Friday, November 21, 2003


OK. Some governing bodies have done the outrageous and unthinkable. “Them Gays” might get a chance at having their marriage recognized by law. People are frenzied over this. I imagine some have even lost sleep over it, fearing that the country, nay, the world has gone to hell. I would say, ‘gone to pot’, but that’s not the controversy du jour.

This whole issue has so much unpleasant emotion, I can feel it. Like those mystical, clairvoyant Jedi who know by feeling when there is “a great disturbance in the force“, I can really feel the hatred that has been brought to the surface in our collective lives. I sense the waves of panic that this has caused, the recoiling of the righteous. I am as aware of this fear, as I am of the November chill that creeps and settles in my house at night.

I can’t help but think that the imagined threat of gay rights is similar to what citizens have protested against since Civil War days; and privately professed to be open-minded. “Oh I treat my coloreds perfectly fine. I’d never think of mistreating old Sam, why he grooms those horses like they were his children, he runs errands for me all the time, and he knows his place.” “I’d be lost without my Beulah, she polishes like a dream, she’s the best cook in the whole county, she watches out for my girls, and she knows her place.

Yes, that’s it. Knowing one’s place. Never daring to want more. Being ever so grateful for every crumb of privilege. No expectations beyond some empty platitudes of progression. It’s All Good! Diversity in the workplace! Jobs in the Military! Don’t ask, Don’t Tell. That’s right - under no circumstance - don’t ever tell.

How much more ‘telling’ can you get than a public and legal acknowledgement of marriage? I know I am publicly professing to be open-minded and a seeker of equal rights, yet if I’m asked to imagine the perfect family, I close my eyes and see a white man and woman, and 2.5 white children. It’s what I know; it’s what I’m comfortable with. Is that real? Is that right? No, it’s just my comfort zone. I think that’s the problem. Folks feel threatened by what they are not comfortable with. They don’t like to be reminded in such a public way that not everyone thinks, acts, or loves the same.

But how different is it really? Besides the obvious, what else is so different between homo- and hetero-sexual marriages? Both would have love and commitment, trust, all the good things. And, for better or worse; maybe money worries or illness. Same sex marriages would not be spared the real life heartaches. Unless of course, the couples want to make the marriage work. It’s worth considering, that a same sex couple might work harder at the relationship, knowing that the sanctity of marriage is a rare, hard-won privilege.

Do you know how much money is spent in this country in the name of love? I don’t know, but it’s a lot. Valentine’s Day, wedding dresses, champagne, photography, teddy bears, chocolates, flowers. Not just money, but time, effort. We embrace love; we are in love with love. Do you know how much money (and time and effort) is spent in the dissolution of love? Lawyers, private investigators, court time. That part of the fairytale is not as welcome as the thrill of love, but it’s pretty damn acceptable in polite society. I’m not an opponent of divorce. It does happen too often, and too easily, but I believe that it is a necessary practice.

So, I’m all confused and befuddled. What in God’s Good Name is the problem? Oh, wait the Bible says homosexuality is wrong. “Them Gays” are sinners. They and those crazy tree-hugging lawmakers should all burn in hell. Hmm, the Bible says so. The Bible says a lot of things, some pretty good stuff actually. What though, is worth all the alarm? If you feel your neighbor sins, not against you, but against God, or himself, then get out that Bible and pray for him. Some are using God’s Word to prove their point against homosexuality, and I am sure they would be happy to quote me chapter and verse, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. And I honestly might not have a rebuttal. I don’t’ understand all of what God intends or wants from us, but I do know this: There is no divine plan for intolerance.

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