Friday, March 29, 2013
My mind has been heavy thinking about some very serious things lately. Our country is in a point of some major political upheavals. I'm concerned about a lot of things, but I'm only going to touch on one of those issues today.
First of all, I am NOT a political person. I don't get into political debates, and I pretty much only vote every four years when the time comes to elect a President. But I watch. I've been deeply saddened by the way my beloved country is straying farther and farther from the way it was set up by our founding fathers. The national debt has skyrocketed to terrifying heights, corruption and favoritism is running rampant, etc.
There is a current issue that has been a really big deal in the social medias these days. I got sucked into another political debate recently - with the gun control issues after the school shooting last December. I posted things on facebook that went along with my beliefs, and I got some flack from some of my friends about it. That's when I stopped. I had figured that my friends would handle those things the way I do. If I don't agree with something, I just scroll past it. If it's something I agree with, I might Like it or even repost it. No debates, no stress, just stating my opinion. I forgot that people don't always think and react the way I do. I learned my lesson. When it comes to heated debates, I'm out of it.
Does that make me a chicken? Maybe. But I've seen too many friendships end over differences of opinion.
Anyway, with the current issue of Gay Marriage, while I'm avoiding posting my opinion on facebook, I can't stay completely quiet on the subject.
I struggled for a long time trying to weigh out my feelings on the subject. I listened to both sides of the argument, but I kept finding myself somewhere in the middle. But WHERE in the middle was I? It really boiled down to a single word to me. "Marriage." What did I personally think marriage was? How did that influence my opinion on this very difficult subject?
Then, I was on facebook one day, and discovered that a friend of mine was online. This was my opportunity. You see, my friend is gay. He is in a very committed, loving relationship and has been quite vocal about the gay marriage issue. So, I brought up the discussion with him.
Heterosexual versus Homosexual. Gay versus Straight. There are different terms for the different sexual orientations. In your opinion, is the issue about the word "Marriage" itself, or would you be content with a different word?
He told me that he uses the term Marriage because it is the most understood term, but he would be perfectly happy to have a Civil Union. He told me that in his opinion, a Civil Union is where the government would protect him and his partner just as if they were a heterosexual couple. Things like being able to be on each other's insurance, the ability to make decisions regarding medical issues, that kind of thing. He feels that churches should have the right to decide if they are going to perform marriages for gay couples or not - but as American citizens, any consenting adult should have all the same civil rights as anyone else.
That was it. That was the first thing in the whole debate that rang true for me. Civil Unions! THAT'S what I believe in. I believe the government should give the same rights to all US citizens - no matter their sexual orientation.
I know there are members of my church who would disagree with me on this, but I have searched my conscience, and I feel perfectly comfortable with my beliefs in this. I see marriage and civil unions as two different things. If there are churches who want to perform marriages between two men or two women just like they do for a man and a woman, that's their business. But I think the government should treat us all equally. The Declaration of Independence says:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
ALL men (or People, for the policially correct) have the right to persue happiness. I have always read that to mean that we have been given the right to persue what it is that makes us happy - as long as what we are doing is not damaging to someone else. Obviously, if your version of happiness means shooting people in the foot, that's not a good thing. But if you just want to have a quiet peaceful life with someone you love, what's the harm in that? My happiness in this world revolves around my beloved husband and our two beautiful children. My friend's happiness revolves around something just as simple. If my friend has the ability to join in a legal union with his partner, who are they hurting? They'll go about their day, doing their jobs, taking care of their pets, creating beauty in the world (you should see my friend's plants!), and most of all - loving each other.
Why should he be punished just because he isn't physically attracted to women?
It's simple. He shouldn't.
Posted by MTGrace at 1:49 PM