Update: When I first posted this, I understood the meaning behind the image, but I didn’t understand some pretty basic things about it… First, it is an equal sign (=). Seems silly now, but I didn’t see that in the beginning. Also, it is a red version of the Human Rights Campaign logo. The name of this blog entry is a testament to my ignorance
My version of the image here is a morph of the HRC logo with a photo of my daughter, Kat.
Polarizing topics like same sex marriage stir us and rarely lead to respectful dialog. We tend to go to our respective poles and shout whatever our side tells us to shout. Yesterday on Facebook, I joined with many who changed their profile photos to a red square with two pink squared contained within. This was to show my support for equal civil rights for same sex couples as I enjoy with my wife. I have written before about how my views about homosexuality were influenced by my daughter, Kat. I stand by those words. If you have not read them, you can find them in this post, Loving Kat, Changing Me.
I am aware that because of the polarization of same sex relationships in general and gay marriage in particular, my recent posts in support of gay marriage probably imply things that I do not mean. So please allow me to explain what I believe today (it will likely change).
- I do not automatically believe that everyone who disagrees with me about these matters is homophobic or hateful.
- I believe that marriage should be a religious joining that fits the beliefs of the couple being married.
- No church or other religious order should be required to perform or sanction marriage that violates their teachings. A church organization should retain the right to hold that homosexuality is a sin and should never be forced to perform same sex marriages.
- I believe that the government should get out of the business of regulating marriages. Period.
- I believe that appropriate legal benefits and consequences should only be administered through legal contracts of domestic partnership agreements.
- There should be no legal recognition of marriage at all. This is not a state matter.
- Any two consenting adults… (It should go without saying, but since this is about clarification… I do not advocate any kind of sanction for child sex relationships)… again, Two consenting adults should be able to make a binding legal contract in which they commit to one another no matter whether they are different sexes or the same sex.
I strongly suspect that 50 years from now (or less), our descendants will look back at this debate much as we look back at issues like racial segregation and women’s right to vote today. They will wonder why we had such a hard time accepting people who were different than the majority.
I am one of a quiet but growing group that is stepping carefully and fearfully into the unknown, asking hard questions of the leaders they have followed unquestioningly all of their lives. I have been on both sides of this “issue”. Kat helped me see it not as an issue, but as a human rights situation involving real humans; humans who deserve the same civil rights as I do, not because of my sexual orientation, but because I am a living breathing human being that deserves respect.
I welcome conversation around this topic from people who disagree with me. I only ask for an agreement up front that we will listen to one another honorably and respectfully and that it is okay to end the conversation with disagreement on the topic.