Monday, June 29, 2015

I may be waiting with marshmallows, but I'm not done.

I've been agitating on LGBTQ rights since high school. The Supreme Court decision was exhilarating, but incomplete - I've found it hard to find words to write about this and have been mulling it the past several days.

My favorite response came from a gay friend who is American, but has lived in England for years because she and her wife could legally get married there. "Some pastor's gonna set himself on fire. And I have a marshmallow."

Of course he backpedaled and said, Uh, he really didn't plan to do it...probably because so many of us were standing by with ingredients for smores!

We've come a long way in one generation - but not far enough. I remember, years ago, explaining to my little brother why marriage equality was important to me. At age 8 or 9, he laughed at the idea that anyone would object to same-sex couples marrying. I wish more adults would have such maturity.

I remember there being just one openly gay guy at my high school. He was mocked and ridiculed, and his parents kicked him out of the house. Today, there is a gay/straight alliance at my high school and lots of student resources, but it's easy to get too comfortable. There are still states where you can lose your housing or your job if you're openly LGBTQ. This is beyond wrong, it's unconscionable.

I'm lucky enough to have an amazing, loving, smart, funny spouse who happens to be my soulmate. I can't imagine us getting evicted or losing our jobs because we're in love.

It is outrageous for "religious" people to duck under the "I should be legally able to discriminate against you because of my own feelings" caveat. No way. My family is Lutheran and Jewish and I am the daughter and granddaughter of pastors. There is room for people of faith to be accepting, and frankly, if anyone has read the fucking Bible, you'll see that that's what Jesus did and encouraged us to do. Plus, not everyone's religious.

The same arguments - literally the same arguments - were made against interracial marriage, of which I am a product.

Take the hate elsewhere. If you are concerned about humanity, go do some meaningful volunteer work. Get your hands dirty.

Meanwhile, don't rest. Keep active. Segregation shouldn't exist in this country anymore. This is but one small step. Let us eat cake!

25 comments:

G. B. Miller said...

Firstus!!!!!!

Congratulations on a sane response. You're one of the few people who I've come across in the past few days that has not acted like a sore winner in this thing.

The majority of people in my circle of friends support gay rights and/or marriage, and even though I love them dearly, an ungodly percentage of them polluted my thread with enough vindictiveness over this issue that not only does it sadly keeps me straddling the fence on gay marriage but it certainly makes me want to ask the proverbial question, "Why should I when you treat an opposing viewpoint with the same contempt you accuse others of having towards yours?"

I don't have to like it, but I do accept it and will deal with it the best that I know how.


Father Nature's Corner

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Right on, Riot Kitty! This is a major victory, but not the final one. It's no time for people to get complacent.

Elephant's Child said...

It isn't complete, but a first step in the right direction which I really, really, really wish our guvmint could bring themselves to support. Not holding my breath though, blue isn't my colour.

PeaceLoveandSharpies said...

As a queer Muslim I can tell you that the amount of hate you have to deal with is absolutely unbelievable. It's saddening how militant people get with homophobia...like they'll be sinning all year but the second homosexuality is mentioned they get their dusty holy books off their shelves. Nonetheless I'm SO STOKED about this decision and all the other people that can finally marry who they love.

Birdie said...

I live in a province where anyone can get married to whomever they choose regardless of gender. It has been a right for (a few days short of) 12 years. Nobody even thinks about it now. It isn't up for discussion. There is no talking to your kids about it being right or wrong. It just is, thank god. If you love someone, you can get married.

You will all get there too. It may take awhile but it will happen.

Ileana said...

Every time you write about yourlittle brother, I like him more and more.

Abby said...

Amen, sister!
Heck, I live in the land with "Focus on the Family" in my backyard. They use religion to justify their hatred. I see a lot of homeless teens downtown and came to learn that the majority of them are homeless because their ultra Christian families kicked them out for being gay. That just burns my ass. Got marshmallows?

Charles Gramlich said...

It is mind boggling to me that anyone should think they have a right to control what two consenting adults want to do.

Lee said...

Good on you, RK! Well said! It's a shame more people don't think similarly! Narrow-mindedness has gotten the world into the mess it's in today.

Let love win over hate and prejudice any day!!!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

To answer your question from my blog, that fab statue of Freddie Mercury is in Montreux, Switzerland (home of the famous jazz festival) and overlooks beautiful Lake Geneva.

Rock Chef said...

Can't really add anything to that! An excellent post, RK!

Lynn said...

Great response from your little bro. Yes - the whole religious right thing makes me exhausted. It's exhausting!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

WONDERFUL Post, my very dear RK.....Your little brother---He gets it, Big Time! I was just reading an interview with Larry Kramer, who I admire in every way---as an activist and a writer---He just turned 80, and the interviewer asked him did he ever think he would see this happening---he said No. he never imagined it would happen in his lifetime, and is thrilled that it has....but he also said----there is still so much more work to do....And I agree.

I'm with you on the Bible....and where Jesus REALLY stood---he loved all people....

