Same-sex marriage is legalized–and I know we have all read 537 articles telling us so.
This blog will make it 538.
In all honesty, as soon as I heard the news I told myself under my breath, “I’m not writing about this one.”
Most of my readers, my friends, my family–even my co-workers– know how I feel about same-sex marriage just by the church I attend and the social views I have and express when asked or here on my blog. I really didn’t have anything new to say in regards to my opinion on the matter. But now I do–and it’s something that bothers me more than the legalization of same-sex marriage.
It’s the hate.
There is a divide in our nation–and we caused it. There is pro-gay marriage and anti-gay marriage. Liberal and conservative. “#lovewins” or “#traditionalmarriage”. Black or white. There is barely a middle anymore where all of us grays mingle, agreeing to disagree with kindness and compassion and a willingness to be in the presence of those completely different than us. I miss that gray area. And I think we eventually all will.
I can’t scroll down my Facebook wall without seeing half of my friends list filtered with rainbows over their profile pictures, loudly exclaiming which side they’re on, drawing attention to the profiles of those who stand on the other side of the ravine. Little by little we claim our groups, hoist our flags, and draw the curtains on the “other side”. Little by little we become members of a certain community rather than individuals of different colors, faiths, ethnicities, orientations, and backgrounds who inhabit a country built on the beauty of differences. We seek so ferociously to “unite” and “accept”, all the while dividing and shunning. And I’m so incredibly sick of seeing that happen. Are you?
Years down the road I hope we aren’t so far gone that we don’t regret this period of complete unkindness toward our own brothers and sisters. I hope that pictures like this make us sick.
And I hope that our flag and war heroes mean more than this to us.
And that this kind of anti-gay bullying will simply be in the pages of an old history book.
And that churches can preach what they feel is right and ban what they feel is wrong.
And that bloggers like me and artists and writers and politicians and ministers and you and I can hold opinions and vote for what we feel is right and still make friends with those who cast a different vote.
And as soon as I push publish on this blog I realize the repercussions of it. I’ve sifted through the e-mails and comments before, knowing full well that along with those who seek understanding and love even amongst disagreement, there will be even more at times who seek to harm and destroy and rip apart all for the sake of hopefully “being right” or “being heard”.
You know what I believe.
But if you are gay– I love you. You can be my friend. You can be someone I laugh with and work with and go to for advice.
I am devout in my faith–and I hope you love me back.
Because THAT is humanity.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently published a letter boldly saying, “The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility—even when we disagree. We affirm that those who avail themselves of laws or court rulings authorizing same‐sex marriage should not be treated disrespectfully…The Church insists on its leaders’ and members’ right to express and advocate religious convictions on marriage, family, and morality free from retaliation or retribution. The Church is also entitled to maintain its standards of moral conduct and good standing for members.”
Kindness and civility shouldn’t be too much to ask, but it often is. There are no winners when a comment thread takes a nasty turn or when churches are persecuted or a gay teen commits suicide because of homophobes by his locker. Hate never breeds victory.
Just last night there were some news reports about how the star during Jesus’ birth was once again visible in the sky after 2000-something years. My sister and husband and I actually saw it while driving home last night. “What do you think it means?” my husband asked. Some people may have answered, “That God is pissed at what’s going on right now!” or “That He’s celebrating marriage equality!”. But my answer was kind of simple. I think He’s just reminding us that He’s there.
No matter what.
Genesis 20:13 blatantly speaks to us. “And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, ‘This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother’.”
My brother. My sister. That’s who you are. That’s who I am to you.
I hope that one day we regret the repercussions of this movement and I feel that someday we will. Because I’ve always regretted the times when I hurt someone’s feelings or worded things wrongly or pushed someone further away from the Savior rather than closer to him. But I’ve never regretted being honest or understanding.
And I’ve never regretted being kind.
