Defense of Marriage Act & The Supreme Court
It surprises me as a person over 50 (and I'm not saying how much over 50 I am), how differently I think now than I did in my younger days. I'm less of a risk taker now. Some of my thoughts are much more conservative than they used to be and some are way more liberal. I question things more, and I no longer accept what I've been taught or have always known. I find myself questioning things and drawing my own conclusions and opinions. Some of my thoughts would make my poor Grandma gasp in shock and I often wonder if I make her roll over in her grave! My Grandma Carrier couldn't even say the word "pregnant", in front of children or men-folk, it was referred to as someone being "p.g.".
The Supreme Court ruling today makes me give deep consideration to all I've been taught about the whole gay thing. I was taught that it was wrong, that it wasn't natural, it was in violation of God's will, that is was a choice to be gay, and all gays should be shunned.I grew up never knowing an openly gay person. It was adulthood that opened my eyes. It is my belief that what goes on in the bedroom is personal and private and none of the business of anyone outside of that bedroom. I don't discuss my sex life with anyone and am not comfortable when others openly discuss theirs. It was many years ago, when I had to take a long, hard, honest look at the topic of people being gay. I HAD to, I had become friends with some wonderful people who were gay.
Looking at what I was taught...
1. Being Gay is wrong. My thought about this is why? Before I cast a stone at someone else's perceived "wrongness", I should take an honest look at my own life. I was taught it was wrong to have sex outside of marriage. Well, I failed in that department. I was taught it was wrong to live with someone of the opposite sex and not be married to them. Another fail in my life. I lived with the same man for 20 years before we finally wed. In my youth, I dated some real losers. Men who were very bad for me. I learned from the doctors that I could not have children. I always believed that if I ever had a relationship with a good man, no matter what the doctors said, God would give me 1 child. That child would be a boy. A wonderful boy with blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles. 14 1/2 months after my future husband and I started living together, God did bless us with a son. A wonderful son, who as a child had blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles. If it was so "wrong" for me to be with the man of my dreams, why did God bless us with the child I was supposed to not be able to have? If it was "wrong", should I have been banned from working where I wanted to work, living where I wanted to live, etc.? NO!!! It always bugged me that my future husband could not claim me as a dependent. He has always supported me and taken care of me. He has been a good provider. In other states, I would have been his common law wife, and I would have been able to be claimed on his taxes, and in some states, I could have gotten benefits as his wife. Being as my state does not recognize a common law wife, the federal government did not, either. So, he could not claim me as his wife on his federal returns as a dependent. Makes me relate to gay couples, who can be recognized as a married couple some places, but not others. To me, that is wrong, and it certainly is not fair!
2. It's not "natural" to be gay. Say what? What is not natural about being attracted to someone? What is not natural about loving someone with your heart and sole? What is not natural about wanting to be with your special someone forever? If being "gay" is not natural, how do you explain same sex couples in the animal kingdom? Never heard of that? There was an interesting article in the New York Times a couple of years ago, called Can Animals Be Gay? I understand the need to have opposite sex couples to have offspring and continue a species, but that doesn't mean it's the only type of situation that is "natural" or "right". What about people who choose NOT to have offspring, or can't have offspring, or adopt, or use artificial means to get pregnant, or use a surrogate mother, or a sperm donor? Is that not "natural" or "right"?
3. Being "gay" is a violation of God's will. Hmmmmmmmm see #2 above. If you believe in God, and you believe that all things on earth are created by God, and if animals don't make choices or have thought processes like people do, then how do you explain same sex couples in the animal kingdom? Even if you still can't get past the "God" thing, then weren't you also taught that God is the judge of all mankind, and it is not our place to judge our fellow mankind? We are too lowly a creature to try to do God's job and must leave the judgement day up to God.
4. It is a choice to be gay. OK, let's take a logical look at this. If you are not gay, can you tell me what day in your life you made the choice to not be gay? Or are you just who you are and you're attracted to people of the opposite sex? If you are gay, can you tell me what day you decided to face a life of being cast aside as an outsider, to face judgment and discrimination every where you go and be attracted to people of the same sex? I'm betting most people in the world can not answer the question that pertains to them. Now that I'm old enough to draw my own conclusions, I don't think it is a choice. It is just being who you were born to be.
I am an American. I value the rights and freedoms that are guaranteed to all Americans. If I am a thief, an abuser, or a murderer, I am hurting others and I deserve to have my rights and freedoms taken away. But if I am an everyday citizen, obeying the laws and hurting no one, it does not matter if I am black or white, rich or poor, walking or in a wheel chair, I have rights and freedoms that are guaranteed to me. Why should that be any different for gay people?
I have one final thought on this subject, and that is the example we set for others and what we are teaching our children. Times change. There are many people in our country that now have the rights and freedoms that at one time, only able bodied white men had. It is because we have grown as a people. We do not have to hold on to the prejudices that our ancestors held on to. We know better. We should be proud of that. Even if you know it's true that ALL people should have the same rights and freedoms as any other citizen in our country, if you find yourself uncomfortable around someone who is different than you, be conscious of how you react and what you say. Help the youth of our country be even better than what we are! I work at a group home. All of the residents are adult women with some form of disability. I am also female. One day, I took one of our residents to Walmart. This resident will take off and walk around and not watch for cars. I had her hold my hand as we made our way into the store, to keep her close to me and keep her safe. Coming out of the store was a mother with a little boy who was probably about 6 or 7 years old. As we walked by, the boy asked his mom "Are those ladies gay? They are holding hands." How sad that a child so young would even have to worry about such a thing! Children learn what they live........
To my dear departed Grandma, I know that what I now know and believe is not what you knew or believed, but I hope now that you are in heaven, you know God loves all His children, and it didn't matter if they were straight or gay, what mattered is how good of a person they were. And now I hope you're OK with what ever the truth is about your brother Carl. Send me a sign, I really want to know the rest of the story, and not just have to remember the little whispers I over heard as a teenager.