On the other end of the spectrum, there was this man I don't know who the hell he is, and I probably should---I just know he is some old white guy with a horrific agenda....He Actually Said: ".....6/20 is our 9/11"....Fucking bigoted asshole!!! It made me cry that someone could make that kind of comparison to the SCOTUS decision on Gay Marriage.....! So yes, there is a lot more work to be done....! As Oscar Hammerstein wrote "You've Got To Be Taught"....this kind of thinking is passed on from one generation to the next just the way all prejudice is.....Another reason to love your little brother-----and the fact that he was taught well!

klahanie said...

Well stated and the passion in your words resonates. Segregation shouldn't exist in your country or any country.

We have a ways to go but the challenge to make this an all different, all equal world, continues unabated.

Gary :)

Granny Annie said...

I have been Methodist all my life my father was a Methodist minister and my brother is a Methodist minister and we have all fought in our own way for LGBT. The only problem for Methodist pastors who wants to marry a gay couple is that the doctrine of the church has to be changed by the General Conference and so it comes up every session it is disapproved mainly by our African constituents. They have become such a large group in our denomination the rest of us cannot carry the vote but I cannot leave the church I love that was supposed to be founded on equal rights for all and their religious beliefs.

Granny Annie said...

I have been Methodist all my life my father was a Methodist minister and my brother is a Methodist minister and we have all fought in our own way for LGBT. The only problem for Methodist pastors who wants to marry a gay couple is that the doctrine of the church has to be changed by the General Conference and so it comes up every session it is disapproved mainly by our African constituents. They have become such a large group in our denomination the rest of us cannot carry the vote but I cannot leave the church I love that was supposed to be founded on equal rights for all and their religious beliefs.

Granny Annie said...

I have been Methodist all my life my father was a Methodist minister and my brother is a Methodist minister and we have all fought in our own way for LGBT. The only problem for Methodist pastors who wants to marry a gay couple is that the doctrine of the church has to be changed by the General Conference and so it comes up every session it is disapproved mainly by our African constituents. They have become such a large group in our denomination the rest of us cannot carry the vote but I cannot leave the church I love that was supposed to be founded on equal rights for all and their religious beliefs.

Senorita said...

If I lived near you, we would make and eat a rainbow cake together. Or rainbow pancakes. Or rainbow cupcakes with sprinkles.

My high school had a Gay Alliance club in the late nineties and overall the school was accepting.

I was raised in a cult and did go to private Christian schools. We were taught that homosexuality was a sin. The leader even claimed that she turned one of her gay students straight and married her off with one of her male students.

I grew up believing it was wrong, and I really believed it. When my high school history teacher talked about his daughter coming out, I wrote him a letter privately actually telling him that I didn't believe he should have used class time to discuss personal beliefs. I was never openly rude or quoting the Bible, I just believed it was against what God taught.

Then I went off to college, lived abroad, and left the cult. I opened my mind and changed my beliefs. Especially when I accepted my depression. I realized that if other people feel sadness that I did just for being criticized for whom they love or being different than the majority, my heart went out to them. I am not comparing my experiences, I just got a taste of sadness and imagined how they must feel, if that makes sense.

Now I would openly apologize to my history teacher. I believe in the mantra of "live and let live".

Betty Manousos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty Manousos said...

great response from your little brother, rk. great post my friend!

happy Fourth of July!
xoxo

A Beer For The Shower said...

Take the hate elsewhere. If you are concerned about humanity, go do some meaningful volunteer work.

You know, I'm just amazed by how many volunteer services are run by religious organizations... or religious nuts. Not that I have anything against that, but my wife has been turned down WAY too many times because she wants to sign up and the first thing they ask is, "What church do you go to?" To which she says, "I don't." And either they tell her to get lost or they make her volunteer life miserable by constantly trying to guilt trip her into going to their church. I thought volunteering was about helping people, not preaching about Jesus. Preaching about Jesus isn't going to feed the homeless. Only feeding the homeless is going to feed the homeless.

Holland said...

I agree... it is another step in the right direction. But to change the law doesn't automatically changes the view of people. Racism didn't stop with ending segregatism.

Furry Bottoms said...

That that that!!! That was my first thought the day same sex marriages were legalized. Where's the nearest bonfire? I fully expected these loud and obnoxious pastors and ministers to keep their word. After all, lying is a sin. Saying you're going to burn yourself if it became legal, and then not do it. Tsk tsk tsk. Bad role model!!

Furry Bottoms said...

Oh, by the way, YAY on the legalization! Just clarifying where I stood myself. I've seen firsthand what it does to a couple not being able to visit in hospitals or have power of attorney or whatever. It adds to the pain of being sick already which is so unnecessary. I've always been a supporter.

HBF said...

I don't think I will ever forget that marshmallow comment! Hilarious! Just today I saw a vehicle cruising by with "Just Married, Mrs & Mrs" painted on the back and I teared up. We have a long ways to go yet, but I am so grateful for this step in the right direction :)