Legalization of Love

I don’t purposefully seek out political conversations. I’m informed enough to hold my own and while I think my views will forever shift as I mature and have new life experiences, I don’t prefer to talk politics.

But rather, I enjoy hearing about other’s perspectives.

It’s in this way that I learn more about why people think the way they do and also see if their views are based on fact, religion, or emotional responses. Most of time, it’s a combo of all three. When it comes to civil liberties and rights, if I’ve done any campaigning, it’s been for women and when I’ve volunteered for campaigns (once in NC), it’s because I believed in the candidate’s platform and thought they could make real change.

So for me to voice my opinion on a topic that is way more controversial than it should be is a rare thing. But right now, I feel ignited to do so. It’s unclear if Albany will vote on the bill to legalize gay marriage in New York state today or if it’ll be delayed a few days. To pass Senate, the measure needs 32 votes and with 2009’s defeat, many are optimistic it will succeed vote.

It astonishes me how passionate people are about gay marriage. Sure, I come from the Bible Belt of the conservative South, a place where the fury of God is feared and redemption looms boldly, threatening the end of time. But I’m also fromAsheville– a town with a very large homosexual population and usually, a city that turns blue during elections. Regardless if you’re conservative or not, I’m not even sure why marriage has been on the state governments’ chopping board for so long.

Frankly, it’s none of anyone’s business – especially political leaders – who we decide to marry or who we decide to love. And under any circumstance, there is no reason why you should be kept from being with the person you love because that person happens to be of the same-sex as you are (and note I say sex, not gender, for they are not interchangeable).

Those who argue say same-sex marriage shouldn’t be legalized because marriage falls under “religion” and not “state”, claiming that the Bible says Adam shall not lay with Adam. Those for it say it doesn’t matter what a text says because the legalization of love isn’t up to the state or the church – a union is a union and should be recognized by law as so. Your genitals and what you do with them shouldn’t be a matter of opinion or determine what rights you have or don’t.

It infuriates me to think that my friends who are homosexuals are not given the same liberties I’m given because I’m heterosexual. If I can walk down the aisle, if I can have my husband stand next to me on my death-bed, if I can adopt a child just because I’m a woman who loves a man, there is no reason why a woman who picks a woman or a man who wants to marry a man, shouldn’t have the right to do the same.

And if we want to talk about stimulating the economy – perhaps on a very small-scale, but on one all the same – passing a bill supporting gay marriage would mean more fabulous galas and events, more homes or apartment closings, and more assets tied together.

But does that matter? Is that the issue? Or is it that so many were raised to believe that homosexuality is wrong and that with therapy gays can overcome their perceived disease? If I didn’t decide to be heterosexual, if I didn’t decide to be sexually attracted to men, what makes anyone think homosexuals picked what their orientation? Why are labels “gay” and “straight” necessary to qualify the validity of feelings or the intended success of a marriage?

And you know, yes, I consider myself a Christian. Yes, I sleep with men, not women. Yes, I have friends who are gay. Yes, I have friends who would never support this to pass. Yes, I was raised by parents with opposing views. Yes, I know what the Bible says.

And yes, I think homosexuals should be able to marry. It’s a civil liberty of being an American, of being human, and of being a person with the capacity to give and receive love, take care of children, and build and share a life with someone.

Though for now, the legalization of love will be handled by the states, in my mind, it shouldn’t be handled by anyone except the two people in the relationship. It shouldn’t even be an issue at all. If you’re aUnited States citizen or a child of this world, your right to say “I do” should never be up for debate.

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