My life has always been pretty naïve. My first encounter with homosexuality was in high school when we referred to “different people” as “queer.” I’m sure I didn’t have a clue what it meant. My real eye-opener was attending the Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood several years ago. I have learned much and my appreciation of diversity has grown since then.
The history of homosexuality is long. There are gay people who have shaped our past and gay people who continue to influence present day culture and politics, art and religion. This is a fact of life, whether people want to accept it or not.
Conservative religious groups feel that gays can change their orientation and be “cured.” Gay men have been beaten and killed. Gay celebrities are adored and honored. Politicians and religious figures are gay, both open and in the closet. When AIDS spread to heterosexuals, society finally took notice and began funding research and educational programs to combat this disease. As with the slow acceptance of civil rights, homosexuality is no longer as hidden as in the past. Change is slow. Progress has been made, but the battle continues.
I am the mother of a gay son. He is 36 years old. He was exposed to the same home environment and upbringing as his siblings. Our oldest son is married with 4 children, and has a Ph.D in Plasma Physics. Our daughter is also married, has one child, has a Master’s Degree and is an English/Writing teacher at Salt Lake City Community College. All three children are our flesh and blood and the thought that our gay son would be treated any differently from our other two never entered our minds. When he “came out” we gave him immediate love and support. We have a wonderful, close relationship with him and his partner.
I often ask people who do not accept the Gay life style “When did you consciously choose to be a heterosexual?” Their answer always is: “I didn’t.” They look at me like I’m nuts for asking. I then inquire: “Why do you think someone would choose to be possibly outcast by their families, their friends, hated by their peers, and rejected from their church, and even their country.” They have no answer. That is what a homosexual faces if they choose to come out.
Gays do not just decide to become “gay.” They are real people, not an abomination of nature. They are living, breathing, and loving human beings just as you and me. My advice to others is, don’t pre-judge on stereotypical information alone, and definitely not by a religious group telling you how to vote. Have an open mind. Have a conversation and get to know someone who is gay.
The quotation “All men are created equal” is arguably the best-known phrase in any of America‘s political documents, as the idea it expresses is generally considered the foundation of American government.
Recently California, Arizona, and Florida became the latest of many states to amend their constitutions to read: “Marriage is between a man and woman.”
There have been arguments in the gay marriage debate about gay civil unions from both supporters of gay marriage and anti-gay marriage groups. Supporters of gay marriage argue that civil unions cannot replace the right to marry and are a way of segregating gay couples.
Some arguments against gay marriage:
•Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman.
•Same-sex marriage would threaten the institution of marriage.
•Marriages are for procreation and ensuring the continuation of the species.
•Same-sex couples aren’t the optimum environment in which to raise children.
These arguments are based on the fact that heterosexual couples have access to two legal methods to register their commitment: marriage, which requires a ceremony and a signed legal document, or common-law arrangements, which requires no contract at the time and only basic proof at dissolution if there are any property disputes.
Because same-sex couples are denied the right to marry, they miss out on a vast number of rights and protections straight couples receive automatically upon marriage. The approximate number of denials is 1,135. These benefits range from federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through an employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to.
How does the gay lifestyle really affect other people? Does it really make a difference to the stability of any ones marriage? Are children of a gay couple worse off than children of divorced parents? Should heterosexual couples who consciously choose not to have children be forced to get a divorce? Why do religious organizations spend millions to influence elections that take away individual rights? Why do some people promote discrimination? As Stephen Workman of San Francisco and of Utah County puts it, “The question is simple, either you believe all were created equal in the sight of God or you do not.”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650743/ Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Gay Marriage