“Why Do People Tell Other People They’re Loved But Not Equal?” This essay is personal. By BevnTempe

rainbow

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.

However:

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.”

Other reading:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/172399

http://www.sltrib.com/News/ci_11064769

http://www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/opinion/29sat2.html

http://www.365gay.com/news/california-to-investigate-mormon-prop-8-donations/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650743/ Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Gay Marriage

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58 Comments

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58 responses to ““Why Do People Tell Other People They’re Loved But Not Equal?” This essay is personal. By BevnTempe

  1. chefsheila

    Never mind……just didn’t register yet.

  2. horsedooty

    All great points Bev. We cannot do enough to end the discrimination.

  3. chefsheila

    Bev! Welcome to our world of published posts.

    A very thoughtful and well written post. I felt your love and your pain for your son.

    Too many friends have looked at me with obvious pain and stated those very points. How would someone in their right minds voluntarily choose to be an outcast from “Society”

    Thanks for your perspective.

  4. Thanks for writing this Bev, we don’t often get the perspective of the family of gay people and it’s good to read to what you think on this topic. Sadly for many gay people their families aren’t as accepting as your son’s is or my family is. Again thanks Bev.

  5. Wow, what a surprise the Court has refused to hear the Obama citizenship case. I’m shocked.

  6. chefsheila

    I as just thinking of how far we’ve come in acceptance and how much farther we have to go, just the other day.

    Palm Springs is San Francisco South here. I haven’t seen so many gay couples since the last time I visited San Francisco. The population here just treats the wintering population as normal and natural.

    My employers “Manicurist and I were digussing the same thing. He was a dancer in the 90’s and finally burnt out. He and his partner have been here ever since.

    He said to me that it was sureal when Prop 8 passed. To feel so normal here and then to understand that undermeath the “Norm” was still a deep prejudice and hatred. He said he felt like a rug had been ripped from under his feet.

  7. dog's eye view

    Bev: thank you for your eloquence here. Your son (and all 3 kids) were lucky in their “choice” of parents. Which makes as much sense as …

    I think we are going to see gay marriage become the law of the land in our lifetimes. As soon as you can argue that homosexuality is innate, like eye color and skin pigment and height, the arguments against it fall away.

    You can choose a religion. You can choose a certain lifestyle.

    You cannot choose your genetic composition or your sexuality or maybe even your basic personality.

    We’re at the Loving vs. Virginia moment.

    Yesterday’s New York Times weddings section featured an interracial (and very accomplished) couple. Big wow.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/fashion/weddings/07pettiford.html?ref=weddings

    It’s very sad that some use the Bible and other religious texts to outright discriminate against gays.

    It would be amusing if another Dead Sea scroll surfaced.

    The one in which it was explained precisely why Jesus attained the ripe old age of 33 without marrying and left no known genetic heirs …

  8. chefsheila

    Time to get ready for the day. See ya!

  9. Yes Prop 8 shows us just how much more works need to be done. But there are other indications of just how much work needs to be done. Violence against gays is still a big issue in this country, it’s still acceptable in the media to make “gay jokes” long after it’s become acceptable to make racial jokes. I seriously doubt Imus would have lost his show if he had referred to someone as a “mincing little queen”.

  10. dog's eye view

    Reuters breaking news: KSM and 4 others wish to plead guilty.

    In full:

    GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba, Dec 8 (Reuters) – The self-styled mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and four co-defendants sent a note to a military judge at Guantanamo on Monday saying they wanted to confess and plead guilty.

    The judge said he would question the five, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, to ensure that was their wish.

    The judge, Army Col. Steven Henley, read from the note, which began: “We all five have reached an agreement to request from the commission an immediate hearing session in order to announce our confessions … with our earnest desire in this regard without being under any kind of pressure, threat, intimidations or promise from any party.”

    The note said all five wished to plead guilty and withdraw any pending motions filed by their military-appointed lawyers, whom they do not trust and have tried to fire.

    The surprise move by the five defendants came as the U.S. military resumed pretrial hearings at the Guantanamo naval base, in a remote U.S.-controlled corner of Cuba, for the accused plotters of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The hearings went forward as scheduled, even though the pending change in the U.S. administration made it unlikely defendants’ trials would ever be held at the base.

    U.S. President-elect Barack Obama. who takes office on Jan. 20, has said he will shut down the widely condemned Guantanamo prison camp and try detainees in the regular U.S. civilian or military courts rather than the special Guantanamo tribunals created by the Bush administration.

    =============

    What does this do/how does it affect the pending Supreme Court case?

  11. dnd

    “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.” ”

    Bev,
    This says it all. How can anyone with a brain think that being gay is a “life style” choice?

    Great post.

  12. chefsheila

    Walking out my door to Breakfast…

    BEV, Just incase. YOu know we mom’s don’t let our children know when we put out like this.

