Love and Marriage

Gay Marriage

 So seriously, what is all the fuss? I mean isn’t the idea of getting married and settling down something that we all should support including those from the right politically. I mean, would they rather all those gay people continue to be out there sleeping around, spreading their diseases, and corrupting the straight people into a life of sin? Is that their preference? Yes, I know, the moral decline of America, the end of traditional marriage and families, the damning to hell by the Church and their hypocritical staff, and so many other reasons that gay marriage should be prevented. Yes, if we stop it, that is what will keep America safe and moral…sure!

So those to the right of this issue will continue to fight on these “moral” grounds while continuing to fight against exactly what this nation is supposed to stand for – freedom, liberty, EQUALITY.  It is not about the religious aspects of marriage that I would even argue, but about two other things. The first is law and discrimination within it. If someone is legally recognized as married, then by law they should have the same legal rights. Notice, I say “legal” rights and not human rights. Over 1000 laws and benefits are missing for gay marriage because of this discrimination including family protection, Immigration, hospital rights, tax, and so many others.  Hell, if I could have gotten married and had it legally recognized, I would have saved a good $30,000 last year in tuition, insurance and taxes.  Does that seem fair? I know, life isn’t fair.  I should just suck it up and deal with it. And I do! But we are “not a land of discrimination” despite our past and current drives to discriminate against anyone and everyone we can.  Hypocrisy at its best…

Don’t get me started on Immigration issues and other federal benefits. Personally, I met my partner while living overseas doing work in development and child protection, mental health, education, advocacy and health care. I worked under dictatorships, had my life in jeopardy more than I can count, but fought for their protection and freedoms. Only to come home to a country with the person I love and told that even the Great and Free Country of the United States of America will not protect some freedoms of equality and the person that I love.

Can you imagine the idea of having to LEAVE America to find MORE freedom? Really? This is what is faced by so many…myself included…

But the main reason I argue in favor is for the simple idea of love and family. Nothing is more human than that. So, some men like men, some women like women, and then there is that mix and match that we call heterosexuality. All seems pretty fabulous to me. They share, they protect, they comfort and they respect each other. They build families and help their communities. They are just people in the end trying to find love and happiness in a sometimes cruel little world.

Are we really fighting to stop this when we can focus our energy on trying to stop child trafficking, bullying, abuse, rape, terrorism, and so many other things that hurt people? Does my love for another really hurt you? Does it cause those types of violence and destruction? I think not and if you do, well then you need some time on a couch with a good therapist, or simply maybe need to find some love in your life as well as you clearly are suffering and angry.

So to all the Gay Marriage haters out there, I say relax a little, maybe have a drink or two and move all that energy and hate back to focusing on yourself and why you are so unhappy with who you are and your own state of being. Focus on things that really matter in your life, your community, and the world that you can impact and change for the good without spewing hate and ignorance. Hate and ignorance and even discrimination have been a hallmark of America and the world throughout history. In the end, most learn to accept and include others and change becomes inevitable.

I always place my bet on humanity and acceptance…and maybe LOVE really does always win out in the end!

It did for me!

And the world did not end…

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Hate Hate and more Hate

Hate Hate and more Hate

I know this conversation has happened over and over but I feel the need to share my thoughts and experiences with it. I still sit back and am amazed over the amount of hate and intolerance in this world no matter to whom that hate is directed. Even my friends sometimes will say things in all seriousness that just takes me by surprise including comments about guns, gays, blacks, women, muslims…it doesn’t seem to matter to whom it is directed or to how ignorant and delusional they may sound in the process.

See, I DO feel I share a unique perspective having traveled to nearly 100 countries, surrounded myself with every culture, religion, and race there is. Enmeshed myself in those cultures and worked with those governments. Sure, I have had biases and lived by stereotypes as well, but at least have made an attempt to challenge them and grow verse being stifled by my own arrogance and living under the guise of God, religion, politics or money…

Why have I been spurred to write this?…well, many reasons, but one being that I have recently been criticized for all the work I do to bring equality to the LGBT community here in the United States. It is funny to me that I never get criticized for all the work I have done in 3rd world nations and in America for helping women who have been abused, children who are trafficked, poor people from having their land stolen in Cambodia, religious tribes from being exterminated in Africa and rape victims all over the world from being left to suffer, hated or punished for being victims themselves. But when it comes to gays, the same people who praise me for helping these others attain equality, safety, and assistance, are the first to criticize me for helping gay people achieve the SAME…and yet, they are unable to see their hypocrisy. “They deserve to suffer”, “they are evil”, “they are sinners”! Can people hear themselves? Seriously? “God says that it is wrong”…hmmmm, I think I have “heard” the same ignorant response for centuries used against every other possible minority or group…I would hate to be on the wrong side of this argument…again.

So we carry on with the Boy Scouts (and MANY other groups) continuing to question if they should be a role model and not discriminate (like this should even be a thought), for the Congress to continue to pledge to fight against allowing gays equality in marriage or immigration when America itself is based upon the idea of equality and fairness no matter who the person is. Shouts of religious freedom, as if there is only one religion and that one somehow delusionally states that all gays are sinners and SHOULD be hated and excluded. What kind of religion is that? What kind of government is that? What kind of people are we?

Can you imagine the thought of having to move to another nation than America to gain MORE freedom? I face that every day as I think about my future. Do you? Can you imagine thinking the only way out is suicide because you have been outcast by your society, bullied, beaten? I work with these people and help to save their lives and find hope in the world. They ARE people – sons, daughters, brothers and sister, friends and co-workers. Do you? The answer is likely no, you just continue to hate and base your experiences on a very sheltered life and very sheltered way of thinking. You don’t stop to think about what your hate does to people around you, to those that are part of your family, to those that are facing the ideas of suicide as a means of expressing their depression and sense of desperation.

I for one, will continue to fight for all of those in need and at-risk. I will continue to fight for EQUALITY and understanding and acceptance! Live your life and let people live theirs. Simple respect, kindness and a small amount of empathy can get us so much further than you can imagine. And everyone deserves to feel safe…to feel loved.

Equality is for all. Hate is for the weak.