My position on gays and gay rights
An opinion piece ran in The Onion called, “If God Had Wanted Me To Be Accepting Of Gays, He Would Have Given Me The Warmth And Compassion To Do So.” Although I know The Onion is satire, I sometimes get this vibe off of other Christians.
I am unequivocal about my position on gay rights. Although I’m a Bible-believing Christian, my personal views don’t always line up with God’s. (Bad, I know.)
I’m not sure why I’m so passionate for gay rights. I don’t have any close gay friends who I see struggle with discrimination. I’ve come into contact with gay people at various points in my life (I’m friends with a few on Facebook) and always wish I had that token gay guy friend (think: My Best Friend’s Wedding).
The closest reasoning I can come up with that makes sense is that my favorite uncle (and godfather), who passed away from complications due to AIDS in March of 1994, was gay. My uncle was married to a woman and had two kids but for some reason, never felt the freedom to openly be who he was. In some wacky family drama, he brought his lover, Gus, into his life (and his home) and a few family functions. Gus died not too long after my uncle.
I guess ever since, I’ve had this hang-up about homosexuality. Not only with other Christians but with God. Within the first six months of becoming a born-again Christian by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I seriously questioned whether I wanted to be part of a religion that didn’t allow two consenting adults—regardless of gender—to love each other. As a Bible-believing Christian, Romans 1 is clear. Homosexuality is sin. But so is unrighteousness, evil, coveteousness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossiping, slandering, atheism, insolence, haughtiness, boastfulness, disobedience, etc.
So yes, I know the truth of God’s word.
But when I look at two men or two women who genuinely love each other and want nothing more than to spend the rest of their lives together, I have to stop and think, “God, why would you want to keep two people who love each other apart?”
I always get the same pat answer from Christians: “Because it’s not what God designed.” No emotion. No feeling. Just the facts, ma’am.
When I was a junior in high school, I took a freshman-level theater class. One of the assignments: we all had to write a one-act play and then our teacher would select people to do a cold first reading for each one.
I waited in anticipation of my one-act to be done. Maybe I waited a day or two. Regardless, I remember it was the last one performed before class ended. Maybe even before the day ended.
A few classmates were up on the stage. Two girls on one side, two guys on the other. One of the girls admitted to her best friend that she liked a boy. Nothing about that should be shocking. But to the other girl, as she read it, it was.
You see, I wrote a one-act play in which everything was a parallel universe and it was a sin for straight couples to be together. (Somehow, I got away with this in a Roman Catholic school.) By the end of the play, my classmates on stage (with the exception of two) discovered they were really playing gay characters. The rest of my classmates muttered that I was (to put it in semi-PC terms) “screwed up”; my theater teacher thought it was brilliant. I still happen to like it. It makes me put myself in someone else’s shoes.
This then, makes me wonder: Where do straight people get off thinking they can dictate the lives of gay people? I certainly wouldn’t like the neighbors down the street telling me who I can and can’t marry. If two women love each other and want to commit to spend the rest of their lives together, so be it. I’m not in the relationship and it doesn’t affect me. If a gay couple wants to adopt a child and raise it in a loving home, that’s fine by me. Better a loving home with two guys than an abusive home with a woman and a man.
On Facebook, some people have settings so that friends of friends may view pictures. Well, a woman I met through a local writing group (who happens to be a lesbian) attended a wedding this weekend. She was tagged in pictures that someone else posted. Since marriage isn’t legal in Pennsylvania, I was curious to see where the wedding took place. It, in fact, did take place in Pennsylvania so I assume the wedding was more a “commitment ceremony.”
As I looked through the pictures, I saw two happy women facing each other, both looking positively radiant and full of love. And again, I went back to that pesky question I badger God with:
“Why is this wrong?”
One of my favorite shows of all time is Queer As Folk. I came to fall in love with the characters and the raw emotion that actors and actresses so wonderfully portrayed. And so often, the dialogue was beautifully written. Through that show, I learned that while there are some pretty sleazy and skeezy gays out there, there are — guess what? — gays who want a private, quiet life with their partner and perhaps, raising a family.
When it comes to marriage, I don’t think gay marriage has a place in a church that’s not accepting of it (as is the case in Bible-believing Christian churches). However, when it comes to legal rights, I support gay marriage.
I am amused by conservatives who insist that the government should keep its grubby hands off of nearly everything yet hail the the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which would federally mandate that legal marriage is between a man and a woman. I am also baffled when straight people desperately want to determine how gay people should live (as in Prop 8). I’ve heard some straight people say they want gay activists to simply “shut up.” Well, they’re not going to “shut up” if you’re just going to keep them from what they want. Anyone remember the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18?
As a teenager, I often saw parallels between the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement. The majority constantly made decisions to determine what impacted the minority, leaving the minority little room for say or control. In that same vein, it was only when the majority finally gave the minority a voice that many forms of discrimination were finally put to rest.
I want a man whose partner is dying of cancer at the hospital to be able to be considered a spouse and visit him with all the rights and privileges that a straight couple has. I want a woman who has been faithful to her female partner of 26 years to receive the same government benefits that straight couples are entitled to. Call me a liberal if you want to; this discrepancy is inequality.
So when I think of the title of today’s Onion opinion piece, I think God actually DID give me the warmth and compassion to be accepting of gays because I certainly know of a lot of people who don’t.
“I think God appreciates it even more because he created you in his image. At least that’s what I was always taught. And since God is love and God doesn’t make mistakes, then you must be exactly the way he wants you to be, the way he intended you to be. And that goes for every person, every planet, every mountain, every grain of sand, every song, every tear, AND EVERY FAGGOT. We’re all His, Emmett. He loves us all.” —Ted, Queer As Folk