I've been described as opinionated a few (many) times in my life. Yep. Opinions. I've got 'em. I like to think of myself as willing to listen to others' opinions too. I love sharing and exchanging thoughts and ideas. I don't love disrespect. When sharing opinions turns into name-calling, mud-slinging, and all-around disrepect, I switch off.
I've shared my opinion on this topic with others several times before, but I don't think I've shared it here. In light of Friday's Supreme Court ruling recognizing gay marriage, now is a good time for me to share my thoughts. I got a lot of them.
I believe in equality. I believe the American (and Australian) government should support equality regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. I believe this should apply to the ability to legally get married in America (and Australia!). As long as two consenting adults want to marry one another, I think they should be allowed to do so and their union recognized.
You do not have to agree with their choice to marry. I bet there are a lot of people out there who have married and shouldn't have (coming from someone who is *cough* twice divorced *cough*).
I get very annoyed when such a topic turns into a liberal vs. conservative; Democrat vs. Republican debate. For me, this has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with who I voted for in previous elections. You don't have to agree with everything that a party says and does. You don't have to disagree with everything the party you voted against says and does. Think for yourself. That's one of the beauties of being an American.
Many arguments point out biblical passages that have been interpreted to be against homosexuality. You know what, there are passages against many other activities as well, yet they are still legal. I do not think the American government bodies should solely base decisions of law on what the Bible says. If you support separation of Church and State, then you should agree (even if you are a Christian and believe in the Bible). I know it's a slippery slope, but I am a believer that we are allowed our own choice, and we have our own personal relationships with God (or whatever deity you believe in or don't believe in). And, the Bible has been interpreted and translated thousands of times over. I can believe that Jesus died for my sins, and I can support marriage equality. I don't believe they are mutually exclusive.
I have close personal relationships with people who happen to be homosexuals. A close family member is gay and has experienced being taken to a doctor to "fix" her; she has battled emotional shame, guilt, and feeling like she doesn't belong for most of her life. I have a gay friend who attempted suicide not long after he came out. At my wedding, (the third one; the one that will last!), I got married at the Registry Office (think Justice of the Peace in the USA). My legal witness, my closest friend in Sydney, is in a committed, exclusive relationship with another woman. She stood by me to legally represent my love for my spouse and our union in marriage...yet, she is not offered this option in her own life.
These are just snapshots of people in my life...I'm betting most others have relationships and friendships with others who have similar experiences. These significant people in my life deserve to have equal opportunities.
I shared these photos on other forms of social media. They are two couples in my world that I personally know who married in places where they were legally allowed to do so. Now, their marriages are recognized in the U.S., and I share in their joy that is so.
Australia, now it's your turn......