    I hope you will let your children know about this great post. They would be proud.

  13. BevnTempe

    Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments on my article. “You betcha”, Shelia, I told everyone I know who has an interest about my post! Thanks again!
    Bev

  14. Nannymm

    Thanks for a well written and thought provoking post, Bev. It will take all of us to keep pushing until gay people have all the rights that straight people do. The support of straight people is so important to the effort. With perseverance, equal rights for the GLBT community will happen. Having mothers of gay sons and daughters come out and publicly support their children is wonderful to see. But that is as it should be. I have a gay friend who essentially lost his entire family when he came out. It was devastating for him then and heartbreaking still after 24 years. No one should have to sacrifice so much simply to be honest about who he or she is.

  15. Nannymm

    Hey, Sheila! That is exactly what I looked like this morning!! I was so bundled up, I could barely move. LOL

  16. chefsheila

    Funny Nanny! lol

  17. chefsheila

    OK…..I finally read this BS. Maybe its because I was in the military living overseas that I knew this….

    BUT. It doesn’t matter where you were born. It you are the child of at least ONE American, you will always have American Citizenship…..BUT!!! And tell GORDO this one….IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOUR PARENT WAS A FORIEGN CITIZEN……being born on American Soil holds full native citizenship……my GOD. what a stupid argument.

    ‘Obama too British’ case rejected
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7771937.stm

  18. horsedooty

    wrt dog’s post about Gitmo. Wonder what prompted that? Is the death penalty still in play?

  19. chefsheila

    Selfish !@#$%^& Villain……

    Merrill Lynch Chief Fighting For Bigger 2008 Bonus

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/08/merrill-lynch-chief-fight_n_149276.html

    Merrill Lynch & Co. chief John Thain has suggested to directors that he get a 2008 bonus of as much as $10 million, but the battered securities firm’s compensation committee is resisting his request, according to people familiar with the situation.

  20. Tif Rousculp

    I’m Bev’s daughter and am really happy she posted this. To watch her journey (and my dad’s) from confusion and concern about homosexuality (as they were both raised Catholic) to a life of advocacy has been one of the great pleasures of my life.

    When she told me the story of shaming her dentist for a homophobic comment (when her mouth was full of dental tools, in a very vulnerable position to say the least), I was proud to say that she was MY mom!

    Love you, Mom,
    Tif

  21. chefsheila

    Tif Thanks for posting.

    Actually today we got to know your mom just a little better. She’s a very cool woman!

  22. chefsheila

    Doots I know. Its confusing to say the least. Are they just tired of being there and want to Plea? Of is there something going on under the wires?

  23. hey Tif, cool you’re here and posted, and cool you have such a great mom and brother!

  24. dnd

    Tif,
    You’ve got a wonderful Mom. But then you knew that 😉

  25. chefsheila

    A President advising against the establishment….whats this country coming too?

    Obama Encourages Worker Protest At Chicago Factory

    CHICAGO — Gov. Rod Blagojevich has ordered all state agencies to stop doing business with Bank of America to pressure the bank into helping protesting workers at a shuttered Chicago plant.

    The move is leverage to try to convince the North Carolina-based bank to use some of its federal bailout money to resolve a sit-in at Republic Windows and Doors.

    The company closed last week with just a few days’ notice and about 200 workers want their severance and vacation pay.

  26. Norma Rae comes to the White House! Good for the workers!

  27. chefsheila

    WOW! The Tribune just filed for bankruptcy……

    So Ok, Chicago Trib and LA Times are apart of “Tribune”

    Isn’t the NYTimes having trouble?

  28. chefsheila

    …Norma Rae. good one Brian.

  29. BevnTempe

    I do have a wonderful family
    Love to all of them
    Mom

  30. I’ve decided I’m going to tough out this pseudomembranous colitis till Thursday. I really don’t want to be put on another antibiotic, I’ve been on 5 different ones since Aug, but if I’m not drastically better by Thursday I’m going to the doctor.

  31. dnd

    Gov. Rod Blagojevich needs to get congress to pull BoA’s bailout. Illinois government work is chump change for a mammoth like BoA.

  32. BevnTempe

    Brian
    Hang in there. We’ll be looking forward to hearing that you’re doing better by Thursday.

  33. From your key board to god’s PC Bev!

    🙂

  34. chefsheila

    Looks like Blackwater is going to draw some big Karma just as the Bush Administration leaves.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/12/08/iraq.blackwater.indictment/?iref=hpmostpop

  35. Nannymm

    Tif, I’m relatively new here and just getting to know your mom. Today I realized just how terrific she is and how lucky we all are to share our thoughts and insights on this blog. You mom is what I think all moms ought to be: supportive of their children NO MATTER WHAT. If a mom can’t give her love unconditionally, there is really something wrong with HER.

