I am still having a rough time wrapping my mind around what happened at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. More and more states are legalizing same sex marriages, which gave me so much hope. More and more people are able to transition to the gender they identify with, with the assistance of doctors, family and friends, which is amazing. Businesses who refuse to serve same sex couples are usually greeted with outrage instead of congratulations, which is exactly how we should react. It seemed like we were getting somewhere.
Out of nowhere, on a night where friends, family members, old and young, of various genders and orientations were having fun and enjoying life, one horrible person destroyed everything. Innocent people were murdered, others injured. A former safe place was riddled with bullet holes. The wrong kind of history was made thanks to the death toll.
Some people want to blame terrorism. This would be a mistake. Idiots like Donald Trump want you to believe that this was an evil Muslim who came to this country with the goal of destroying America. Not the case; the shooter wasn’t attacking America, he was attacking the LGBTQ community. I don’t care if he did it out of self hatred or for religious reasons or because society still doesn’t fully accept certain lifestyles; the point is, he targeted this community out of hatred.
If you don’t care about the shooting at Pulse, you are part of the problem. “But I’m straight and don’t believe in homosexuality, so it doesn’t affect me.” Simply because you don’t believe in someone’s lifestyle doesn’t mean that you should feel justified in ignoring their suffering and silently condoning their slaughter. We’re not savages; we should value every human life regardless of whether or not we agree with their personal choices. We should not get to turn our backs on this type of tragedy, especially one as horrifying as the shooting at Pulse.
Thanks to the actions of one horrible person, who thankfully is no longer around, people around the country have been afraid to celebrate Pride month. People who I call friends are afraid of their lives. Let me repeat: THEY ARE AFRAID FOR THEIR LIVES. All because of who they prefer to spend their time with. There are not enough of us fighting for the rights of our peers. We need to be more vocal. We need to make it clear that the ones filled with hatred are the ones in the wrong, not our LGBTQ community. We need to do more, and we need to be better. We can’t keep allowing this to happen.
The Supreme Court ruled, in a 5 to 4 vote, that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. This is something I never expected to see in my lifetime and something that makes me proud of this country. Marriage should be a union between two consenting adults; there is nothing complex or confusing about it. I’m excited to see what this monumental ruling brings down the road.
What doesn’t excite me is the horrible attitudes of people who still strongly oppose same-sex unions. The reality we live in is full of all types of couples; different races and social standings and genders and religions. No one has to agree with every union out there. I don’t happen to agree with an 18-year-old marrying someone old enough to be their grandfather, but I’m not about to parade the streets in protest. Consenting adults get to marry whoever those consenting adults want.
A marriage of any kind affects the two people who are married, plus any children they have, any pets they keep, and any family members who live with them. Outside of that, if you are affected by someone’s marriage, it is because you are choosing to insert yourself somewhere that you don’t need to be. My brother, who was married last year, lives in New York and his marriage didn’t change anything in my world. Two friends of mine also married last year, and their marriage (which was the best wedding I’ve ever been to) also didn’t affect me past the few pounds I probably gained from their amazing cupcakes. If you are whining about how you are negatively affected by same-sex marriages, it’s your own damn fault.
The whole “I don’t want it thrown in my face argument” isn’t valid either. The people who are shouting this from the rooftops are the same ones who are heavily invested in reality television, who are keeping up with the Kardashians, and who gossip heavily on social media. You are throwing nonsense in the faces of everyone around you when you drone on about the latest garbage on E! News, discussing the most recent celebrity weddings and hook-ups. The world isn’t going to censor itself because you’re too fragile to handle it. If you don’t want things “thrown in your face,” remove yourself from society, stop watching Big Brother, and log off Facebook while the rest of us carry on living our lives and enjoying the little pleasures each day brings.
“But I don’t want to see rainbows everywhere, or two men making out.” First of all, rainbows are fantastic. They are bright and colorful and happy. If you hate the sight of happiness, I don’t know what to tell you. Second, I can understand not wanting to see two guys making out because, personally, I don’t want to see ANYONE making out. Excessive displays of public affection are uncomfortable regardless of the couple. That said, if you are getting up in arms about two women holding hands, you need to take it down a notch and quit being so damn uptight. PG displays of love are a part of life; so long as it doesn’t cross a line, quit obsessing and leave people alone.
