As you probably know, New York state has just legalized gay marriage. I hope this goes better for them than it did for California. And I hope that this legislation paves the way for California to follow in New York’s footsteps.
Why is gay marriage such a big deal to certain religious people? I had a conversation with someone about this the other day and she brought up a point that I hadn’t thought of before. If gay marriage is legal and gay couples go to their home churches to get married and the churches refuse to perform the ceremonies then they can be sued for discrimination. And no church wants to be sued for discrimination, it makes them look bad when religion is supposed to be about the love and acceptance of all humans.
So they make their arguments, including: If gay people are allowed to get married then, next thing you know, we’ll have people trying to get married to animals. The funny thing about that, though, is that it says much more about the people who spend their time (and I bet it’s a lot of time) thinking that’s the natural next step in marriage than it says about gay people. Or even about people who fraternize with their pets.
If we look into the fairly recent past we’ll find that there was a time when people thought that if interracial couples were allowed to marry then next thing you know people would want to marry animals, leading to anarchy. When we look back on that now most of us realize how ridiculous it is. We’ve exchanged one bigotry for another but it’s still discrimination.
I think anyone who answers the question, “When did you decide to be straight?” will concede that no one has decided to be gay and live a life of discrimination and hatred based on who they love. So once we admit that gay people are born that way we have to ask what they could have done to deserve to be denied the basic rights and happiness that straight people enjoy.
And once we’ve done that we have to take a good long hard look at ourselves and what makes us want to hurt others because they want the same thing we want, but in a different way.
And to those among us who feel this way about gay people I feel deeply ashamed that you’re my fellow man.
And to gay New Yorkers I say, “Mazel Tov!” Even if they’re not Jewish because I don’t want to discriminate.