Every now and then something political really gets my attention and forces me to step up to the plate and put my opinion out there. If you aren’t part of the solution…
I just got back from a 2 week vacation through the southern US. It was beautiful. I’m especially fond of Georgia and South Carolina. But we spent time in North Carolina as well. I listen to what is happening there after the Supreme Court ruling on June 26th, when Gay Marriage was legalized in the United States and I am a little horrified about the future of humans.
Whether you believe being gay or transgendered or bisexual (or anything else considered different) is a choice, illness or something you’re born with, the fact that these people aren’t recognized as PEOPLE in some places makes no sense to me. Even if (humour me) being gay was a choice, that is someone’s son or daughter. Even if it was a choice, no one is forcing others to make the same choice. It’s not going to rub off on you if you get too close.
Now, let’s imagine that it is not a choice, and in fact the way people are born. That is still someone’s son or daughter. The fact that there is a subgroup, a “they” or “those people” even bothers me. I used “they” above, so am somewhat guilty myself, but really am only proving my own point. Why does there need to be a distinction? Why can’t a person simply be a person based on their contribution to society, their commitment to their family or to their friends, their intelligence, charm, sense of humour or any other number of things. Why do “they” need a subgroup? That’s the part of gay rights that bothers me. It’s the part of the civil rights movement that bothers me. It’s the part of every other type of segregation or hatred that bothers me. I see people. Just people. “They” are just people and I’m baffled that it still needs to be a discussion.
So the issue of gay marriage being against people’s religious beliefs really confuses me. I am an atheist, so people will say I have no values to argue. However I feel quite the opposite. With no preconceived belief system I am able to make rational, non-emotional judgements. If I was a Christian, and believed that being gay was a sin, how do I have any right to refuse service to someone who is gay? They haven’t forced me to be gay. They haven’t made me do anything against my beliefs. My values are related to my actions, for and about myself.
If I didn’t like people with blond hair, or with blue skin, or with long fingernails, it wouldn’t change my values to provide service to those people. Someone’s sexual orientation is about as relevant to me as the color of my mailman’s jacket. Someone’s ability to be a good person and a kind person is valuable to me however.
For a change, people need to take a look at themselves and realize that hate only breeds more hate. And hating for no reason other than lack of understanding needs to change. Before you go accusing me of being anti-religion, or devaluing people’s beliefs, understand that I encourage everyone to have their own religious beliefs, or none. And I strongly believe in their ability to do so without judgement, punishment or ridicule. I also support their ability to have religious beliefs and not be discriminated against. Mainly because their religious beliefs are about as relevant to me as the color of my mailman’s jacket (as long as they aren’t forced on me).
Religious freedom is not about your right to discriminate against people who have different beliefs. It’s about your right to have your own beliefs and practice them for yourself. Period. Discriminating against someone under the cover of religious freedom just makes you an ass.
So if you’re out there, and you’re gay or straight or a unicorn or a minion or a mailman (nice jacket!) or a man or a woman, know that there are those of us out here who only care about you as a person and that the biggest part of your identity is who you choose to be every day when you leave the house, not one small part of your identity regarding who you choose to love. I anxiously await a day when the LGBT movement is a thing of the past. Because at the end of the day, everyone deserves a place they feel safe, and everyone deserves to be loved. I may not say everything right, or politically correct, but it comes from a place of honesty, openness, and a simple belief that all people are equal.
If history is any indication, the sooner we stop judging others, the closer we are to a solution. Since the solution takes many generations to be fully accepted, we should probably get on that, like NOW. In the grand scheme of things, this shouldn’t even be a topic we need to discuss and my hope is that one day we’ll no longer have this dialogue because it won’t be needed. The fact that it took this long for the courts to get to this point is a little embarrassing.
Come on NC, get your shit together.