That is literally said in the constitution. Marriage as an institution has existed in many different forms throughout history, and has largely symbolized an exchange of lands (dowry) or cross-familial partnerships in feudal times. At this end, marriage is hardly just a christian thing, and whether it is or not doesn’t matter in this country because religion cannot influence policy.
Even if that line of reasoning doesn’t satisfy you, take a second and read this: I’m a gay man, and I was raised southern baptist. My parents never forced my brother nor I to go to church. We never really wanted to. My brother, who is 29 (I’m 21) goes to church with his family now because he chose to do so. I don’t have any interest, but I have plenty of christian friends and especially christian family members. But when I came out to my parents, I faced the whole “hate the sin love the sinner” thing. That doesn’t really work, you see, because in the same way that being straight is apart of your identity, being gay is apart of mine. At first, I heard my parents saying “We love you, but that’s unnatural/immoral/wrong/etc”, I was relieved to think that they still loved me despite how ‘wrong’ my sexuality seemed to be. There’s something commendable about the Christian faith when it comes to committing to your beliefs and faith when you face adversity, but we are all people trying to occupy the same space and find happiness and meaning in life. Not allowing a large group of people in this country to get married might seem like a small thing, but when you think about the journeys that almost everyone in the LGBT community has had to traverse, including me, when we come out to family or friends and we are met with “hate the sin, love the sinner”, and we reach a point where we can’t distinguish between our “sin” and ourselves, it doesn’t matter how much our loved ones say that they love us.
Now, imagine if the people who raised you and told you that they loved you their entire lives all of a sudden sounded disingenuous? That no matter how honest they seemed when they said those 3 words to you, that there was a part of you that they could not and will not accept or at least try to understand?
All we want in the LGBT community is for people to just love us the way that everyone else is loved. Some of us need marriage to be legalized for us to feel that way, because that means society writ large may be ready to accept or try to understand us. or in the very least, acknowledge us with friendship. Some of us need our parents to finally come around despite their faith. I may be agnostic, but I believe there isn’t a God in this world worth believing in who would refuse one of his children that.
So when you look upon your brothers, sisters, and transgendered kin, try to find the sorrow in their eyes from parental and/or societal rejection and the internal demonization of their sexuality based on external responses they receive. Forget what they do in the bedroom, forget who they can fall in love with (and possibly be most hurt by), and realize that they are just walking through life in tandem with you, and you can help make them smile.