As ever, I ask that we take the time to consider the issue of same-sex marriage through the prism of critical thinking as opposed to the filter of ideology and modern socialization. The inability to consider and internalize an issue as well as understand it from more than one perspective limits our ability to lean into positive conflict, generate amicable solutions, and close the ideological divide, bringing us closer together as opposed to separating us further.
In order to elevate our politics and evolve our society we must endeavor to disavow ourselves of preconceived notions, suppositions, and base assumptions. We must learn to move from hate and prejudice to tolerance, acceptance, and love. And I must stress love, for it is absolutely essential that we merge critical cognition with our best selves, which is unrestrained love, deep and abiding.
With that understanding I look at the issue of same-sex marriage and consider it with regard to how I was raised, my religion, what society teaches us, what history teaches us, and what we must grow to become.
My religion taught me that homosexuality is evil. However, as I’ve lived my life I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending many homosexuals. They have been honest, trustworthy, hard-working, caring, supportive, family oriented, and, yes, even faithful. I have known them to live their lives fully when not hiding who they are, sharing stories of heart-felt suffering while living in the closet. I have known them to love life and love God, if that is what they believed.
Society taught me to call homosexuals derogatory names and reject them as strange anachronisms, mutants, deviants to be shunned because they do things bestial and abnormal, far from the norm. Society taught me to view them as outsiders, and to treat them as such. However, my father and mother taught me to reach out to people, to get to know people, to seek to understand people, and by doing that I learned that what society was teaching me was the great and immoral wrong. I dismissed my socialization and in that realization I fully understood that the castigation I subjected them to was the true evil, the evil that I must and most robustly did disavow.
History teaches us that society and religion have wound us up, torn us down, clarified our beliefs and elevated us at our best, destroyed us at our worst. I have learned that clearly before Judeo-Christian beliefs, in its many forms, took precedent over how we lived our lives sexual relations and who we loved was more egalitarian. In other words you could be a bit more free to be gay. However, as Rome faded into oblivion in the euro-centric world, and men used religion to hold power, such freedoms vanished. This remained the state of affairs … until today.
Now, more than ever people are not only stepping out of the closet, they are jumping out of the closet and declaring their true selves, demanding they be recognized for who they are, with the same rights as everyone else. Good for them, and in truth good for us. Denying people the right to live and love as they see fit is detrimental not only to homosexuals, but to us heterosexuals as well. Critical consideration is required to understand this fundamental truth, we erode our society and ourselves when we expend energy denying freedom to others.
I and my wife took the time to critically consider the matter of homosexual marriage. We looked at the facts, and understood from a legal perspective how straight people were doing gay people harm by denying them the same legal protections we enjoy under the law.
Then, we considered critically what having a gay married couple next door would mean to us. The answer was simple. We would have a gay couple living next door to us. That’s it. That’s all. It would not harm our marriage one whit. The sanctity of our union was a function of us, not the gay couple next door. With that understanding why would we deny them the same acknowledgement of love both by whatever faith they practice, and the societal government under which we all live our lives? Through the application of the critical thinking filter the answer was abundantly clear, we could not even begin to support denying gay couples the right to live and love each other as they see fit, in harmony with the rest of society.
We support gay rights. We support gay couples getting married. We support the emergence of gays in society. We support the elimination of the closet, the abandonment of the undercover brother, the pride of a people who want no more than what the rest of us enjoy, the freedom to be.
The time is now, Proposition 8 is the wrong side of history, DOMA is the wrong side of history. Many so-called conservatives are on the wrong side of history. Many Republicans are on the wrong side of history. Even a few democrats and more than a small number of liberals are on the wrong side of history.
However, history is a rising tide and the rolling thunder of truth is gaining in volume, louder and louder from one sea to the other. Republican Senators are coming out in support of gay marriage. Vitriolic pundits and naysayers that poison critical thought are even saying the times have changed, and one might as well not fight the inevitable.
Our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, are gaining and growing. They have always been here, afraid, hiding, living their lives in turmoil, living their lives in tortured denial. Who are we to stand in their way … and more importantly, why? The truth is clear. The time for gay marriage is now.
The Aspiring Critical Thinker,