Here’s a link to a beautiful blog that I recommend reading: I’m Gay, And I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage
24 thoughts on “The thing we’ll regret from the legalization of same-sex marriage”
Reblogged this on 8ways2 and commented:
No matter what side you’re on this is the one thing we’ll regret about the same-sex movement.
Very well said!
I have agreed with you on some things, disagreed on others. And that’s fine. People have different opinions.
But I am incredibly saddened to see your comment “I hope pictures like this make us sick.” That is not grey. That is 100%, no holds barred black and white, on the side of hatred. If you HOPE people are sickened by two people kissing, I feel very sorry for you. It was not long ago (less than 50 years) that people said similar things…or the same thing….about images of two people with different skin color kissing. Or heaven forbid, getting married. My mother-in-law told me that when she was a kid, people were “sickened” by the idea of a Polish person marrying an Italian, or a Catholic marrying a Jew. We are ALL humans, as God made us. And there is no loophole in the scriptures for saying you can HOPEothers will have to live without love simply because it’s not something you’re comfortable with. Nope, no grey in that…just ugly, nasty hatred.
This year, my brother and his partner will celebrate 19 years together. They have carried one another through severe illnesses, loss of parents, loss of jobs and all the ordinary things couples do for one another. They love one another with an intensity any couple of any orientation should envy. And you would have people find their commitment sickening?
No one is telling you that you have to marry a person of your gender. You had a choice to marry the person with whom you fell in love. But you would deny that same support and affection to other adults just because they have different attractions than you? I’m sorry, but that attitude is the thing that’s truly sickening.
I wasn’t sickened over people kissing. I was sickened over the mockery of Christ and religion in general. I was hoping that image would make my point apparent.
Then I apologize for misunderstanding that part, Kayla. I saw the photos differently.
I still stand by the reality that in very recent past generations, the right to marry or even to openly date was denied to so many. This is one more group of loving human beings who deserve the right to choose an adult partner for life, and enjoy the legal benefits allowed to all other married couples, from inheritance to being together in the hospital when one is seriously ill or dying. I totally respect your church’s right to not perform same sex weddings. It’s a religious choice, just as Rabbis frequently refuse to marry a non-Jew or Priests a non-Catholic. But where other churches (like the Episcopal Church or the Unitarians) do permit it, how is anyone’s right to say “My religion says no, so that means the country must say no.”
I totally understood where you were coming from posting those pictures and I agree with you. Making s mockery of Christ’s crucifixion only alienates and further creates a division and hate.
Thank you for saying exactly how I’ve felt but have been unable to find the words to eloquently state them. I appreciate you for putting this out there. Thank you.
It’s the mockery of Christ that should make people sick. Even if you don’t believe in Him, the fact that a religion is being so openly mocked is awful. That’s part of the black and white, and the hate that is being shown toward Christians today.
Thank you for your honesty, love, compassion..I hope and pray that all us human beings can relearn to love unconditionally and put choices into a respectable perspective.
Melinda…hoping to help in a change
I thought this was very well written Kayla.
As a Christian, I struggle also, living in this ‘gray’ area that doesn’t seem to be overly populated!! My Facebook page was also full of rainbow coloured profile pictures and I feel as though Im being quietly criticised, purely because I didn’t choose to change mine. I even have FB friends who wanted their friends to ‘like’ their LGBT profile picture – and those that didn’t were supposedly going to be de-friended. Whether or not these were serious posts remains to be seen but either way, don’t I have the right to my own opinion? Don’t I have the right to be in a ‘gray’ area? Im just trying to live my life the way I think it should be lived, trying not to hurt anyone, trying not to spread hate.
The very fact that ‘friends’ on FB are giving people these ultimatums, seems to undermine all that they are trying to achieve – that everyone has a right to be who they want to be. We are all trying to live the best lives we can – lets all focus on that and as you say, just be kind.
No, they are drawing a boundary about who they let into their life based on how emotionally safe that person makes them feel.
