Rights for everyone

November 3rd, 2008

There is¬†absolutely¬†no reason for there to be a debate over gay marriage. This isn’t like abortion where the life of an unborn child is at stake*. This is about living in a land of freedoms open to all the citizens of America.

Christians have no right whatsoever to be against two women or two men who love each other to join together in holy matrimony. If you worship God and try to follow the teachings of Jesus, he would not be happy with your treatment of your fellow brothers and sisters; he would be sad because you have a choice to treat others as you want to be treated.

This is not just a religious thing, we must all treat others fairly. We live in a country founded by people who were pissed off because they were treated like children and given no rights. And when we grew up as a country and confronted our own hypocritical treatment of ethnic and racial minorities, we took it upon ourselves to be accepting of everyone.

When I moved to Massachusetts over three years ago, it wasn’t because I suddenly gained the right to marry whoever I wanted. But I don’t want it any other way; at least all loving adults are treated the same by law here. It should be that way anywhere else in the United States.

On Tuesday, California’s citizens will be voting to keep the rights given to them by courts earlier this year. Even though most of us don’t live there, we need them to have the right of open marriage for everyone. Why? Because the more states that are in step with the rights granted us by the Declaration of Independence, the more that will follow. We all have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – that’s for everyone. In the end we’re all humans, and we’re all in this together.

Growing up in Iowa, I tried hard to surround myself with people who accepted me for who I am. People who I could tell that I was gay, and nothing would change. But there were always people who weren’t so accepting, because they didn’t know how to deal with it, or they were taught to hate. They may have treated me badly, but I forgive them. Acceptance takes time.

The treatment I received gave me a complex. I felt I had to bury my identity it to almost everyone for fear that things would change and I’d be treated differently. You had to either have known me for a long time, or be gay yourself to gain access to the knowledge. But fuck it. It’ll take time to be open but I’m not hiding anymore. You have no reason to hate me for being gay. You can hate me for not liking your favorite band or thinking you’re a prick, but you can’t hate me for something I have no control over.

It may be different for me because some day I may want to marry another man, but we all must stick up for each others rights. Boston is so diverse that nearly everyone I know is a minority of some sort. And it would hurt me for them to be treated differently. Some of their ancestors were unjustly persecuted and denied their rights, and I won’t let that happen again. It’s the same thing, though – do you really think we should be selective in treatment of law-abiding people who aren’t trying to hurt others? No.

Eight years of bigoted conservatism is more than enough.

It’s time for America to walk the walk.

I guess this post was about more than just gay marriage. Surprise!

*I was taught that as a man I have no say over abortion. It’s not my choice and never will be. Women are the only ones to make a decision on abortion, so I’m keeping my mouth shut!

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