This is not an issue of free speech but of neighborliness. Fundamental decency requires that we treat each other with respect, especially when we disagree deeply on hot moral issues. Sadly, I’ve grown used to the reality that tolerance is now a one-way street for gay marriage advocates. It no longer matters how respectfully and civilly one makes the case for humanity’s marriage tradition.
You see, Maggie is upset that people think she is a bigot. She is upset that people tell her that what she is doing is gay hate. Maggie just wants to be your neighbor. Because she has been respectfully and civilly making the case for humanity’s marriage tradition.
And if Maggie is upset, then I am upset. Because I actually agree that fundamental decency requires that we treat each other with respect. I feel hurt. I am so upset that I cried, got out of bed and I am writing this at midnight. So if you are reading this blog, I would appreciate it if you would send this blog everywhere you can. Tomorrow I will print it and send it to Maggie.
Allow me to help you understand. You are hurting real people. Real people that love each other. Do you know how many gay couples I know? Let me count: Five couples that are close friends. That visit us and we visit them. People I speak to and work with every single day. About another 20 couples at church. Another 20 or so from work or other social groups.
You have hurt them to the point where I have seen them cry. You have made ME cry! You have made me angry and my friends angry. How dare you hurt people you don’t even know? Then you cry victim? Poor Maggie! I’m so sorry Maggie. If I had known you were so sensitive, I would have…….. wait, I would have done nothing differently. No one is trying to take away your marriage or any of your rights. So just exactly what are you upset about? But maybe someone should take away your marriage. Then you might see how it feels.
My friends are real people, with real names, lives and families. They love each other, pay taxes, mow the lawn, go to church (or not), give to charities, and obey the law. You are denying them legal rights that any two people who are committed to caring for one another deserve. Marriage is a legal contract that entitles people to 1138 rights under Federal Law. You want to stop people from having the right to protect each other financially and legally, and you wonder why people call you a bigot? Do you really have to wonder? Traditional marriage? Marriage is defined in the social context of the times. It has been many things, some of them quite ugly. When two people love each other so much that they are willing to be financially responsible for each other, that deserves legal and social recognition.
Tolerance is a one way street? I must read over 50 gay news sites and blogs. Have I just gotten lucky that most of them are people who are trying to explain that they are human and deserve, what was that word Maggie, “Respect?” Is it respect when Pastor Steven Anderson says that gays should be murdered? Is it respect when readers will write comments like “homosexuals are the turds that you can’t get to flush down the toilet?” Is it respect when gay teens have a suicide rate four times higher than their peers? When they are bullied and taunted every day? Is it respect when your parents throw you out, or worse, beat you? Is it respect when your employer fires you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity? Is it respect when a couple is arrested for a peck on the cheek? Is it respect when you are a gay soldier and fellow soldiers abuse you, knowing that you can’t tell?
Wouldn’t fundamental decency mean giving everyone equal rights? Maggie, you are either naive or a master at whimpering foul. When you have made it your life’s work to deny people rights, they are not going to like you. It’s really that simple. Wake up and get the message. Because I guarantee you, the gay people who do grow up to be healthy and confident got there the hard way. They have been through the hell of fear and discrimination. They have thick skins and they are not afraid to fight for their rights. And in case you didn’t notice, 75% of the newest generation is with them.
Maggie, go home and take care of your own life. And let other people have their own life. That’s neighborliness.
geekgirl: Jude is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.