Thank you for your post. It gives me hope to know there are people who think like you. It saddens me to see people, even within the Church, not understanding that you can love the sinner (which we all are) without accepting sinful behavior (even our own). My Dad always taught me that balance is an important thing – getting out of the ends of the scale (or out of what you call the gray) puts us at greater risk of being decieved. It is so sad, too, to see the hatred that has come – it reminds me of the scripture that tells us that “hearts will wax cold”. It’s a scary time to live – thank goodness for the knowledge that we have a Savior and God who look over us and will help us get through the realization of prophecies.
Thank you for girding up your courage and broaching the subject. You’re spot on. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Neither can a nation. May we look to God for guidance, and pray He has mercy on our souls.
I would just like to thank you for writing this. It was very well put together, and i like how you defended your rights while also defending this country.
Thanks for this – I haven’t really tried to put any of my own feelings about the turn of events into words but this pretty well does so.
I feel that this is missing the point of what this fight was for. The fight was for our equal civil rights. We as a gay community have never fought to prevent your civil right to practice religion the way you choose. We have never violently opposed your way of life. We as gay people have never spent our lives oppressing you in general. But religion has consistently done this to the gay community.
Yes there are some vocal gay people who have said some rude things in defense of their civil rights and yes some of those images may cross the line of common respect. But those images are of love not of violence. Notice the other images are of hate and violence.
When you spend your whole life watching religion treat you that way then at a certain point you have to fight back for your civil rights. None of this movement was gays hate religion… But a lot of it was religion hates gays.
If I can respect your right to not work on the Sabbath and your right to marry in a clandestine temple and practice secret ceremonies. Then all I am asking is my civil right to marry whatever gender that I love whether or not you agree with it. You do not have the right to impose your religious beliefs on me and prevent me from expressing my love in our society in a different way under the law than you are allowed to love.
Most of us gays have not picked a side. We have always supported our religious families and friends even when their religions fought against us. The only side we gay people took was for all Americans religious and gay, agnostic and atheist, white and non white to have equal rights.
If a side was drawn then it was when religion said that equal rights were not something gays deserved and they chose to very vocally and sometimes violently fight against those civil rights.
Yes I too would like us all to respect a difference of opinion and belief and will be happy when religion respects the rights of all American citizens.
Beautiful response, Mark.
Kayla, well constructed response. I myself have just chosen to not add my 2 cents to all of the celebration. I understand why the decision has happened and saw it as inevitable. I share your belief that I can have my views but still be a friend, neighbor and coworker. I’ve done that with drinkers, smokers, and potheads my whole life, why should this be any different. There is a fine line between being a light on the hill for the restored gospel and being a zealot crusader. There is a time and a place for prostelyting and I am OK taking a break for a moment.
This policy change on marriage will just be another on the pile of things that make Mormons and some other Christians a peculiar people. We have gotten used to it in the past and will also with this. Our only battle will be to stay civicly involved enough to recognize if this decision is used to exercise control of free speech or religious freedom. Coure d’alene idaho is battling that with equal rights vs religious freedom right now. Montana is preparing for a case of polygamists trying to use Chief Justice Roberts words as justification to legitimize their form of love and relationships. There are a lot of doomsdayers that will foretell how bad it will get for the conservative/traditionalists, but we have to rise above that and have the patience to fight the battles that come to us.
Thank you for this article. I loved and shared it!!
Thank you very much for writing this. It is so nice to see others who feel the way I do about this issue.
