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Obama’s Evolution and the Illusion of Difference

May 10, 2012

Before I boarded my flight yesterday, I had heard some rumblings that President Obama was going to make a statement regarding same-sex marriage.  By the time I landed, that statement had been made, and it felt like I had walked into a new world.  Now, I don’t want to overreact to the President coming out in favor of same-sex marriage.  It could’ve happened sooner, it doesn’t change any laws, and I think he hedged his bet a bit too much by saying it should be left up to the states (I don’t believe that the Federal Government should always inject itself into the state lawmaking process, but when it comes to the equality of all our citizens, I think it’s necessary.  The Constitution certainly doesn’t provide for equal protection under the law unless you live in North Carolina).  One could be cynical and say he did this for political reasons or that this isn’t going to change any minds.  In the end, though, these things either don’t matter or can be addressed in the future.  What matters is this: Our President stood up for our friends, our co-workers, our brothers and sisters, and just our fellow human beings, who only want to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else, who only want the same right to visit their loved ones in the hospital, the same right to be considered family in the eyes of the law, the same opportunity as the rest of us to succeed or fail in love.   (By the way, I hate using the term “the rest of us” because it implies a separation.  Let me make this perfectly clear, gay people are no different from straight people, unless you think that the only thing that defines a person is what they do in the bedroom.  And if you believe that, you better start looking at your own kinks.)

Lastly, to the opponents of same-sex marriage:  You are wrong.  There is no other way to say it.  And I don’t mean this in a “You’ve lost this battle” way (but you have lost this battle. It’s all over but the shouting).  I mean it in a “You’ve always been fighting the wrong battle” way. I know not all of you are anti-gay bigots (although the sheer force of bigotry in this country and this world is enough to make me question humanity’s worth), but even those of you who feel no hatred in your hearts have still perpetuated a so-called morality that has made a group of people feel less than human, has shut people off from their communities and even from the love of  their families (a parent shunning their child for being gay is not moral. In fact, it is nothing more than pure selfishness of the most vile kind), and has literally killed people (both through hate crimes-again, morality?-and suicides).   Whether your opposition comes from your religion or just from living in a society that has so long condoned this alienation, I urge you to remember this: We are, all of us, a sum of many parts.  We long for companionship, we hurt the people we love, our relationships are transcendent and they are sordid, we feel pain that can make us yearn for oblivion, sometimes joy bubbles up in us so strongly that it overtakes sense and reason, sometimes anger does the same, we do things in the bedroom that we never discuss in polite company, we do things outside the bedroom that bring us true shame, we sacrifice for things big and small, and maybe most of all, we hope that our fundamental worth is recognized. By our families, by our colleagues, our friends, our lovers, our neighbors, and, yes, our governments. I can’t say this enough.  We are NOT different.  We are all just creatures of blood and bone searching for happiness and a measure of grace.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Courtney permalink
    May 10, 2012 2:55 pm

    We need more voices like yours. Very well articulated, my friend. Thank you for your words.

  2. Cathy permalink
    May 11, 2012 4:42 pm

    Very well said..

  3. November 5, 2012 4:17 pm

    You’re such a good writer. Really.

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