Thursday, November 13, 2008

Love, not H8

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If you hadn't heard by now, California voters voted in favor of Proposition 8 last Tuesday. Prop 8 eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry. The passage of this ballot proposition has angered many gays and lesbians. Protests have taken place across the country, and lawsuits have been filed in California on the grounds that the proposition is a revision, not an amendment. A revision requires a 2/3 vote in the legislature or a constitutional convention. The California Supreme Court will make the decision. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken out against Prop 8:

"It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," he said about the same-sex marriage ban. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."

And Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on the matter on Monday's Countdown asked the question: "This is what your religion tells you to do?"

WWJD, people. Love and acceptance. Are these not things Jesus would want us to give to others? "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Yep, that's in the Bible. But I guess we only love our neighbors if they are hetero.

What it comes down to for me is that this isn't an issue for Christians to decide. What difference does it make to them whether gays and lesbians marry? It has no effect on anyone else in this country. If a person doesn't approve of gay marriage, then he or she shouldn't marry someone of the same sex. Problem solved. If we're going to start talking about "protecting marriage," then maybe these Christians should start looking at the hetero marriages in which one spouse is cheating on the other. That's not very Christian. Brother, can we get a proposition on the ballot to say that both spouses in a marriage need to be monogamous? Amen. Keep it in your pants.

Of course, some Republicans are guilty of not keeping it in their pants (Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuiliani, John McCain, Tom DeLay). Yet, Christians still love them some Republicans. Do as we say, not as we do. Looks like the Christians only want to protect marriage from homosexuals. They don't seem to care what the heterosexuals are doing to marriage. First marriage divorce rates in the U.S. are at 41%. Wow, way to protect marriage there!

If Christians are so interested in making sure marriage's name isn't dragged through the mud, why ban gays and lesbians from getting married? They are only making marriage look better. How can same-sex couples coming out of city hall with big smiles on their faces after getting married hurt marriage's image? Marriage shouldn't be about the who but the why. It shouldn't be about two men getting married or a man and a woman tying the knot. It should be about the love those two people have for each other to make that commitment.

No one is asking the Christian Church to start marrying same-sex couples. Just leave well enough alone. You go your way, they will go theirs. Let's not forget that before 1967, whites and blacks couldn't marry. The Lovings of Virginia were sentenced to one year in jail for marrying, with the sentence suspended as long as they left the state of Virginia. It was their case (Loving v. Virginia) that ended the ban on interracial marriages in the U.S. The Court in Loving stated that "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival . . ." In 2007, Mildred Loving said:

"Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the 'wrong kind of person' for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights."

Nowadays, I don't think people could imagine a time when blacks and whites couldn't marry. I hope someday we'll look back on the uproar over gay marriage and say the same thing. I really think this is the civil rights movement of our time. Back in the 1950s and 60s, it was about equality for blacks. Now, it's about equality for gays and lesbians. Prop 8 was a setback, but it shouldn't be the end. It won't be easy, but all men were created equal and have certain unalienable rights, the pursuit of happiness is one. Keep pursuing happiness. It can be achieved.

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