Friday, August 22, 2008

Could you just leave us alone already?

There seem to be a lot of folks who are morally opposed to marriage equality and call being gay an "unhealthy lifestyle" that "threatens traditional marriage." I have to ask them a couple of questions.

In your own life, at what point have you, personally, seen a gay couple and thought, "ack! two men in love! my marriage is ruined!!" and what, exactly, led you to that conclusion?

Why, exactly, are you so utterly terrified of giving gay couples the same civil rights that you enjoy?

Is there something you don't like about yourself that leads you to find civil marriage equality so threatening?

Why is denying gay couples civil marriage equality such a priority for you, when the fact that a gay couple is getting married will never actually affect your life?

Why can't you just leave gay couples alone and let us be and love and live just as you have the right to do?

In short, if you don't like us, then please just do us a favor and ignore us. If you can't support giving us civil marriage equality, then at least grant us the right of privacy, the right to be free from insulting rhetoric.

All of these petition drives trying to get McDonalds to stop doing whatever it is they're doing that you don't like, or trying to get Hallmark to stop selling gay marriage cards, that's just hate. Pure, unadulterated, obsessive, hate. It's an unhealthy, sick, and emotionally stunted attitude that would deny consenting adults the right to love each other in peace. Any religious dogma that promotes such an attitude is a dogma of hate.

You need to know that when you justify denying someone civil rights based on religious dogma, you're preaching the same kind of hate that banned interracial marriage. You're preaching the same kind of hate that filled the gas chambers of Nazi Germany. You're preaching the same kind of hate that led to the Inquisition and the Crusades. You're preaching the same kind of hate that justified slavery and the subjugation of women. The rhetoric is exactly the same; you've just found a new target.

I know that this post won't change anybody's mind. You'll just claim that I'm discriminating against your religious beliefs, though you'll say it in more simplistic, reactionary terms. You'll say I'm the one who's full of hate. And maybe I am. Because I hate being told that I'm not an equal member of society with the same rights and privileges that everyone else enjoys. And I hate people who think they have the right to tell me that.

The truth is that I don't care what your religious beliefs are. I just wish that you'd leave me and my partner out of them. I just wish you could see the difference between your right to religious freedom and my right not to be harassed and insulted by your religious beliefs. I just wish you'd practice your religion in a positive, community-building manner, not a divisive, dogmatic, and hateful manner. Religion can be a force for social good, but only when it brings people together.

I'm really not asking for much. I'm not asking you to believe that my relationship with my partner is morally proper. I'm not asking you to support civil marriage equality.

All I'm asking is that you grant me the right to live in a manner that you don't agree with, and that you redirect your critical energies to a more worthy cause. There's a lot going on in the world that you can involve yourself with. Check out the conflict in Darfur. There's a lot to be done there.

I'm pleading with you. Please, if you don't like the gay community, then just leave us alone and live your own life. That's all we ask.