A favor, an opinion for those fighting to overturn Prop 8 and DOMA

A friend of mine on facebook, who is also an English teacher in South Korea, was asking for any info or thoughts about same-sex marriage. She is teaching at a high school and wanted to compare views.  I said I would write something up if she would like, and I sent it to her. She said I should publish it, though I have nowhere to publish it but on my blog. And what I wrote may not be 100% correct, please advise me on that. ( You know who you are.) So I wrote from my memory, what I remember seeing and hearing, and putting the pieces together.

{ If something is wrong, please let me know so I can change it.}

The question is not whether  it aligns with your religious beliefs. Too many times people rely on the texts that they have read and the words they have heard. But have you ever just stopped and thought with your heart? If we were to rely on all the religious texts of the world they would be written by men. Have you seen one written by a female? Because most would be interpreted that a female is a second class citizen to a male. But are we? Is that how you may feel? I, as a woman, see myself as an equal. If someone asks you to think about this outside of a religious context can you make a decision not derived from that text? From you heart if it is a person close to you, how would you answer them? Would you accept them? Would you accept your daughter or son if they came out and said, ” I am gay.” Would it change you if it was your sister or brother? Or if it was your father or mother, who due to the constraints of society had to live a life that was not theirs, would you understand? The scenarios differ as each person is different.

A prominent republican senator from Ohio recently changed his standpoint on this in support of his son, who came out to him. You can be ardently against it, but if someone you love came to you, would you stop loving them? That is the question you should ask yourself.

This is what I wrote to her:

“My name is Nina and I will be writing about my view on same-sex marriage. I am currently an English teacher in Gangneung, South Korea. I am an American and I am lucky enough to live in one of the few states where same-sex marriage is legal. I am from the tiny state of Connecticut. During college I met many friends who identified as gay, lesbian, and even some that identify as queer. Others prefer not to be labeled and find both men and women attractive.One of my close friends from college is gay and he is still with his boyfriend of 8 years.

I have two sets of Aunts that are lesbians. I will write about my older Aunts first. They were  married and had children back in the 60s; however, they later realized that this was not for them and left their families behind. They met and have been together for over 30 years. They have never been married even though they now reside in a state that would legally let them marry if they so choose to. The choices they made back when they were younger isolated them from their families and their children. I do know that for many years they never heard or saw from their children though I do believe today that they are in touch with each other. One Aunt even went to jail for protesting for civil rights during the 1960s with Martin Luther King, Jr.

My second set of Aunts is in their early 50s. They have been together for about 7 years and married for two years. Both were previously married to men and had children of their own. My Adoptive father’s brother was married to one of them. However, he died after they had only been married for 2 years and she had given birth to their daughter. For many years my Aunt kept herself away from the family. Because of her sexual orientation and did not know how the rest of us would feel since she had married my Uncle. For many years we lost out on a relationship with her because of that fear. Today she is happily married to her partner and they live just 15 minutes from my house and I see her more often.

It is my opinion that it does not matter who you marry, what sex they are, what the color of their skin is, what religion they believe in, where they were born or what language they speak. We are all equal. We all deserve to find love and be loved. Whether that is a relationship with a woman and man, man to man or woman to woman. Whatever makes the individual happy should be accepted. Put your religious beliefs aside and ask yourself, do I care about this person in my life? Do I love them any less because of who they love? The answer should be no. People hide how they feel or hide the fact that they identify as queer when they realize the people they love the most may no longer love and accept them if they find out the truth.

It is a loaded question. It sends emotions high in a debate. But every person who has said I am against same-sex marriage changes their mind when someone close to them comes out and says. “I’m gay.” And there is only one reason for that. Because you love them, you accept them, and you want them to have the same kind of love you are able to. To be able to have a marriage just like yours.
A person can easily say I do not agree with this. Then don’t agree. No one said you have to be involved with someone of the same sex. However, you should not deny that right to somebody who chooses that.

Back in 2008, when Obama was running for president against John McCain a friend of mine walked into a gas station and heard an argument about a black man becoming president. The argument was between a black man and a white man. She being a white woman looked at both of them and said, “If we all cut our throats; we all bleed red.” That line still rings true though the topic is not in terms of race but rather sexual orientation.

No matter  your ethnicity, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic status, education, race, in the end we all bleed red when we are hurt. So before you make up your mind take that stance and realize the person closest to you in your life could one day say, “I’m gay.” Would you love them?

I would, with every part of my being, I would.”

I love all of my family and friends. I love every part of them and the journeys they have been on through life. I love my Aunts and my friends who identify as gay, lesbian, queer, or anything else. Because they are who they are, I love them. I would not change anything about them. And though I know their lives have been tough and they will still meet assholes in the street who will call them names. But they rise above it and persist and live life every day. Because life is meant for living, not dwelling on the what-ifs.

The Supreme Court in the United States will be hearing two cases next week that are trying to overturn Prop. 8 ( the ban against same-sex marriage in California) and DOMA ( Defense of Marriage Act) which defines marriage as that between 1 man and 1 woman. The courts decision will be known by the end of June. I am hoping they strike both down so that everyone is allowed to marry the person they love.

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