I admit it. I have a “gay” agenda. It is the result of nights of plotting and scheming: Plan A’s and Plan B’s. I consider strategy and laugh maniacally as I see my designs come to fruition….
What? A bit much?
Fine, no maniacal laughter, but at least there is an agenda – albeit not all that “secret”. My big gay plan is this: I want people to stop and think twice about publicly opposing homosexual interests-specifically gay marriage. Now, before you start screaming the 23rd Psalm and commence to spritzin’ the holy water, let me ‘splain.
I want to normalize homosexuality in a way that people recognize it to be a condition that happens every now and then and become accustomed to having gays around. Homosexuality isn’t some tacky rainbow secret combination that is out to destroy Christendom through gentrification and snappy outfits.
If you want to stand up for your beliefs as the prophet has asked, that is commendable. It truly is. More often than not, the words of our prophet fall on deaf ears. But I make a request: please, check your motives first.
I want to protect children from the harmful influence that homosexuality can have, you say. Okay, but remember that I am gay, too. Your brother, your son, your friend. Ah, but “he is different”. No, I am not. I am just as gay as the next queer. I didn’t ask to be gay just like you didn’t ask to be straight, but know that I am no more ashamed of my sexuality than you are. If gays are harmful influence to your children, then so am I. Do you really feel the need to protect your family against me?
I want to protect traditional marriage, you say. Okay, but know what that truly means. You aren’t protecting it from people who aren’t taking the commitment seriously – no less than you did, anyway. Our feelings for the people we love run just as deeply as yours and we want to create families with them just as much as you did. Our capacity to love is just as mature, significant, and profound as yours. Would you be satisfied with a “domestic partnership” being your only option when it came to building a family?
I want to protect the church, you say. The church could lose its tax-exempt status if it doesn’t comply with a possible mandate to solemnize same-sex marriages. No longer would we be able to write off tithing and fast-offerings as charitable contributions. Um…is your motivation in this actually money? Are you really okay with that?
Whoa, whoa, whoa! What happened to Prop-8 Agnostic? I maintain that position. How can I still say that? Because I simply want people to consider the motivations behind their actions and take an honest look at the issue from the perspective of someone on the other side. If anything, Christ taught that the motivations behind our actions are just as important as the actions themselves. If we are taking a position out of fear, hate, or greed, then maybe we need to take a step back to reflect.
It can be scary to question your own beliefs, because, what if you don’t end up at the same result? But, then again, do you really want to have your beliefs based on anything other than the truth? If you can take a step back and make sure that your beliefs are free from prejudice, misinformation, and even hatred, then you will be able to continue with confidence and demonstrate true compassion. It is more difficult that way, it’s true, but remember that unscrupulous means often leads to hollow and disillusioning ends.
Now, not to leave the other side out: demonizing swings both ways. It’s true that many in the religious right hasn’t always been, well, civil towards the gay community. There have been times where they’ve been downright horrible. But is a motivation behind your actions based on a desire for familial responsibility and equality or on years of hurt because of mistreatment? You may assume that Ma and Pa Redneck are only doing what they are because they were told that by their preacher/bishop, but are you ready to accept that they might have a gay son that they love and accept and after careful consideration still disagree with you on the issue of gay marriage? Are you sure that you aren’t just as close-minded as you claim your opponents to be by assuming all religious people are bigots? Many aren’t. Many can accept the points above, can show genuine compassion, and can still think differently with you. An open-minded person can show genuine love and compassion for someone even while disagreeing with them. Do you truly believe that just because someone is different, they are worthy of acceptance and respect…or does that just apply to people who are different from “them”?
More than anything, this is a call to honesty. If you really have to believe that the other side is hateful/evil/sinful/immoral/bigoted/selfish in order to maintain passion in your cause, then maybe you should take some time to purify your motives and consider the consequences of your words and actions. Look at it from a new perspective, “their” perspective. If people actually saw the other side as, well, people who are like them (which they are, I’m serious) they might actually be able to disagree and still love each other at the end of the day. I trust people to be able to do that. I really do.
I guess this violates what I said two posts ago, but, come on, did you really think that that was going to stick?