This has NOTHING to do with fried chicken.
I have been mulling this over in my mind for a long time trying to find the right words to address this topic.
When we go to the polls in November, the voters in my state will be asked to make a number of important decisions. One of those questions regards an amendment to our state constitution concerning the definition of marriage within MN.
This topic has gripped our nation in recent months based on various ballot questions, the presidential election and the prospect of court rulings from the highest courts in the country in the coming year or two.
What am I talking about? Well, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm referring to same-sex marriage. For the record, I am a heterosexual female and I'm married to a heterosexual male, but this debate coursing through our country has me steaming. So, why do I care?
For me, there are multiple layers to this issue.
Fueled by Fear
I don't generally argue about religious issues here on Motherly Law, but for me this discussion has absolutely nothing to do with religion. For me, this is a legal issue, just like other laws that regulate who can and cannot marry, when, where and why.
However, for some people this is a religious issue. What I can't figure out is where in the world these people got the idea that God would want them to use His name in this hateful, fear-based argument against other human beings.
What is clear to me is that this is exactly that: a hateful rant born out of fear and misunderstanding.
I ask you, do you know any same-sex couples? Well, I do, and you know what? They are exactly like "opposite-sex" couples. That's right. They casually chat with each other over a quiet dinner; they argue over whose turn it is to do the dishes or take out the trash or get up with the crying baby; they share inside jokes; they take their kids to the park; they buy groceries; they go to church on Sunday; they live their lives just like any other family in the neighborhood.
Fear of "these people" corrupting our kids and our "family values" is misplaced.
And for the record, I have known a number of "opposite-sex" couples who should have never been allowed to get married; who made a mess of their marriage; who destroyed their families; who certainly stained our idea of "family values"; some of these people are church-going, God-fearing people...for the record.
Historical Instances of Suppressing Rights
From a historical and legal review, I would ask you to think about all the laws that have sought to restrict the rights of other groups of people and have eventually been rectified and those laws amended or overturned in court. Two groups that certainly come to my mind are women and black people.
For far too many years a woman's rights to vote, to hold certain positions, get paid an equal amount for the same work, own property and make decisions concerning her own body were held in check by laws; laws made by white men. And for the record, women's suffrage was considered a religious issue in that fight too; it would ruin "family values" and all...for the record.
Our country felt so strongly about whether white men had the right to control, nay...own other human beings and treat them as property, as the laws referred to slaves, simply because their skin was darker than the men who made the laws, that our divided nation went to war to resolve this issue.
It may have taken hundreds of years, but we have finally reconciled these wrongs. We have finally recognized the rights of all human beings...oh wait. That's right. We are now fighting hard not to allow two adults who love each other the right to get married and raise a family as a married couple with all the rights a married couple has.
From a different legal perspective, many of the laws we have on our books are there to protect people from physical or mental harm, protect their property and be sure that basic human rights are not quashed. Laws are not intended to harm a particular group of people who believe something different than the majority or single out people of a certain creed simple because some of the people in the country don't understand or agree with their beliefs or lifestyle choices.
A legal union between two consenting adults of full mental capacity, regardless of gender, national origin, religion, etc. is a basic right that harms no one, at least in my book. How would you feel if your right to marry your spouse was suddenly in question?
You know, as I ponder this hateful rhetoric, I think that perhaps the real fear is that same-sex couples do act like "traditional" couples. I think the real fear is that "they" raise families like the rest of "us"; "they" are just like "us" when it comes to spousal duties, in-laws, career aspirations, planning the summer vacation, etc. And if "they" are like "us" then what? I think this elicits fear of the unknown for some people.
I would liken this fear to the uncomfortable, uneasy feelings that predominated white families as minority families began moving into "their" neighborhoods years ago. While most neighborhoods and communities are quite multi-cultural now and that fear has greatly subsided, the original prejudice was based on ignorance and misunderstanding of each other's cultures and values.
If we could all be loving, peaceful and kind to one another, as the Bible teaches us, then we would get along, learn from each other and live happily ever after. While that is clearly not possible, at least not yet, I suggest that we all follow the advice of Jesus found in John 8:7 when Jesus said,
If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone...
This was in reference to a woman who had been caught committing adultery; a crime punishable by stoning. And in case you don't know the rest of the story, not one of the men present cast a stone at her or condemned her, especially not Jesus.
The point is, we have all sinned in various ways, and it's not for us to judge each other's actions and decisions and determine what's a sin and what's not and how each sin ranks on a scale 1-10.
This has NOTHING to do with fried chicken. We're talking about people, just like you and me.
And for the record, this is my opinon; a view I have a right to express thanks to our Constitution. What's your opinion? Over and out...
For more about this topic from me, please read: There's a Storm a Brewin' in Minnesota: NOH8MN