Yeah. I’m going to quote Gaga, so hold onto your hats:
Love is like a brick; you can build a house, or sink a dead body.
I typically bow out when political shenanigans consume the headlines. Not because I don’t have opinions of my own, or that I consider myself insignificant. But after all, I have Facebook and Twitter news feeds filled to the brim with my friends’ thoughts and opinions – all to which they’re entitled. What’s one more talking head going to do, I ask myself. Whether I agree with my social peers or not, they’re certainly entitled to their own opinions. And I’m entitled to ignore or accept them.
However, in light of the recent religious-political PR nightmare starring Chik-Fil-A, I wanted to put a different kind of energy out into the digital space.
You know, after incidences like the aforementioned, the immediate reaction of a person is that of a rubber band; we quickly snap into emotions of anger, and quite frankly, that of fear. And understandably so. People naturally resort to these two emotions when we find ourselves in the “unknown”, or in a place of discomfort. We, as humans, are quickly filled with a surge of emotional energy. Oftentimes it blinds us, and our counteraction, unfortunately, becomes no more effective than those of our opponents.
The meaning gets lost.
For me, the issue-at-hand is buried in syntax, and its significance is trampled under politicians warring for votes this upcoming election season. The issue, as I see it, is very simply put: it’s the pursuit of a demographic of citizens seeking equal rights under its governing organization. The term “traditional” marriage gets thrown around as a buzz word to incite reaction and define a separation between people. Yes, it’s about marriage – a union rather. But marriage, as it’s so often perceived in mainstream media, is more than the act of an admission of love from a religious aspect.
The issue here isn’t religious. It’s political. And in a country where its Declaration of Independence included the phrase, “all men are created equal” and its Constitution’s First Amendment upholds the separation of church and state, the playing field seems pretty black and white; that Bible verses have little governing authority in this debate.
My desire isn’t to get married in a church under the eyes of God. If I want that, then I know I’ll need to address that issue with the Church. My desire, rather, is to be viewed quite simply as an equal – the same as you. My desire is to have the right to a marriage that provides the same civil rights as a so-called “traditional” marriage. One that affords the right to visit my husband in the hospital, joint parental rights, domestic violence protection, and bereavement and/or sick leave for my husband or child.
Most of all, I dream of being recognized. Not singled-out as a second class citizen, but as a member of the same cloth as you. As a man who is entitled to the same insurance benefits as my husband. As a man who is able to make final decisions about his family in a time of need. As a man whose love carries the same emotional currency as that of a man and a woman. And as a man who is not an “other”.
Why do I want this? Why do you want this?
Because I am a human. Because I am the same as you.
Beyond this, though, you may be wondering why I opened this diatribe with a Lady Gaga quote. (Which by the way, have you HEARD this cover of it?)
Though I feel I’ve made a compelling argument on my stand re: gay vs. traditional marriage, my concern is, indeed, two-fold. I mentioned earlier in this hot mess-ay the natural human instinct to revert to anger. This is what scares me most: we cannot fight fire with fire.
We cannot resort to more hate. Because hate begets hate. Love begets love.
And I advocate love.
Scrolling through Facebook, I see gay and straight people alike touting all-encompassing words of hate-speech and damnation, which only spirals more and more of the like. Nothing gets resolved, and the meaning, as mentioned earlier, gets lost.
My plea is to remember we are all people. We are all of the same dirt, and the same oxygen. To forgo that thought is to further separate us from our journey towards equality. I urge everyone to remember to pause and reflect. To breathe and to release.
As the quote suggests, let’s choose to build houses. There’s already too many bodies.