1) I’m really glad the election stuff is over. While I don’t agree with some of Obama’s politics, I am really excited and proud of the country for what this means for our history. However, I am disgusted and saddened by those who would suggest that anyone who didn’t vote for Obama is racist, stupid and hateful. Apparently, we have forgotten that there were politics involved – we don’t all agree on politics. If we did there wouldn’t be two parties, bickering and fighting. Instead, we would all be holding hands, swaying from side to side and singing “I’d like to teach the world to sing.”
2) I don’t live in California anymore. I lived there the first time the Same-Sex Marriage issue was on the ballot. Of course, we all know what happened. Then a few judges basically made the ban on those marriages null and the assertion was it wouldn’t affect anyone but those who wanted to get married. Now it lands on the ballot again, has the same result and, of course, everyone is pissed. People who don’t support gay marriage are called bigoted and hateful. Is it really that black and white? I don’t think so.
If a person’s reason for being against same sex unions is for no reasons other than homophobia, then yes, it’s bigoted and hateful. If a person has a more well-thought out viewpoint it’s unreasonable and small-minded to consider them hateful and unfeeling. Though, I do admit, putting the fear of being called a bigot into someone can be enough to entice many people to keep their mouths shut, which is sad. One of the great beauties of this country is having the freedom to think and say what you please. Too often we try to silence the so-called haters with hate. It’s hypocritical.
So, that being said, here is where I’m at on the same-sex marriage issue. At first blush, I honestly couldn’t find any problem with it. Who am I to tell someone else what they can and can’t do in their private lives? The line that goes along with this issue is that it doesn’t hurt anyone and only involves those involved in the marriage. If that is true, then, sure, go for it. I have no issues. However, thinking about it further . . . what’s next . . . then I see some potential problems that really haven’t been addressed and will cause contention. As I get older I stop making snap opinions on issues I know little or nothing about until I have time to let that issue percolate and fester in my brain. I pick up things here and there and eventually I have an official opinion. I used to date someone who thought that everyone had to have an opinion about everything at all times or that person was stupid. He is starting to seem a little dumb to me now. Likewise, making opinions simply because it tows the line with a chosen political or social identity is the lazy way out. Does anyone agree wholeheartedly with liberalism or conservatism or Democratic or Republican principals? I seriously hope not, or that person isn’t being honest with himself – these are just titles – words – ideas created artifically to create a collective. We’re too individual for that to happen. In my experience, when that happens it’s a laziness or fear. I’ve been there. Usually when I refuse to listen to a specific politican’s speech or comentator on TV and there is a lot of pent up hate, it’s me manifesting my fear that person might say something I agree with which will disrupt my belief system. Boo!
Anyway, off the preaching stand now and back to my point. The pitfalls I see with same-sex marriage issues come from the promise that it won’t affect anyone else. How is that possible? It’s not. Very few things we do have no actual impact on anyone else. So, to suggest that this shouldn’t matter to anyone else is fairly short-sighted.
I recently read the story of an OBGYN in Los Angeles who was being sued for discrimination for declining to inseminate a newly-wed lesbian couple because it was in serious and direct opposition to his personal religious beliefs. He was willing to refer the couple to a doctor who would perform the procedure and he offered to provide care to them during the pregnancy. Not good enough. Where do we draw the line? If someone’s religious beliefs conflict with what I want them to do for me can I take them to court and force them to do so against their will or suffer the consequences? This is a real situation. It happened. I have read commentary by people on the web who think the lawsuit is ok saying “well, if I ran a business and refused to service Christians, would you think that’s ok.” It’s an interesting point.
If it’s ok to force a doctor to conduct an elective procedure that puts him in conflict with what he believes because it’s not fair to someone? Where do we, as a society, draw the line? Artificial insemination, abortion, euthanasia? Do you think I’m taking this too far? Think it through. You know human nature. We will sue for anything . . . and win. Just Google “frivolous lawsuits” to get an idea. And if the frivolous ones get through, consider that serious issues will make it through too.
Another case in Florida involved a lawsuit against a Catholic adoption agency that wouldn’t give a child to a gay couple. Should the Catholic Church be forced to adopt out children to gay couples? To the Catholic Church, homosexuality is a sin. They don’t consider it a wholesome thing. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, is homosexuality different from other “sinful” lifestyles? Not really. Would we get to the point where precident has been set and they are sued for refusing to give a single male who participates in bestiality a child? I’m not sure. It’s certainly possible. But homosexuality is more mainstream now. It’s normal. The other lifestyles are not normal . . . will they ever be?
How about forcing religious leaders to officiate gay marriages? Is that ok? How about suing because teaching that homosexuality is wrong is hate speech? What about the guy who sued the Bible publishers because the verses that call homosexuality a sin were against his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability? Do we force the churches to stop teaching about homosexuality? Does it suddenly have to be ok?
I think this is a much more complicated issue than it appears on the surface. Many people are against it, not because they hate gay people, but because they recognize that it could change a lot of things that are important to them. Are they small-minded and hateful? No, they’re considering what they think might be the fallout and determining if they’re willing to accept it or not.
But Christina Aguilera says they’re hateful and small-minded. So it must be true. Another hilarious assertion is that the Mormon Church paid for the fight against the prop. Not really. I think the Church is acutely aware of the value of it’s tax-exempt status. I do think that California members of the church probably forked out a bunch of money, which is their right to do.
You make up your own mind. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Just make up your mind thinking the issue through and, regardless of your subsequent stance on the issue, rest well knowing that you made a thoughtful decision.