Excellent article and excellent comments. As usual you hit the nail on the head with what you write and I totally agree. My views on gay marriage don’t really matter, however I don’t want to be forced to have to take one side or the other. I would expect that my views be respected just as much as anyone else’s views. I would also expect that my job, my career and my reputation should not hinge on whether or not I accept gay marriage, and yet I do see that coming down the road. Already people have lost their jobs, had to publicly apologize and so forth if they speak their opinion regarding something such as gay married, race, religion and so forth.. if their opinion isn’t the politically correct opinion of the time and I don’t think that’s right. I think no matter what your occupation, career, or standing in the community you should be allowed your own opinion. Yet we want to homogenize our society… make us all exactly the same… no more differences, no more alternate views… just think in the way “society” thinks we should think. Thank you so much for standing up against that and reminding us that it’s OK to be different and it’s OK to think differently and have different views. It doesn’t mean we don’t love everyone or that we can’t accept each other all as God’s children just because we view things a bit differently. This is kind of rambling, but I think you get my point and another huge… THANK YOU!
I have long strongly felt that just because I might not agree with the actions, lifestyle or words of another person should not mean I cannot be kind to them.
It is so frustrating how narrow-minded your pieces are, thinking you are being open-minded. People who hate Christians are not as much in the wrong as Christians who hate queers. Do you really not understand that?
I’ll break it down:
Imagine two people are walking along, minding their own business when suddenly, Person A punches Person B. Person B punches back. And person B vocalizes hatred toward Person A.
If you seriously think that Person B is JUST AS BAD as Person A, you are messed up. You are buying into a propaganda that is created to harm oppressed people. We tell the weak that they should forgive and turn the other cheek because that’s what helps us to continue to oppress them.
Person B is justified in hating and defending themselves from Person A. All Person A had to do was nothing.
When you are trying to harm queer people by preventing them from doing things that would make them happy, that would improve their families, and that don’t impact you except in your imaginary hypothetical scenarios about the fall of all mankind, you are Person A. You are harming. You are INITIATING. You’re the instigator. Queer people aren’t instigating by existing and asking to be left alone.
And if you want to have the right to do that, that is fine. You want the right to share your views and manipulate people and spread propaganda and influence politics, that is fine. But you do not have the right to be indignant about being hated for it. You do not have the right to try to control the feelings other people have about the impact you create. That is madness! Arrogant insanity! How in the world do you not see that? How self-absorbed do you have to be to not see that?
You want gay people to just silently and lovingly accept judgement and deprivation. But you cannot just silently and lovingly endure judgement for the judgement and deprivation you initiate. This is so dense, hypocritical and childish.
If the queer community and their allies do not rally together, and stand as a unified front in love for these oppressed people (when was the last time a Mormon was killed for being Mormon? Don’t even talk to me about your so-called oppression), it gives more power to people like you to oppress us. It’s not going to stop. We will never be ashamed for showing resistance in the face of violence and harmful rhetoric.
You want to stop being judged and hated? Stop judging and harming. The power is all yours!
The fact that you are ignoring that people who are Christian are persecuted- even killed- for trying to live their beliefs speaks volumes about how much credence should be given to your thoughts.
Just like I do not have the right to control how two homosexual people feel about each other, you do not have the right to control what religions teach, what they do or do not allow to happen in their places of worship. Yet we see those kinds of demands being made daily. How many private businesses have to be sued out of obscurity before you will admit that an agenda is being pushed?
Want to be treated with tolerance? Show some of your own. If you can’t, don’t be surprised when that whole Golden Rule of do unto others comes around and bites you. Your comment is full of nothing but hatred and a denial that people who are religious also face the exact same kind of persecution as everyone else.
I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle- but I am not going around punching people. Any person who claims to be a Christian and uses their religion as an excuse to harm someone is not a true Christian. It is wrong and bigoted of you to label an entire sect of people on the actions of a few- just as it would be wrong for me to cast all homosexual people in the same light as a few who have done something illegal and wrong. Don’t call others out for their faults when you clearly are having issues with that behavior you are calling others to correct.
And if you are not Mormon yourself, living that religion every day- you have no idea the kind of things some of us go through, the comments we receive, the hate. Just like I can’t tell a gay person to stop whining, since I have no idea what their day to day is like- you have no idea what the day to day is for a person practicing their religion is like. You are preaching tolerance and offer none in return.