It’s been splayed across the news for weeks.
People from all walks of life, throughout the entire nation,
seem to have an opinion about it.
It’s been splayed across the news for weeks.

People from all walks of life, throughout the entire nation, seem to have an opinion about it.

And now even George W. has decided to get off his nuclear weapon witch hunt to throw his two cents in on San Francisco’s gay marriage hoopla.

But to be honest, I hadn’t thought too much about it until this past weekend when I spent some time with a couple of old friends, who just happen to be gay.

The topic never came up once – we were having too much fun to talk politics. But as I drove home Sunday night, with only my thoughts to keep me company, I got to thinking about why this is such a huge deal.

Why do people care so much about the personal lives of people they don’t know – simply because they are of the same sex?

Over and over, I’ve heard people say that marriage is sacred: God says marriage is sacred between a man and a woman, and to defy that is to go against God.

But what is it that is so sacred?

Is the joining of two people based on the fact that one has a penis and the other has a vagina? Is that really the most important part of a marriage?

I’m not married, so I cannot speak from personal experience what people hold sacred in a marriage – but my parents have been married for more than 30 years, and I have a pretty good idea of what they hold sacred in theirs.

They love each other.

Their lives and their marriage have been based on love, respect, support and companionship (and a fair share of bickering thrown in for taste).

I have a hard time believing that two people of the same gender can’t possess those same qualities in a relationship, because I have them with some of my best friends who are women.

And really, how sacred do we hold marriage as a society with a divorce rate upwards of 50 percent?

What about Brittany Spears’ 55-hour marriage to that dumb as a box of rocks guy who’s not George from Seinfeld but has the same name?

Pretty sacred.

I’ve read the Bible passages that supposedly denounce homosexuality. The thing about the Bible, along with just about every other religious text written thousands of years ago, is that it’s open to interpretation.

That’s the whole point of religion. There isn’t a set, mathematical formula for something as complicated and enigmatic as faith.

And if you do decide to take a strict interpretation of the text, what do you do when you get to the part where Jesus says to love your neighbor as you would love yourself?

It’s been awhile since I sat through a religion class, but I don’t remember the part after that statement that said, but only if they’re straight.

But maybe my confusion is stemming from the fact that I’ve been out of school too long. The battle to stay awake in history class was fought years ago, but isn’t there supposed to be a separation between church and state? And because marriage is a legal binding between two people, the God argument is moot anyway.

So if you take God out of it and argue the law (keeping that semi-colon business out of it) the law says that two people of the same sex can’t get married.

Does that mean that only certain people have the right to get married? If an American citizen is gay, does that mean they aren’t really an American citizen?

As Americans, we champion our rights as citizens. We have the right to free speech, we have the right to express our opinions without being persecuted for it, we have the right to do what we please – we have these rights that some people around the world can only dream of.

Drive down the street and count the number of bumper stickers claiming “United We Stand” – a patriotic statement stemming from 9-11 that still resounds today.

But is it selective unity? When it comes right down to it, who gets to join and who gets left out? Whose rights are unalienable and whose aren’t?

I’ve watched close friends of mine be harassed, abused and tormented by perfect strangers because of their sexual orientation.

To my dismay, I introduced an acquaintance to a gay friend who, after shaking his hand, forgave him for being gay.

He didn’t even know this person, but in a quick second he audaciously took it upon himself to sum up this person’s entire being as sinful and wrong based on one component of his character; not on the basis of whether he was a good person or not, but on something as inherent as having brown eyes or freckles.

We live in a country filled with opportunity and chance – the American Dream is out there and ready for the taking for anyone who wants it.

But still, after all these years of civil rights battles, equal opportunities and shattering of glass ceilings, there lies a putrid underbelly of hate and ignorance for things that are different.

The last time I looked, the definition of “different” in the dictionary didn’t mean “wrong.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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