As an aspiring critical thinker I often find it is good to jump start the mental muscle with an outrageous premise, especially one that represents a perspective that is diametrically opposed to your own position.
It bears recalling the hallmark of the critical thinker: the hallmark of the critical thinker is the sincere ability to seek to internalize the perspectives of others, most especially when that perspective is diametrically or even violently opposed to your own.
With this clarification I take it upon myself to consider critically why so many on the extreme conservative side of this debate are upset. They think homosexuality is wrong. They think it is unnatural. They think it is a sin against God and man. This premise logically leads them to condemn any behavior homosexuals may undertake, save when they are seeking to somehow, through mental dexterity, deny who they are naturally. They fully support gays trying to pray the gay away. Observation tells us this is utter nonsense and simply does not work.
Still, they continue to condemn people in the LGBTQ community when they seek parity within the confines of accepted and decent societal boundaries. They are concerned that gay parades sow discord and are dangerous. They think allowing gay people to get married demeans the institution of marriage and will somehow destroy the very fabric of society, that marriages will start unraveling all around us and chaos will reign supreme as divorce rates climb, sexual promiscuity skyrockets, and families embrace hellfire and brimstone as America goes down in flames.
They persist in thinking that allowing your children to be around gay people is dangerous, that gay people will look upon children with sexual desires and seek to abuse them, along with a goat and a squirrel. They think having a child in the same vicinity will somehow them in danger of being gay, like there is a gay virus that will leap through the air and land on your child’s head, somehow turning him into a raging drag queen.
Science will soon delve deeply into human trait identification and put to rest the idea that homosexuals are created through some kind of family trauma, sexual abuse, or that pesky gay virus that floated on some girl’s head. Many people refuse to believe that people are born gay despite all observations and testimony otherwise (including some homosexuals). However, we will let time and discovery resolve this one. In the meantime let us endeavor to be kind to each other.
The question as asked, “is the death of DOMA a danger to myself and my marriage?” Clearly it is not. In fact, embracing the critical thinker’s mandate allows me to consider the converse. By accepting the right of homosexuals to live with the one they choose and share in all the blessings recognition of their union provides an argument may be made that recognizing their union improves my sense of marital sanctity and strengthens my faith in the institution.
What did DOMA do exactly? We don’t need to go into deep detail to understand logically what it means. Striking down the Defense of Marriage Act means the Federal Government will now recognize same sex marriages. Now, couples of the same gender will be recognized just like heterosexual couples. This is a huge win for civil rights, and sets the battleground firmly in the direction of the LGBTQ movement.
Now, gay married couples can fill out their taxes jointly. Now, gay married couples have the right to be with their loved ones when they are ill. During hospital stays they can make decisions on their loved one’s behalf. Now, gay married couples must be recognized as they see seek to share their finances jointly and settle their spouses estates.
Interestingly enough I don’t see how granting these privileges of American citizenship, which for all intents and purposes are recognized as American rights, hurts my marriage. Logically, I see no correlation between the success or failure of my marriage and a gay couple living down the street. To imply otherwise would reveal me to be illogical in my assumptions or irrational in determining what impacts my marriage either positively or negatively.
Now, to be irrational is most certainly human. However, to aspire to overcome irrationality and embrace logic with emotion for the common good shows us to truly be reaching for the divine. The simple truth is a gay couple down the street lacks the power to endanger my marriage or my family, and, just so we’re clear, that couple would not have the desire to do so. You see, all they want to do is live and be happy, just like the rest of us.
Homosexuals are here just as they have always been here. Personally, I believe fully a third of the planet may be gay or questioning, if not more. Just look around you and see for yourself. Some of you complain that gays are popping out of the woodwork everywhere you look. Those of you who think this way are simply missing the truth. They have always been there, hiding in plain sight, afraid of how you would treat them. They were afraid you would not like them, that you would turn away from them, that you would prevent them from living normally, that you might beat them and harass them, that you might even go so far as to burn them, torture them, tie them to fences, stone them, or shoot them. Yes, some of them feared for their very lives, afraid that you might murder them.
Just as with other social challenges there have been homosexuals of unwavering courage, to be admired, who stood firm against hate and intolerance, waging a social war of litigation and peaceful protest, a continuance of the Civil Rights movement with the support of veterans of the movement like Congressman John Lewis. The fight for Civil Rights continues but with the end of DOMA a watershed moment has occurred, and the march towards a more equitable America has picked up speed.
The only way to evolve a better, more humane society is to lean into discomfort and embrace tolerance. From there you can move to acceptance and if you truly evolve in time you may come to love your fellow human beings and wish them all the best, for this outcome is truly the best of all worlds. They are here among us, proud, only wanting to be recognized for who they are. Who are we, the so-called standard bearers of freedom and liberty, to deny them? After all, to do this, to embrace them in freedom and liberty, is truly the American ideal, truly the American way. Is it not? Consider this critically.