  36. dnd

    Nannymm,
    Here’s my list of things that are better than a mother’s unconditional love:

    Nothing.

  37. dog's eye view

    On why it’s a whole new world — and often amusing — when you let readers weigh in on newspaper stories.

    WaPost story. ” 3 Charred Monkeys Found in Luggage at Dulles Airport”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/08/AR2008120802660.html

    “Customs officials searching the bags of an African man who flew into Dulles International Airport on Friday discovered three charred monkeys in his luggage, as well as pounds of deer meat and dried beef, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials said today.

    … Foreign visitors often attempt to carry unusual food products into the country that are part of their native cuisine, especially around the holidays, but this was an atypical discovery, [U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Steve] Sapp said.

    “It’s a rather unique thing,” Sapp said. “We’ve seen all types of food and plants coming in through the airports. . . . but this is a first for many of us.”

    Sapp described the man as elderly but did not know his exact age and said he is visiting his son in the District. … ”

    reader comments:

    drjcarlucci wrote:
    How was he supposed to know?

    They mention about liquids but nobody ever says you can’t bring charred monkeys, shrunken heads, etc. on a plane.

    If they offered better in flight meals this wouldn’t happen.
    ========

    smooshie wrote:
    “They mention about liquids but nobody ever says you can’t bring charred monkeys, shrunken heads, etc. on a plane.”

    It’s in the part about no carrion luggage

  38. horsedooty

    I liked the comment about, “If they offered better in flight meals this wouldn’t happen.”

    ya can’t make this stuff up.

  39. dog's eye view

    I know. It was clever.

  40. Hi everyone….I have to say the tag on Bev’s post as “personal” drew me in……

    I’d like to tell you, Bev, that you are awesome and thank goodness that parents like you exist…..in my circles a gay child isn’t an oddity, but I will have to admit each family deals with it differently. Unconditional love is the only answer. Good wishes to you all.

    btw….I am emerging from the deep end… 🙂 …… I think of you guys often but I have very little time. I have been very busy writing letters to Santa.(in case you think I have lost ” it” – ( “it” being whatever little I had), the Santa writing was a joke. : )

    ~peace to all the naughty and nice

  41. compliments to the host on the header change…….

    🙂

  42. compliment accepted! Glad to see you around.

  43. dog's eye view

    a burrito sighting! About time! You have been missed.

    As have some other MIA friends.

  44. Hey – my avatar is the current Bloomingdale’s window in Soho…..

    Thought about meeting you for coffee, but I had no time….I was on someone else’s schedule….. had to suffer through “Twilight” which may be the worst movie of all time……those vampires had one nice house though, my dream home.

    Hang in there……..that’s what we all do….wish you well.

    sugar plum dreams ~

  45. You should have gone to see Milk, it’s outstanding!

  46. Nannymm

    By the time it gets here, it will already be out on dvd.

  47. dog's eye view

    Good morning all. Coffee therapy underway.

    And Bev: an exceptional post. Hope it got a lot of lurkers yesterday.

  48. *stretches, yawns, and wipes the sleep from his eyes*

  49. dog's eye view

    Hey Brian. Good morning.

  50. morning dog, morning et. al

  51. dog's eye view

    not jumping on the anti-nepotism bandwagon, but I am wary of the Caroline Kennedy appointment to Hillary’s Senate seat.

    CK is formidably talented and has long worked in public service. She’s well educated and up to the job of being a Senator, intellectually at least.

    But maybe the message of Obama (and Huckabee, etc.) is find a talented politician who made it on his/her own.

    There have to be some up and coming politicians — young or not that young — who would do a great job and deserve the chance. Maybe pick someone who could draw a lot of online $$$.

    The CK appointment says: job well done on the Obama campaign AND (worse): this seat takes so many millions of dollars to defend, let’s start with someone on 2nd or 3rd base who can bring in a lot of out of state money and attention.

    Legacy congressional seats are becoming a real threat.

    Not as bad as gerrymandering, which tops all, but they reduce genuine competitiveness.

    GWBush was not his dad.

  52. chefsheila

    Morning people.

    UB! If your lurking. You are missed. Come back when all is well again.

    AND

    Steve, Colleen, Kathy, we know the world gets in the way. We miss you. Know you are out there!

  53. dog's eye view

    well, looking at that as posted: I am riding the anti-nepotism wagon.

    The coffee had not kicked in yet.

    Bottom line: if CK is truly interested and desires to serve in the Senate: go for it, Caroline. She’s well versed in the issues, thinks for herself, is comfortable in public, and is already skilled at maintaining a low key and serious image amidst celebrity press attention.

    But maybe Paterson could look at — dare we ask — staffers and aides too (a la Susan Collins of Maine) for someone with knowledge, commitment and enough charisma to have a chance in 2010.

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