History was made; Love wins.
I got into a – to be politically correct – semi-heated discussion with a coworker yesterday regarding the national legalization of gay marriage here in the United States. Though I was raised in an extremely religious household growing up, I have since developed my own ideologies and morals that I stand by with pride. One such principal that I support is the idea that all beings are deserving of love and respect. This, translated to the human rights issue at hand, equates to me being a gigantic banner waver for same-sex marriage.
Well, this guy at work wasn’t quite on the same page. When the discussion arose amongst the people in my area, his response was, “I’m cool with it as long as it doesn’t interfere with me life”. Already, my blood temperature started to rise ever so slightly. I am extremely passionate about the things I believe in, so I knew I was going to have to bite my tongue or find myself elbows deep in muddy waters. He and I were definitely not on the same page, though, because he then directed the conversation directly at me and asked, “Hey Freedom, isn’t your family super Christian? How do you feel about all this stuff?”
This was my response, “i LOVE it.” I was purposefully brief in order to prevent further discussion. But he was relentless and asked, “Is your family supportive? How did you come to an opposite opinion after having been raised with Christian beliefs?”
“Well,” I said, “to be honest, my grandmother is definitely still against homosexuality in general, but my mom is coming around. I think the changing of the times and social culture has a lot to do with differences in levels of acceptance in my family. I grew up in a community (at least outside of my household) that really didn’t demoralize or demean homosexuality, so I never even thought to see gay people as different from myself. So if there was no difference between “them” and me, why shouldn’t they be allowed to get married? It was a logic thing. Plus I have many gay friends who i love and want to see happy.”
He retorts, “See, I have a problem with the whole ‘coming around’ notion. I feel like if I were to suddenly accept gay people and gay rights after being told how morally wrong it is my whole life, then I would be lying to myself”.
I’m pretty sure this was where I started to see little bits of red floating in my vision. But I kept my cool and tried to view this conversation as an opportunity to maybe help motivate a change in thought. I said, “Ok, let’s say we lived during the pre-women’s rights movement. You would have been raised in a society that believed women were property, they had no ideas, thoughts, or beliefs of their own; thus, they shouldn’t have the same rights as men, right? Then new evidence, new movements of revolution began and you were presented with data that told you that actually, women are in fact human, and they have the exact same mental and physical capabilities that their male counterparts do. Do you think you’d still believe women are property because your parents told you so your whole life?”
After a little thought he responded, “I guess not. But women voting isn’t morally wrong, you know? Like, where do you draw the line? What if a man wanted to marry a young boy? They’re human..why isn’t that allowed?”
“Because this isn’t an issue of morality. That’s where I think people make the mistake, myself included sometimes; we confuse human rights issues with religious issues, which need to have a distinct distinction. Regarding the man-boy scenario you mentioned, it is wrong because the boy (who I assume is underage) doesn’t have the mental maturity yet to make that kind of decision. This is why the legal voting age is 18 and the drinking age is 21. Thus, by legally allowing a grown man to enter into a relationship with a minor, you are taking away the latter’s right…the right to physical and emotional safety…no matter that older man’s intentions. Anyway, what I’m trying to assert here is that there MUST be a stress on gay marriage being a simple human rights issue, all religion and morality aside. That’s how I am able to support it even though I was raised by certain set of beliefs”.
Silence. The whole office was silent. Perhaps it was the shock of me being so vocal and articulate, which I’m usually not around them, or perhaps what I said actually made them stop and think. Either way, I was proud of myself for speaking up, I was proud for sticking to what I believe instead of conforming simply to keep the peace or preserve amicability. I didn’t care what the office thought of me for once.
If that’s not freedom, I don’t know what is.
#lovewins and I couldn’t be more proud