Wednesday, May 9, 2012

America: Freedom for All! (unless you're gay)

          My father once told me that though he did not expect it, he would not have been surprised if at some point in my life I recognized myself as homosexual*.  This was not a dig. This was not a joke. This was not meant to be anything more than supportive of who I am as a person. Mom, fearing that dad had ruined any possible coming out party of the future, quickly chimed in and in a somewhat joking, but still serious affirmation of support made it clear that should I ever feel compelled to reveal my homosexuality that they would love me the same as they always had. My liberal, church going, heterosexual parents had essentially given me the largest stamp of approval to be gay that one could receive.    

               *Yes, I had a cabbage patch doll growing up named "baby". Yes, I admired and spent so much time with my mom and grandmothers as a child that I played with a purse at a very young age. Yes, as an awkward, chubby junior high student I ran with a crowd that was predominately female. And Yes, I am firmly, without a doubt a heterosexual male.*

           The state of North Carolina just passed Amendment 1, stating that a marriage shall be defined solely as the union between one man and one woman. I am not surprised, and neither should you. This decision was made before the vote ever took place. To be honest, the 60/40 vote split is a lot closer than I anticipated, and that in itself saddens me. This country has a lot to be proud of **, but its' display of the democratic voting system has become downright laughable. America was founded by those looking for more religious freedom. All they wanted was a chance to be themselves without the judgement and persecution from those that disagreed with them. Many of the fine voters from the Tar-Heel state will tell you that they were simply protecting their religious beliefs; that the bible does not condone the matrimony of two men. However, they might leave out the fact that in the same verses of 1st Corinthians 9-10, which many point to as proof for why they voted as they did, The Bible also declares that fornicators, adulterers, drunkards and those that covet are all in the same boat as homosexuals in the eyes of the Lord. 

               **Baseball. Football. The American Film Institute. Cheeseburgers. Mount Rushmore. Democracy. Niagra Falls. Worldwide eating champion Joey Chesnut.**

         If it were up to me the next Amendment to the North Carolina constitution would call for it to be unlawful to have a blood alcohol content larger than .08. Those involved in one night stands and anyone caught having sexual relations with any person other than the one listed on their marriage certificate should receive a class 1 misdemeanor charge***. The man driving his honda as he wishfully and woefully stares at his neighbor's new BMW should be locked up for 30 days... There is no way any of these amendments would pass. It's absurd. They shouldn't pass- and for good reason. Though 60-76% percent of Americans identify themselves as practicing Christians (thanks wikipedia), religious thought is not supposed have any influence on governmental issues. If the Bible said that sexual relations between two people of the same sex shall result in the stoning of each of the participants would voters line up at the ballot box with stone in hand?  

               ***The same charge given for shoplifting less than $1000 worth of merchandise in North Carolina***  

          It would be irresponsible to put the sole reasoning behind this amendment passing on religion. I would imagine there are numerous reasons for why people voted as they did. For instance, I have heard many atheists argue that a same sex marriage would harm a child's upbringing, should the child be unfortunate enough to land in that situation. I love writing. If only 5 people read what I have written tonight I will be ecstatic, but sometimes you must realize when your words simply cannot match those of another. In this instance, Zach Wahls is that other. 

          Many may view a civil union between a man and a man or a woman and a woman as downright disgusting and completely wrong in the eyes of the Lord. I am a fully practicing Christian Methodist and, to be honest, I have no idea what I believe that God has planned for those in the homosexual community. But it doesn't matter what I think that God thinks. What matters is what we believe this country was built upon; why illegal immigrants risk everything they have to try to be a part of what we take for granted. I can tell you this though- some nights I have had a few too many drinks. On numerous occasions I've longingly stared at the new Jeep Wrangler in my rear view mirror; picturing myself in that fortunate person's driver seat. 

          One day I will fall happily in love with the most wonderful woman in the world. We will laugh together. We will cry together. We will have intimate relations and one day we will get married. She will be there for me when no one else can, and I for her. Should we decide to have kids, we will do so, without judgmental eyes cast upon us. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to already know the person in which I want to share these amazing moments with but cannot. To be deliriously in love, yet told that I cannot fully experience the wondrous joys of marriage because another person- happily married and a father of two- feels uncomfortable as I walk down the street. That his religious practices do not allow me to wed. These feelings are ones that no person should experience, especially in this land of the "free" and home of the "brave". 

         It is nearly 5 o'clock in the morning and in less than 8 hours I will take my last final exam of the semester. As I turn it in, I imagine that once again I will feel the most exhilarating sensation in the world- freedom. Aside from finding a summer job to fund a few road trips, I will be free to do as I please for three whole months until fall classes resume. I may very well meet the love of my life this summer. It's possible that together we will consume more alcohol than we should. We may walk hand-in-hand down the street without a care in the world and, further down the road, if the feelings are mutual, we may wed. My heart tells me that my parents will be loving and accepting no matter who I end up with later in life. I wish that North Carolina would have done the same for the gay and lesbian community. 


Emily R said...

Really good post, Adam, I very much enjoyed reading it :)

Dr. Peters said...

Nice post. I really like the Wahl clip too -- will work it into the class next year. Thanks for alerting me to it.