Since California’s Prop 8 banned gay marriage the subject has been on the front line and numerous people have written about it both in a positive and negative light. Those who are against gay marriage claim that this one simple thing will do everything from destroy the American family to bring about the destruction of civilization as we know it.
Drama queens much?
Despite being raised in a tiny town (pop. 400) filled with close-minded people that turned their nose up at anyone that wasn’t white, straight, and upper middle-class my parents raised my siblings and I better than that. We were told from a very young age that despite our exterior appearance that if you stripped away everything including our skins we were all the same beneath; flesh, blood, bone, and all God’s children. That to me is one of the true meanings of being Christian.
Although, being gay was not something that was openly discussed that didn’t mean that as a kid I didn’t understand what that meant. In high school the kids whispered about a certain boy who was a year younger than me. The words faggot and pansy were passed around as if they were just discussing the weather and even then I knew that what was happening was wrong. I remember at one point that this guy disappeared from school for a short period of time. There were rumors, but no one knew exactly why. When he returned, something had changed in him. There was a sadness that made my heart ache.
Going into my adult life I was given the pleasure of meeting and becoming best friends with David. David had grown up with my cousin (who became my life long best friend). He came out at 19 after years of internal turmoil. Raised as a Christian, David looked on his homosexuality as yet another test from God. He had lunch every Tuesday afternoon with his pastor who though he believed homosexuality was a choice welcomed anyone into his flock. They had numerous conversations about the subject of sexual orientation, God’s love, his plan, and original sin. Towards the end of David’s time in St. Louis I was surprised to hear that he was beginning to reach his pastor through the clog of religion.
Unfortunately, David was diagnosed with a second bout of the cancer that had almost taken his life as a young teenager. By that time he was working as a nanny in New York. Given six months he chose to end his own life. David had one dream. He wanted to find that one person who would love, treasure, and respect him for the person he was. When I hear these close-minded bigots go on about the evils of gay marriage I feel anger swell up in me. I swear I feel as if I could spit fire. And then I hear David’s voice whisper in my ear as if he were standing right next to me.
Don’t be angry, just speak up. Appeal to their hearts and their minds. Hate is just one step from love.
That was David in a nutshell. He always appealed to the humanity in all of us no matter how deep it might be buried. He didn’t think in terms of gay/straight or white/black. He never showed hate toward anyone. His smile could melt the heart of the coldest people and open the door to the light. I sometimes wonder what he would make of this entire argument. Would David be on the front lines or would he be working quietly behind the scenes converting one person at a time? I loved him like I’ve loved few people in my life. He opened my eyes to a world I knew little about. His compassion and love helped transformed a quiet, shy country girl into the woman that sits here today.
Not that long ago, I was working for a florist, and the first wedding we had ended up being a commitment ceremony for a young lesbian couple. I worked with these two young women meeting to discuss colors and dates. Getting to know them was a pleasure and a gift if only in passing. One was a police cadet, the other a student and artist. Seeing them together it was obvious they were in love and cared for one another deeply. They had hoped to be able to have a legal marriage, but two months before their date Oct. 31, 2004 on August 04, 2004 a state constitutional ban on gay marriage was voted into law. Instead of a feeling of defeat, they smiled at one another and the oldest simply said, “This is just the beginning. They can vote all they want, but they will not silence our love.”
Although, I was invited along with my boss to the ceremony I was unable to attend. My boss did go. He was a Christian, a true Christian, and said it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies he’d ever seen. The joy, he explained was a living breathing thing. The love obvious and he told me anyone that can see something like this and not be touched by its beauty is a damned fool. Let the chips fall where they may, but God or whatever you may call the creator of this world was there watching over these two women. Blessing them and smiling upon them with grace and acceptance that we need to learn and embrace.
Whatever happened to being created equal? Marriage is something we all have the right to experience; good, bad, and ugly. As humans we have the right to celebrate our love no matter the origins of that love. May the Goddess and her consort, guide this world from hate and back to love. As my mother often told me, Anything worth having is worth fighting for.
I try to believe that people are inherently good, but it gets more difficult with each passing day. Of course, the Irish-Cherokee in me has an opinion that David would shake his head at and chuckle…
Love is love people. Nature doesn’t discern why should humanity? Now get off the damn cross, someone else needs the wood!