Sunday, July 6, 2014
On Marriage and Marriage Equality
I like the idea of weddings more than I like actual weddings. I like the optimism and the chance for new beginnings and better tomorrows that go with weddings.
When I get there, I remember that the ceremonies are often really, really boring and brevity is the greatest virtue to which they can aspire.
We attended our first same-sex wedding in April. I wasn't sure what Lily would think when we first asked at the dinner table, "Miss X and Miss Y are getting married. What do you think of that?"
She thought about it. One of her friend's parents is in a same-sex relationship, but I don't think she personally knows any other out gay or lesbian people. (Or more specifically, she's seven, and doesn't tend to think about that aspect of people's lives) When we mentioned that so-and-so had two moms, she initially didn't believe us. ("That doesn't make any sense! That would mean that she was born twice!")
She answer she gave after she thought about it for a little bit was, "I guess it's okay, as long as they love each other." And that's a pretty good answer. She's seven. She doesn't have much experience with same-sex relationships. Mommy and Daddy tell her that we believe people should be allowed to marry anyone they love, and that things weren't like that when we were little. This parallels conversations I've had with my parents, about how black people were denied certain rights by the majority when they were little.
I think that any uncertainty she has is the skittishness anyone has, when faced with something outside of her realm of experience. She just doesn't know what to think of it.
The African environmentalist Baba Dioum said, “In the end, we will only conserve what we love. We will only love what we understand. We will only understand what we are taught.”
I think our children should be taught that being gay is as normal and healthy as being anywhere else on the spectrum. That gay people exist, that they are human beings, that they are entitled the same worth and dignity that every human being deserves.
(And I'm sure I could find some conservative talking head saying "Parents like JOSH want to indoctrinate our children into homosexuality!", but no point in giving those guys a bigger soapbox.)
Jen's a Unitarian Universalist, and I'm not, but I've attended enough services to know their principles. The first is "The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person", and that's a pretty good thing to believe in, in my opinion.