I am seeing, time and time again, homosexuality as the last great frontier where folks can place their deep-seated frustrations and anger. Folks can no longer rail against "the black agenda" for fear of being labeled "racist". Hey, wait a second...... look right here..... this is a group we can pummel! The Spoken Word of God hath commanded it so! (Sidenote: Folks, your homophobic rants on Facebook are not as private as you may believe.)
Yes, homosexuals are an easy, acceptable target. Particularly disturbing to me, is how folks use the Bible as their justification or explanation for this hatred. And yes, it is a hatred. If you feel so strongly that an entire group of individuals should be denied their civil and human rights when granting these rights would have absolutely no direct effect on your own situation?? Then yes. I would vehemently argue that you do, indeed, harbor a hatred for that person. Particularly, when you are parsing out scripture from an ancient text that supports your stance, but then you choose to ignore a vast amount of scripture which condones and in some cases, supports slavery and spousal abuse (not even including a long, sad list of other misogynistic stances.)
I used to chuckle at the entire "Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner" mantra that religious folks love to trot out as a demonstration of their open-mindedness and solemn forgiveness. The mantra completely misses the point because the entire concept of sin implies an action in which the sinner chose to participate. Breaking news! Gays and lesbians are who they are, there was no choice in the matter. To hate the sin? Is to hate them.
Why do I care?
Because it is personal. So very personal.
Not so very long ago, my own marriage was illegal in 16 states and my children were considered an abomination. A special court case (Loving v. Virginia) had to be won in 1967 that eventually overturned laws against interracial marriage. Furthermore, no one dares to say anything to my face, but I still come across folks who do not approve of my interracial marriage. I can visibly see shoulders relaxing when folks find out my married surname is Anglo and that my husband is from an ethnic group that is Christian. Even in my own family, it made Manoj's entrance a little smoother. Pay no mind to that fact that watching children starve on the streets in India ultimately turned my husband away from Christianity. He is Christian in name and that, apparently, is good enough.
However, my stance on gay marriage goes a little further than my own unconventional marriage.
I am a mother. And this is where I always feel a little sick to my stomach, when I see other mothers bashing gays and lesbians. How can a mother do that?
I will never forget looking into Arun's eyes when he was a newborn and realizing that I wanted him to have whatever sort of life he wanted. And that included the right to build a life with the person he loves. What was particularly earth shattering to me is when I realized that yes, I would be sad for Arun if he was homosexual. But not for the reasons you think. No. Not at all. You see, I would not be upset that my son desired men. Instead, I would be heartbroken knowing that my son would have a harder life because of how our homophobic society would treat him. A society that would attempt to deny him a simple happiness of creating a life. Having the right to create a family. Having the right to make medical decisions for a loved one. Having the right to inheritance. Having the right to be seen by our government as an entity.
That moment was life-changing for me and I still remember it. I was sitting in my chair, nursing him. It was mid-morning, so the sun had lit up our living room. And my world was rocked with the realization of it all. And I knew then, that I could never be quiet about my support for the gay and lesbian community again.
Last year, I was watching an episode of Oprah which featured the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. The love and adoration this couple displays for each other always brings me to tears. I sat and cried, with tears streaming down my face as I watched the show. Arun asked me why I was crying. I said, "Look at them, Arun. They are so happy and they love each other so much."
The Love. Do not forget the Love.