I must admit it feels strange listening to so-called leaders, religious and political, talk about the dangers of Gay marriage. Having been in a relationship with Allen for 28 years before we were legally able to marry—which we did in 2008—makes this seem surreal, at times infuriating, at other times mainly ridiculous.
Just imagine, if you can, turning on the news and hearing public leaders debate whether or not your marriage to your spouse is endangering the Institution of Marriage, harming children, western civilization, or, that the public has the right to vote on whether your marriage is valid or not. (Life as reality TV?). Or, as The Pope recently stated about Gay marriage, that your marriage threatens the existence of the human race! Your loving relationship must be very dangerous and powerful to threaten all that. Remember, none of these people know you, but they are publically condemning you and your relationship.
Whether such beliefs come from a distorted religious ideology, because of political or financial opportunism, or some more personal ignorance, fear or hatred, these people use their prominent public positions to attack not only Gay marriage, but often Gay people themselves, ourselves. In the recent series of ‘debates’ between Republican candidates for the US, each time the candidates seem to need to affirm their agreement to condemn Gay Marriage.
There are larger issues behind this of course. Should there be a separation of Church and State? Should marriage be only a religious institution or civil or only of one kind? This is also a political ‘wedge issue,’ something to fire up ‘the base,’ for Republicans and Democrats. Finally, I also suspect there are major powers that prefer we argue about ‘social issues’ then recognize the growing corporate control over our major institutions including government.
But for me, and people like me, it still remains a personal issue. While most people who buy into these distorted beliefs are basically as good or bad as anyone else, they are willing to sacrifice us rather than challenge the illogic and fear mongering of their leaders.
Since I am also a person, it also makes me wonder just whom have I been willing to let be insulted or deprived of rights, so as not to have to face some disturbing issues, powerful leaders or from fear of being attacked myself. I know it has happened in the past.
How about you? How do you feel witnessing these ‘pronouncements?’ Are you willing to share how you have struggled with speaking up in ways you feel good about or even ways you have not done so, about this or other issues of bigotry or scapegoating?