Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why I will vote NO

In light of the big election coming up, one of the big votes is determining if Minnesota should put in the constitution that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.  This has me very perplexed, as I believe I learned in grade school the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  This would logically tell me that if I believe that I should be allowed to marry the one person I love the most (of course I mean my wife Renee), Shouldn’t I follow the rule that would have me thinking that others should be able to do the same as I can do?  And of course, my answer is Yes, I mean I plan to vote No, but yes to believing that they should be able to do the same. 

To be more honest with you, I find homosexuals* to be extremely fascinating, not necessarily as individuals, but more so in the courage it must take to be yourself, especially when being yourself is something that is looked at so poorly among society, and in many ways can be very dangerous.  I say this with the utmost respect, as being yourself, from my experience is difficult, even for this White/heterosexual/middle class/educated/extremely handsome guy.** 

There are different kinds of courage.  We all know of the courage of the brave woman and men*** soldiers, police officers, firefighters and other service positions in our society.  But I wonder why do we not look at individuals who are able to be themselves, in spite of the numerous challenges they posses as having a similar courage?  I am not implying that it is the same courage, as there are different types of courage, I just wonder what our world would be like if we consistently sent a message that it is OK to just be who you really are, and not try to fit people into the boxes.  Not structure them into personal belief systems of what life should be, and more appropriately how people should act, should behave and who people should love and marry. 

I also often feel ashamed of hearing stories when homosexuals are not able to come out, or feel that they are wrong, or just different.  It hurts me to hear of parents disowning their children just because of something as silly as sexual preference.  It also breaks my heart to ever hear of a GLBT individual making the unfortunate and ultimate decision to end their own life, because of the amount of grief they have for simply not feeling understood by their family, peers, or just society in general.  I guess part of this is because I recently am labeling myself as a sensitive introvert, and am very emotionally and empathetically attached to the struggles of others. ****   Though each of these situations are things that really do not need to be a part of our society, and we could make a huge impact by just accepting people, and not judging them.

So yes I believe that homosexuals should marry.  Yes I believe in equal rights and that this is an equal rights issue.  I believe you should be able to marry the person you love, no matter their gender.   I believe if Jesus were alive today, he would not worry about this issue, vote no, and go and try to help people in need.  And Yes I believe that Hurricane Sandy was a scientific and meteorological phenomenon, and having nothing to do with God’s revenge on homosexuals.

But more importantly I believe that we should celebrate the courage of these brave individuals, not just homosexuals, but also anybody brave enough to have the courage to “just be you.” 

My little celebration will be in the voter booth when I get to fill in the little circle next to the NO box, and pause and think about a world for my children that will be, just a little bit better, and just a little bit more tolerant.

 Thank You!

*Believe it our not, the word homosexual is not meant to be a derogatory term.  It’s really just putting the word homo (meaning same) and sexual (which has to do with our gender) together.  I of course did know this, but unfortunately, the term is so ingrained in my head from as early as grade school to mean something derogatory from boys using it to slam others, that I still often feel awkward using the term in it’s proper form. 

**Feel free to just nod your head yes and agree to the extremely handsome guy comment.  Why are you not nodding your head? 

***Yes I did put woman in front of men in this sentence.  I have a strong Feminist wife and believe that women are typically better than men.  I also know that she will probably be reading this.

****I am working on my master’s degree to become a therapist you know.