As human beings, it is in our make up to want to love and be loved. We seek to belong to a family, to create a family. We work to become a part of the community we live in, to participate, celebrate, and work together to make a better environment for all.
As human beings we deserve to be able to do this freely, without fear, without discrimination. The test is not how others judge the outcome of our best efforts. For every family that succeeds spectacularly, and for every family whose best efforts may fail, there are many families living happy lives, doing their best and creating memories.
The fears that allow one human being to feel they should dictate to another who they should love have been part of every society throughout time. While the fears span a wide range of categories – including race, religion, nationality, and gender – they all are based on one word: different. Even within more narrow parameters where most of the big “issues” are seemingly okay, there are still family members and friends withholding support for personal reasons. If we seek to regulate marriage based on tacit approval of everyone in the couple’s lives no one would ever get married.
I am proud to be a straight ally. People in my life whom I love very much do not have the same rights that I have, that is unacceptable to me. Our children were raised to treat each and every person with kindness and compassion, they were encouraged to give service to others. They were not given messages, overtly or covertly, that some groups are less than, and therefore open targets for prejudice, ridicule or scorn. I am incredibly proud that they have grown into people who see this debate as a no brainer, who actively work to break down these barriers and who are wise enough not to confuse spirituality and faith with rules made by a group of human beings to lessen or exert control upon another group of human beings. People on both sides of the debate point to faith issues, and in some instances tend to paint with a broad stroke. The Jesus I know was pure love and acceptance. In many instances Jesus aligned himself with those who were considered outside acceptable society. He most likely would not be popular, considered highly electable or welcomed into many of the homes of those supporting prejudice in His name. Again, this is the Jesus that I know.
Today is an opportunity for us to move forward as a country whose freedoms and rights are extended to all. Just as decisions that have previously been made regarding civil rights and equality issues were volatile and fought against in their time, this decision is highly contentious right now. I am hopeful that today is one of significant change, and one that we will be able to look back on as a high point in American history.