10 April 2009

Iowa and Vermont

As I'm sure most of the country is aware, both Iowa and Vermont have legalized same-sex marriage.

I'm pretty sure that I can theorize on what my church thinks of this. I'm fairly certain that they aren't happy about it, that it's another example of living in the last days and all the temptations that the world is facing because we're on our last leg. Yes, brothers and sisters, the end is near.

"As a Mormon, I have a responsibility and commitment to listen to my church leaders. At the same time, listening to my church leaders does not absolve me of the ethical responsibility to listen to the voice of the other."

This is a quote from Douglas Hunter. He is a filmmaker who documented the story of Rev. Susan Russell, a priest who also happens to be a lesbian.

When I hear about another state legalizing this rite for EVERYONE, it makes me really happy. Here's why...

...I can see the joy on the faces of those couples who now have the opportunity for the first time to declare their love permanently, publicly, and legally.

...I think about the children of same-sex couples, who are loved just as much as children of heterosexual couples, who will now know that their family is considered just as good as other families in the eyes of their government.

...I think about the teenager who is starting to realize that they are gay, and how they might have hope for their future, how they might feel joy and acceptance instead of guilt and shame.

Love is what drives us, what we seek after, what we want. It's what we teach our children about. We talk to them about the day when they'll grow up and get married and have a family of their own.

If you had two kids and you could somehow see that one was straight and one was gay, would it really be okay to tell your gay child that it's a dream that they have to watch everyone else achieve? To tell them that they have to be content with seeing their sibling find that happiness instead of trying to find it for their life?

Would you tell them that even if they found someone to love and who loved them in return, that their love would mean less than love between a man and a woman?

from an interview about the movie "Brokeback Mountain"
OPRAH: Whether or not you think being gay is controversial, whoever you are, I think a lot of people think that marrying and having kids and maintaining a gay relationship, if not controversial, it certainly is conflicting. You would agree with that, right?
HEATH LEDGER: I still find it personally disappointing that people kind of go out of their way to voice their disgust or their opinions against the ways in which two people choose to love one another. I think that's really unfortunate.

So do I. In my eyes, when you say that gay and lesbian couples don't have the right to marry each other, you are saying that these people are not as good as everyone else. You are saying that there is something so wrong with them, that they don't deserve love. That's the message that I've gotten. States like Iowa and Vermont are working to change that message. That gives me hope. It's not hope that one day, I'll marry...it's hope that one day, I can say "yep, I'm gay" and know that it doesn't mean I'm less of a person.