Saturday, June 27, 2015
Today I am grateful the people of my nation can agree to disagree. I was busy gadding about town with friends, then reading my evil book all day yesterday, so I missed seeing the news and did not go on Facebook until after 8 p.m.. Wow!
When I saw that social media was on fire with news and opinions about the Supreme Court’s ruling that individual states cannot ban same sex marriages. . .by law, I was elated! The faces of my many friends who have struggled with this issue flashed through my consciousness like a film on fast forward. I considered for one second not rendering my opinion. But that’s not my style. A long time ago I was a chameleon, changing my beliefs to suit whomever I was speaking with. No more. I am an open book and I have a right to my opinion as much as every other person in the world.
Wow! Again! Wow! I never thought I would see this day in my lifetime. My gay friends, some of whom have been in committed relationships for over 35 years never thought they would see this day. I am gob-smacked with joy and I know I’m not alone because many, many people are celebrating.
But not all of them. Some people believe that this decision is unconstitutional. . . and that it is the beginning of the fall of our society. . .that we are entering into a period of chaos and loose morals. Really? Where have you been? Do you watch the news? One argument is that, according to the Bible, a marriage is to be between a man and a woman and should remain so. That type of marriage is a religious teaching, not a law.
In by-gone eras, marriage was not a contractual agreement. Governments created the necessity for licenses to marry, not the church. People jumped over a broom or said, “I marry you” three times and it was a done deal. Now there are tax breaks and insurance breaks and division of property issues if you’re married, that gay people were never allowed to share in before. As my gay friends age, they know that although they are the one cleaning up the messes of their ill partner and holding them when they cry, legally they have no rights if their significant other becomes incapacitated or dies. They are not considered next-of-kin because they don’t have a piece of paper. That’s wrong.
I understand the arguments on both sides. Discussions are heated. There seems to be no gray area on this issue. It’s black or white. For or against. There is very little fence sitting.
But so were the issues of slavery and women’s rights to vote. Many people were against change about these issues for religious, social and moral reasons, too. The fight for rights goes way, way back. Not so long ago, there were powerful people who succeeded in burning in barbaric ovens anyone who did not look exactly like they did, or believe in the same religion that they did. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. Any sane person knows it was wrong. Yet there are those among us who still feel that way on the inside, even if they are not verbalizing it outwardly. I feel sorry for them. I cannot live with hate in my bones. It’s too exhausting and sad.
Our society is not a straight line from point A to point Z, nor should it be. If it remains flexible we will not break. We need the bends and turns to be able to morph into a community where ALL people feel accepted and respected. . .and share the same inalienable rights for the pursuit of happiness. If that means equal voting rights, the end of racism and gay marriage, then I am on board! Love is love. It knows no boundaries.
People who oppose the Supreme Court ruling are angry. Those who support it are happy. We are magnetically polarized by our differing opinions. That’s okay. That’s called being alive! I have no desire to get into an argument with anyone to try and change their minds. I expect the same in return and don’t want them to try and change my mind, either.
I am firm in my JOY and no amount of rhetoric or dogma will make me cave. On this issue, like many others, we might have to respectfully agree to disagree. As for me? I’m pulling a Marie Antoinette. . .”Let ‘em eat cake!”