Marriage equality is a difficult subject for me to write about. I support same-sex marriage and have for more than a decade, albeit silently through most of it. I personally see no reason one loving couple should have more rights than another loving couple. I married my wife in a state-sanctioned beautiful ceremony surrounded by my friends and family. I believe gay couples should have that right, as well.
But there are those who vehemently disagree with me. And some of those people are among the dearest to my heart. And I know my beliefs hurt them. And I hate that my beliefs hurt them. As such, I've rarely spoken out on the issue other than a brief mention in a column or a small gestures such as using the equality sign as my Facebook avatar for a few days.
Staying quiet, however, hurts those who are seeking to have the same rights my wife and I enjoy. It hurts those who simply want to be recognized as normal – not as God-created-and-rejected aberrations whose love is ultimately deemed as worth less than that of other humans. I cannot stay quiet any longer. It's important for all those who believe in marriage equality to speak up so that Minnesota becoming the 12th state to legalize gay marriage ultimately becomes a footnote in history once all 50 states in the U.S. recognize that human rights cannot be ruled by religious beliefs.
A story on Minnesota's decision at MinnPost.com gave a stark contrast in the difference in religious beliefs out there while attributing comments from state senators:
"Members, God made gays," Sen. Ron Latz, a Democrat from a suburb of Minneapolis, said during the Senate's emotional four-hour debate. "And God made gays capable of loving other people. So who are we to quarrel with God's intentions?"
And then, a little further down in the story:
"Forcing others to give you your rights will never end well," said Sen. Dan Hall, a Republican and a pastor. "It won't give you the recognition you desire." Hall said gay marriage supporters have told him he's on the wrong side of history but, he said, "the truth is I'm more concerned about being on the right side of eternity."
Eternity, God and the nature of God have been debated for thousands of years. Different religions have popped up throughout human history. Christianity, the largest religion in the U.S., has hundreds upon hundreds of sects – all with varying views of God, the Bible, etc.
In fact, the only thing we know for certain about God is that the details have been left up to us. God does not write in the skies. God does not shout pronouncements for all the world to hear. You can choose to believe God specifically made it so that the Protestant Bible was created exactly as it is today. You can choose to believe God specifically made it so that the Catholic Bible was created exactly as it is today. You can choose to see the Bible as a man-created book that strives to reveal the true nature of God, but like all man-created objects falls short. You can believe a different book reveals God's true nature. You can even see it all as bunk. The choice is yours.
Likewise, however you side on the same-sex marriage debate, it is YOUR choice.
And my choice is made easy for me when I look at a gay couple holding hands down the street. All I see are two loving people who might wish to share their life together and have the same rights as other couples. My own soul – filled with the same love that enables all of us to love one another – that empowers me, that guides me, that comes from deep within me, sees this couple and approves. For me – and I can only speak for me – that is enough. And I will speak out for that couple.
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Filed under: Columns