Evolution of Equality: Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage prompt discussion of rights

Colin Gregory, Staff Writer

I was taught to love them, but to not accept them.
I was taught that they were going through a phase, due to a damaged childhood or some other abnormality in their youth.
I was taught that what they were wasn’t natu- ral — that decent people veered far away from that lifestyle.
I was taught to love and accept thy neighbor, but try to change who they really are.
I was taught wrong.
You can probably guess I’m talking about the weighty subject of gay marriage.
As I write this, the issue is being discussed in the Supreme Court. They are deciding whether or not it was constitutional for gay marriage to be banned in California. Because of this impending decision, this is the most relevant gay marriage has ever been, at least in my eyes.
If not, this is at least the most I’ve ever heard it discussed in the hallways in my four years at Blue Valley or seen it debated about over social network- ing.
Want to make your voice heard? Just change your profile picture to a red equal sign on a more red background, and voilà, you just told the world your stance in under 30 seconds.
That wasn’t so hard.
Before I go any further, I should make my posi- tion on this issue abundantly clear. You could prob- ably infer it from the opening sentences, but let’s not beat around the bush.
I, like our president and millions of other enlight- ened souls around the world, support the right for gay and lesbian people to get married.
There are more popular opinions to have in Kan- sas, but there you have it.
If you oppose gay marriage, it is likely for one of two reasons (or both).
The first reason is that gay people, and the pros- pect of homosexuality, freaks you out.
If that is the case, then I have nothing to say to you except you are ignorant, and the 1950’s would be a better place for your backward and tremendously outdated mindset.
The second reason people oppose gay marriage is because their view comes from the Bible, or God’s word.
That thinking may be a little more relevant, but it’s relevancy doesn’t make it any more correct.
First of all, please don’t hate me if I say there are parts of the Bible that are massively outdated. I’m a Christian, but if I followed every word of the Bible, I would never shave my face or wear mixed fabrics. If you quote a passage saying how homosexualty is wrong, I’ll remind you the book of Exodus tells me it’s OK to beat my slave as long as he doesn’t die.
Oh, how the times have changed.
I believe there are parts of the Bible you can take as words to base your life around, and there are parts that are just a simple telling of what life was like when Moses was around.
Gay marriage in the Bible falls under the latter.
And I can see why, a couple of millenniums ago, homosexuality may have been frowned upon.
A homosexual couple cannot create life. So, in a world where every child may be needed to ensure the survival of humanity, creating as much life as possible wasn’t just important, it was essential.
But right now, in 2013, with some 7 billion-odd people on Earth, we have no such needs.
If you want to claim that gays shouldn’t get mar- ried because they can’t procreate, by that logic any- one who is infertile shouldn’t be able to get married.
There is no reason anymore to mask who you re- ally are, and there is no real reason to oppose a fight that so obviously has a right and wrong side.
This fight for equality was mirrored a half century ago, when Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson fought for the equality of those who were inherently different.
Homosexuality is the same thing as having blue eyes, curly hair or black skin. It’s who you are.
As we see the same fight now that we did in the past, we also see the same hate.
Which is curious, especially because those who hate use evidence from the Bible to fuel their argu- ment.
However, the Bible also warns against divorce and premarital sex, and I don’t see crowds of people protesting that.
I’m not criticizing the Bible — I’m criticizing those who misinterpret it.
If you think the sanctity of marriage will be vio- lated, then you need to realize that marriage used to be a land contract between two families.
One hundred years ago, if I started talking about violating the sanctity of marriage, people would think I was talking about interracial marriage. They also might think I was talking about the ability to get divorced. Or they might think I was talking about a woman having any rights in a married couple.
Marriage, as a principle, changes — anyone who thinks differently is sadly unstable.
Speaking of sadly unstable, I recently saw the fine folks from the Westboro Baptist Church while at- tending a basketball game at the Sprint Center.
Sure, I’d heard all about their bigotry which an- gered me plenty, but seeing them in person was, for lack of a better word, fascinating.
It was fascinating in the same way that the movie “Schindler’s List” is — what you’re seeing is sicken- ing, but you can’t look away.
This brought to mind many questions, questions that hadn’t occurred to me until that moment. See- ing the modern equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan does that.
I wondered what compelled them to spew hate.
I wondered if the specific members truly believed in the hate their signs brutally portrayed.
I wondered how they had the nerve to call them- selves a church.
I wondered if they can really pray to their God with a clear conscience.
No one knows the answers to these questions.
Those people are meant to puzzle us, challenge us, motivate us.
They represent the worst side of a complicated issue.
If you’re reading this, and you believe in a tradi- tional marriage, just know that, while I disagree with you, I don’t lump you with those monsters.
I realize shades of gray come with this issue.
It’s an easier question for me to answer than it is for other people.
But when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter if you believe gay people should be married or not.
It comes down to if you think a man is capable of loving another man. If you do, then this is an easy issue for you to take sides on.
If not, if you believe the only kind of real love is a heterosexual one, then the choice may not be so clear for you.
However, surely you cannot presume to tell someone who they can and cannot love. No human should ever do that nor should any government.
You can debate the prospect of what constitutes love all you want. The fact remains that marriage is a basic human right.
If you oppose gay marriage, you oppose love.
That’s a little blunt, but this is an issue too im- portant to stay lukewarm. Being conflicted is one thing, but choosing to ignore the issue altogether is far worse.
If you think either gay marriage or gay rights is wrong, then I applaud you for having an opinion on the issue.
But you’re wrong.
Marriage is not between man and woman. It is between love and love.