On the topic of same sex marriage

I've been wanting to write this for some time, but I've been afraid to. I've been afraid to because I don't like conflict. I don't like to cause a fuss, or say something that may cause someone else to take offence. But disagreement is a part of life. Not talking about things makes them seem bad, and I don't think there is anything bad about this. I'm really passionate about this, and I'm ashamed I hesitated to discuss it.

A very non diabetes post: let's talk about same sex marriage.

For some context, Australia is holding (what I believe is a voluntary) vote on whether or not same sex marriage should be made legal. The fact there is a vote at all is something I have mixed feelings about. I think it opens up a really nasty field where there is the potential for a lot of hurt and hatred on both sides of the debate. It also means the loudest people are the ones heard. I question why we think we should be able to pass judgement on whether same sex marriage should occur. Did we do this for heterosexual marriage? Why didn't that need a vote?

To put it simply. I believe that every person has inherent worth and is deserving of love and respect. To me, there is nothing wrong about being gay. Or being unsure. Or being somewhere else on the spectrum/continuum of sexuality. To me, it's all normal. Just like there's nothing wrong with being a Type 1 Diabetic. Or there's nothing wrong with having depression. Or there's nothing wrong with having blue eyes, brown hair, or an interest in bird watching. Whatever it is. It's just one piece of a person.

A person who has inherent worth and is deserving of love and respect.

I struggle to understand other views on homosexuality. I used to get unbelievably angry when I heard any view that condemned it. I even did a whole research project on it to try and understand where these views were coming from. My conclusions from that were that we often fear what we don't know, or don't understand. We try to rationalise it, and heap blame on to a group that's not us. When we're afraid, we stick to like minded people. Maybe we think that by accepting something new we're bringing in a threat to what we hold dear. So I thought it was a lack of awareness, and fear.

Which I think for many is true. But then I suddenly found myself with very close friends who didn't share my views in quite the same way. Talk about a culture shock.

It didn't compute that these wonderful, intelligent people could think differently. But the thing is, they hold the same belief I do: people have inherent worth and are deserving of love and respect. They are certainly tolerant, and love and accept everyone for who they are. But they believe it's not the ideal way to live. I know many people who aren't sure how they're going to vote or if they should vote at all.

They know we're never going to agree on that, and over time I'm learning that I need to accept that's okay. What it means is I get to have really interesting discussions about these topics where no one is trying to convince anyone else to take on a particular view. I can still call these people my friends.

What I can't get on board with is hatred and abuse. It is not okay to treat someone as less than. It is not okay to use someone's sexual orientation as a dumping ground for fear. It's not okay to make horrific associations with same sex marriage and claim they're the same. It's not okay to ask someone to change who they are, or tell them it's wrong to be who they are.

That's not me being intolerant. That's me being a decent human being.

To me, marriage is a way some people want to express their love and commitment. It's not essential, but for some it's important. For some it can make life easier. We see a variety of marriages, and not all are religious! So really, I'm not entirely sure why same sex partners aren't just put under that typical umbrella of "marriage" with everyone else- atheists and all.

I suppose this post doesn't have a straightforward goal or end point. I just think it's remiss of me to pretend this isn't happening and to hide my thoughts on it. So when we have these conversations, I think we need to keep in mind that we're talking about people here.

You guessed it. People who deserve love and respect.

Comments

  1. I never believed even 10 years ago that the US would have same sex marriage. Yet we do because in the US marriage is a legal institution before it is anything else for society. I have been married to Sheryl for 40 years. You know because someone else is married does not in any way diminish our marriage any more than people not married diminish it.

    Incidentally Sheryl and I are active in our church and we serve in our church etc. I am proud to say that our denomination supports same sex marriage and invites all people to worship with us. See, in the end ether we are or are not believers in the teachings of Christ. There are no stories in the bible of anyone being left behind because of who they loved.

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    Replies
    1. Rick, thank you for sharing that. I think you provide a valuable perspective there.

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