I had to let my last post regarding my support for Romney/Ryan percolate a bit before I take to turning off a new batch of people. It's how I roll.
So while I still strongly support the GOP ticket for the presidency, I have to be honest about the one and only issue that holds me back from being a pom-pom waving door-to-door knocking volunteer.
The gay problem.
I'm calling it a 'problem' because it causes a problem for me, personally. It is hard to look into the eyes of my gay friends and tell them that I support Romney/Ryan. Is the GOP ticket saying your marriage is not completely equal under the law as mine? yup they are. Is that ok? no, it is not. Do I feel like a schmuck sometimes for aligning with people who think its ok to say that you are not free to love who you want to love? absofreakinglutely.
So though I have very thorough logical, legal, ethical and moral reasons that I believe in marriage equality, I would like to first share with you a story of the friendship (with my friend's blessing) that changed fundamentally who I am and helped formulate my opinion on this issue.
I have always been a conservative republican (I mean, always. We named our dog after Alex P. Keaton and I wept bitterly when Clinton beat Bush when I was 11 years old.) I have also always been a devoted (thought questioning) Catholic who was involved in the church through High School and College as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister. So you may think it odd that I was one of the early people a friend in college told that she was gay.
Over drinks, I think the admission was actually accidental, but I’d like to think that it was my complete indifference to her revelation that endeared me to her, because from that moment on our friendship strengthened.
Not long after she came ‘out,’ we were passing each other on the sidewalk between classes and she was glowing. Always beautiful, with long dark hair and olive skin, on this day she was absolutely radiant. When her eyes caught mine, she grinned and said, “I get it!”
“The giddiness! Why you walk around like a moron, asking a thousand times if I thought whatever guy was cute or looking at you was into you... all of it!”
She had a crush. She was, for the first time, letting herself truly enjoy the beauty of the feeling that had accompanied me through most of my life since my first major crush in 3rd grade. You should also know, I am a bit of a romantic (some teachers may have written ‘boy-crazy’ in report card comments.)
In the past, she tried to play the game the way it was ‘supposed’ to be played. She went to school dances and talked about boys. She, as I mentioned, is gorgeous so she was often asked out and she went on dates but thought something was wrong with her... because never once did her heart skip a beat nor did she get caught up in it the way all the girls around her did.
And, when in high school, an upperclass girl caught her eye, she told herself it was simply admiration she was feeling. She waited patiently to find a guy that would make her feel anything at all.
And now, standing before me, she was giggling and rosy and told me all about how she and this crush had almost held hands.
‘It hit me like a truck,' no doubt is a cliche. But it applies as I was absolutely blindsided at the realization of just how incredibly naive I had been. Because, though I had never ‘judged’ her, there was always a part of me that humored the mental debates of whether homosexuality was ‘natural,’ or if it was a ‘choice’. I didn’t ‘judge’; but damn, how I had I arrogantly analyzed.
In that moment, I was dizzy with unadulterated happiness for her. There is no way, the romantic I was, I could ever want anyone to be denied the crazy giddy stupid joy that comes at the beginning of a relationship.
I could’ve listened to her joy all day. And I’m forever thankful to her for sharing that moment with me. It wasn't until later that day that my heart broke for the fact that it took so much courage and so much time for her to allow herself the same joy most of us know without thinking twice about it.
She and I became roommates. Like any roommates, we went through ups and downs... with friends, in school and in relationships. It never again amazed me that our relationship woes and joys were absolutely no different from one another’s.
She met my greatest crush of all and was the first to say ‘you should hang on to him.’ And two years later she was in my wedding to him.
Since then, I have come to know the incomparable joy of a life committed to someone, who is in turn committed to you. Despite its sometimes heartbreaking downs, it is an awesome feeling. I wouldn't dare try to rob someone of that feeling.
I honestly don't blame people for not understanding homosexuality, especially people in the generation ahead of us where being open was not as accepted or common (not that it is perfectly accepted now, of course, but we have certainly made strides as a nation.) And feel like I am blessed because of the courage a friend had and the trust she had in me.
Try to forget what happens in the bedroom (you don't want to know what your neighbors do either... I learned at a recent dinner party that 50 shades kink is waaayyyy more common than I thought... yeah, I learned I'm a boring wife and I don't ask anymore.) Instead, just think about the idea of having a partner to share your life with. Tell me that you are ok denying someone you love that feeling.
I hate this issue because it feels like it could and should be healed so quickly so easily. I wish I could stop every accusation of bigotry, ignorance, morality and righteousness before it starts because it just seems to fan the flame of misunderstanding. I wish I could give everyone a chance to be me in that moment of seeing my friend’s joy. I wish I could promise every young person that they have every right to dream of their happily ever after whatever it may be because God does not make mistakes and they are not evil or sick for wanting to be in love.
I want to beg all the same-sex couples that have been couples for decades to come out and be the spokespeople for the movement to show how their relationships have the exact same trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows as straight couples and deserve the exact same rights and respect as provided by the law.
But I can’t, because it’s not their job to be put on trial and show it... it is our job to simply clear our eyes and see it.
For those of you still unsure,
Look, for all I know homosexuality is an 'abomination to God'... but so may be what my hubby and I do in our bedroom... I mean, I do like the taste of sausage in the morning if ya know what I mean.
And what I mean is that my husband often makes me breakfast in bed and I like sausage links and eating the flesh of pigs is also perhaps an abomination (Leviticus 11, 7-8.) What did you think I meant?? Get your head out of the gutter, sicko. (and, btw, that's not strictly forbidden in the bible anyway... )
But most of all, I know that I don't know every opinion of God on every matter... I tend to believe that He is just a tad more complex than we can possibly understand. So I think He did his best to make things easy for us by saying... and I'm paraphrasing here. 'Look, human, you are not the greatest thing around, I am. So why don't you just chill out, be thankful for me and all I've given you and be nice to the people around you because they're my kids too regardless of what you think about them.'
And, I kind of like the idea that Jesus Himself was the first separation of church and state guy, 'give to God what is God's, give to Caeser what is Caeser's.' (in current terms, if you think gay marriage is a sin... don't get gay married, but that doesn't mean the law has to be in line with your beliefs.)
Ok. so in summary. Marriage equality needs to happen, like now. But, I'm sorry, I don't buy Obama's support because had he issued his support just one day earlier, it could have made a difference for Amendment 1 in NC... but it could've also pissed off his black baptist voters... so I think he's an opportunist. So vote Romney/Ryan because otherwise it won't matter who can get married, no one will be able to afford a marriage license.
Now I'll go to my car where I feel safest of all. watch this and come back next week! I'll go lighter... maybe.
thanks for reading,