Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gay Marriage for Dinner?

Yes. This is a food blog. I just wanted somewhere to put this. There is so much stir on gay marriage. Congregations, courts and others are deciding who gets to marry, who does not, who is an abomination, who is not, etc.

I have to add that for some of us, the scariest thing is that a group of people that have the opportunity to use policies and rules to exclude, judge, or harm you are having the conversation at all.

Not that it shouldn't be had. Given the years of brutal silences, I suppose talking is better than not talking, but it makes many of us pre-emptively shut down in fear of the angry mob, or worse yet, the well-intentioned "sinner" lovers that somehow still do not beleive that people who do things they find abhorrent should still be able to live mutually loving and consenting lives in peace and under civil protections.

I abhor fighting wars for little good reason. Am shocked and disgusted that people create political dynasties on the backs of the poor and downtrodden. I'm saddened by the abusive way people treat others, the racism, the classism. I'm offended by the lack of funding for basic human needs in our cities in the face of corporations making billions. I'm shocked and find repulsive the votes waged for building bigger prisons, larger factories, and more when our schools need so much love, attention, and resources.

Yet with all that repulsion, abhorrence, disgust, shock, offense, and sadness, I would never seek to deny the bureaucrats, the abusers, the "activist judges," etc. love. Love is about hope and community, about connecting, growing, etc. Is it really Christlike (so much of the conversation is in the "Christian" churches) to deny people that or stand in the way of their equality?

And let's set that one straight. Equality also means I cannot be fired from my job for loving the other mutually consenting adult. It means I do not have to hire an attorney to secure the right to visit the person I have cared for over decades or to inherit our shared assets. It means there are protections from violence that are clear and deliberate because, somehow it has often been permissible to hurt people because they are gay or perceived to be. Equality means I have the opportunity to grow as a parishoner, leader, teacher, employee, neighbor, representative, etc. That my life experience brings value to a conversation and that I can be seen as inclusive of my sexuality but not limited by it. That I am seen when it is preferable for some to not look.

I am an adult human being who will never be attracted to a woman. And I love women. I am grateful to be surrounded by brilliant, strong, creative, critical, beautiul women. We laugh, have fun, build trust, take care of one another, etc. Yet still. You know. I'm really just that gay.

And I do not think we are made for celibacy so I am now a second class citizen? Some people get to discuss whether I am a worthy parishoner, leader, teacher, employee, neighbor, representative, etc.? Isn't that just a little crazy?

Being open to the discussion in churches, courthouses, legislatures, and other places is wonderful in some way and gives many of us hope, but at times it feel like the in-crowd in high school is deciding who is cool enough to sit at their lunch table. And that table really is quite frequently made up of people who are in no way like me, who cannot identify, who think they are protecting a notion of marriage or society that is quaint, but incomplete and fictive. My allies are strong but often too few to matter.

I never liked the in-crowd, yet now I am reliant on them for my rights. It hurts a bit and its very frustrating. And, again despite intentions, isn't it somewhat ridiculous?

Are people really playing "Who is Christian enough?," "American enough?" It makes me think a lot about how I perform my faith, my belief that equality matters, my feminism, my desire to end racism. It's a simple agenda.

And why on earth is the political right in charge of deciding that gay marriage is the big issue on the table? It's a wedge issue. They are trying to play on religion for votes. I resent it. It's arrogant.

I think many of us on the outside looking in know that we are not about to seek peace in hierarchy, to expect justice from those in power, or to seek compassion from those who still do not understand how we are built. I am not going to seek solace from those who are economic conservatives and social liberals who still let their economic views (which we keep proving unworkable for most of society again and again) trump the civil rights of their friends, loved ones and neighbors.

I love men and women. I am a gay man married to man. I love him so deeply I could cry with joy and gratitude that we found one another. Our wedding was powerful for us and our marriage is very strong (so what if it wasn't, right?)

But still, we live every day needing to be somewhat fierce in the face of a fear of violence, discrimination, and the persistent and powerful messages that we are second class citizens. (I realize many reading this experience this doubly, triply, or more. There is a lot of work to do and we have to keep doing it together).

I took too much from Martin Luther King, from Audre Lorde, from Gloria Anzaldua and from my loving heterosexual family to not know that the picture being painted is inaccurate. I am not a sinner. I refuse it as a title. I am flawed and have issues to work on, but my insistent love for another man is not a sin. It has meant too much for us, our families and our communities to be a sin.

The hatred, the choice to discriminate, the choice to exclude, those are the sins. The millions of dollars both sides are having to spend that might be better spent in our communities making a difference for those in need -- that is a sin. The hurt in families when you have to fear that people you love love you a little bit less or when you know they love you not at all- that is a sin.

Next up, empanadas!


ScottE. said...


Stef said...

Excellent post. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with all your readers. I firmly believe there are more people standing in this corner than in the other - we just need to work more on inspiring action and a louder voice to fight all that darn money on the other side.

Addie said...

Darn ScottE beat me too it...but, Amen!

Dancer in DC said...

At least we can take heart in the fact that we defeated the discriminatory anti-gay "marriage amendment" in the House this week.

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

What a well written, thoughtful and insightful post. Like Stef, I think there are more people sharing these thoughts than the media shows or those against the issue want to admit to.

Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Let's hope that there are positive changes in the near future.

Jon said...

Well said, well said.

Doug said...

Agreed - disallowing gay marriage is absurd. I'm amazed that anyone could take such a baseless stance in this day and age.