“But it destroys the sanctity of marriage.” And straight couples getting married for the 4th or 5th time doesn’t? Shows like Arranged, The Bachelor/Bachelorette and Married At First Sight aren’t destroying it? Photographers stalking celebrity weddings and posting photos for greedy fans to devour doesn’t destroy it? Sorry, guys, but a woman marrying a woman she loves isn’t destroying a single thing. It’s working to rebuild the institution of marriage by opening the door for many more loving and deserving couples that want to marry in the eyes of God and/or the law.
When it’s all said and done, everyone has the right to their own opinion. But I have the right to keep my distance from people who are stuck in the dark ages and who refuse to evolve along with the rest of us. I have already deleted a couple of people from my life due to their ignorant and close-minded views. I have deleted them because they are insulting, rude, and acting quite childish, not to mention quick to place blame on the so-called cowards who have joined me in dropping them as friends. People who oppose equality and love don’t earn any space in my life.
Maybe these people will come around, and maybe they won’t. What matters to me is that the majority is standing tall and proud, cheering this decision along with me. My child will grow up in a better world than I grew up in. Things are changing and it can only get better from here. It’s a waste of time and energy to sulk, hating on people you don’t even know. Stop hating. Start embracing.
With the fuss in North Carolina, the world seems to be totally focused once again on the issue of gay marriage. It’s time we put this issue to rest. Past time we do so actually. To make it easy, I’ve decided to go over some pros and cons of same sex marriage and its effect on our society.
PRO: All consenting adults who are in love and desire to be married will finally be allowed to do so. Same sex marriages, which are now only recognized in certain states, will be recognized as legal nationwide.
CON: All heterosexual couples who are or have been married will be shamed and embarrassed once the divorce rate plummets after same sex couples, who appreciate the chance to marry better than anyone, show the world what “til death do us part” actually means.
PRO: Same sex couples will be able to receive the legal benefits that straight married couples are entitled to; tax exemptions and filing statuses, exemptions from taxes on property left to the spouse after death, certain government benefits, health insurance and visiting rights, family benefits such as joint foster care rights and joint adoption, and more.
CON: Same sex couples could take advantage of the benefits heterosexual married couples already have; they could run wild adopting children in need, take too many visits to the doctor now that they have health insurance through their spouse, and receive tax breaks that current married couples already receive, leaving less money for the rest of us.
PRO: It would be a major step forward for our country in ensuring all citizens have equal rights and no one is discriminated against based on things such as race, gender, religion, sexual preference, disability, and other factors that don’t determine a person’s self worth and contribution to society.
CON: Allowing same sex couples to marry cheapens the institution of marriage and destroys the sanctity of marriage because God disapproves. Yet, God is fine with quickie marriages such as the Kardashian 72 day affair because although they broke their vows, it was at least between a man and a woman.
PRO: It could be a huge step in ending discrimination against the gay population by acknowledging that a same sex couple is no better and no worse than a heterosexual couple. The legality of same sex marriage could potentially usher in a change in the mindset of the general population and an acceptance of same sex couples.
CON: Legalizing gay marriage could make homosexual people more comfortable in their own skin, resulting in countless US citizens deciding to come out and let their family and friends know of their orientation, flooding the country with homosexuals.
PRO: Children with same sex parents would finally be able to see their parents make their relationship official and get married. It could also result in the child’s peers becoming more accepting of the “unconventional” family structure, making life much easier for the child.
CON: If two men or two women are allowed to marry under the eyes of God, He could strike us all down with lighting, bring on a plague, flood the world for a second time, or take vengeance in some other way. It could equal the end of days for us all.
Hmm… even after laying it out there, I’m still not sure what to believe. Maybe we’ll never know if it’s okay or not for gay people to marry. It’ll have to remain a mystery.
NOTE Oct 16 2013: This was meant as a sarcastic look at the issue. My opinion is that there are zero cons to allowing same sex marriage nationwide. If you look at the issue honestly, there are no downsides. Thanks for stopping by!