Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Evovling With Obama's Views On Gay Marriage

After an evolving viewpoint, President Obama stated today that he believed that same-sex marriage should be legal. While some people are critical of the President’s use of the word “evolving,” it is an honest reflection of how many people come to understand this issue including myself.

My evolution in my support of gay-marriage started in high school. As I entered my teenage years I noticed like most people that some people seemed to not be as clearly display stereotypical gender roles. In high school I was one of those people. I enjoyed music, played violin and didn’t play sports. So other guys would call me “gay.” My response was to spit back gay jokes.

I am not proud of this fact but it happened. As harsh as the words were, I actually didn’t have a problem with people who were homosexual. However, no one I knew was openly gay, but plenty of celebrities were so I thought I understood this issue.

In college I finally had peers and friends who were openly gay. One of my best friends who I wrote about in this early blog post identified as a lesbian in college. I had fraternity brothers who were gay, as well as professors and classmates who were homosexual. I got to experience through them what it meant for them to have their sexuality be an issue in American culture and the struggles they went through.

This drew me closer to the side of fighting for gay rights but I didn’t fully appreciate other facets of this issue. I just knew I wanted my friends who were gay to have the same rights I did.

Years later I met a co-worked who is now a close friends who has a gay son. She didn’t hide this and was open to talking to me about this experience. For her it was very simple. He was her son, she loved him and she didn’t see why he deserved anything different in life than her other children.

Then I realized this wasn’t just about my friends, this was about my future children.

Most of my understanding about this issue came from connections with people in my life. It wasn’t until the arguments against Prop 8 came out that I comprehended this issue on a logical and legal basis. Check out this post about this case and really read the arguments. They will change the way you look at this issue.

My most recent step in my evolution in understanding the issue of gay marriage was teaching the children of gay parents. I have had the honor of teaching numerous children of gay parents but two of my students really stick out when I think about this issue.

These two siblings are the adopted children of a gay couple that has been together for seventeen years. They are wonderful children and if you spent only a small amount of time with them you would feel the love that can only come from a family of strong values and amazing parenting.

I feel so blessed to have had all these experiences, which have helped me evolve to support same-sex marriage and the rights of all people regardless of their sexuality. The majority of people who are against gay-marriage are not bad people. They are just evolving.

Share with them your own journey and bring them along with you. The issue of same-sex marriage is about a lot of things but at its center is love. And the best way for us to change people’s minds is through showing them that love.

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, I think your last sentence is the absolute key on what will turn sentiment around about this issue. I have less faith or belief in Obama's "evolving" view because if he really cared he would have been doing something before the NC election, not after it by at least using the bully pulpit. To me he's just another callow politician every bit as bad as the republican fools that passed that law because they just use this issue as a divisive tool to keep the everyman arguing with themselves. I had a friend on facebook recently say it was ok to openly discriminate students in a public forum based on their religion. Facebook was rife with religious bashing all day today and that will do NOTHING to advance our society in accepting one another. All it does is entrench people. I suspect, quite strongly, that if the issue were explained in such a way that people did not feel as if the government was going to force their religion to perform the ceremonies (i.e. we discussed things rationally instead of emotionally) the tide would change. It won't be overnight, but it would happen and the way you change minds is by tolerating one another not bashing each other.