Pages

Saturday, March 29, 2014

In Support of Gay Marriage

On November 9, 2013 for his Bar Mitzvah Torah Portion presentation, this young man spoke of his support for gay marriage. His reasoning and sincerity were so moving and in light of the long awaited legalization of gay marriage in this country, I think it is appropriate to share his thoughts with you.


I would also like to share with you the words of American journalist Keith Olbermann that he wrote in 2008 when the State of California voted to outlaw same sex marriage:
I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.
The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.
Podcast
More from Countdown
Get the Countdown podcastYou know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.
And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.
How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?
What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.
It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.
And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling.  With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?
With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.
You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

32 comments:

  1. Just think, in a few years most people won't think twice about gay marriage. Of course there should not be a problem with it today but it seems certain religious groups always need to find some group that is beneath them or someone to condemn so that there can be a strong sense of good and evil and thus, the need for a good god to save them from the evil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a shame, but for some people learning to have an open mind is too painful an experience -- despite the fact that closed minds cause most of the pain in our world...

      Delete
  2. With all the nonsense in the US about conflict of church and state, where the mere mention of God in any "State" institution raises the hackles of Atheists, this is one issue where the doctrine should apply. If a religion wants to not recognize members of the same sex as married it is there right to do so, but to extrapolate that to the laws of the land is a genuine conflict of the doctrine of separation of church and state. If it is a religious issue for some, fine that is their right, but they have no right to force their religious position onto the laws of the land.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yet another contradiction in the laws of the land!

      Delete
  3. I hope Rubye Jack is right, and that marriage equality will be taken for granted soon. Frankly, the laws in the US are changing more rapidly than I had expected, and I'm glad for that. As my grandchildren say, "Love is love."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have also been surprised by the rapid changes in the laws in the States. But I was flabberghasted with California going backwards...

      Delete
  4. I too hope Rubye Jack is right. It sure seems we are headed in that direction. Very interesting quote from Olbermann. I needed to read that today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes Olblermann is positively brilliant!

      Delete
  5. Well you know what I think about it all xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, shame. I thought the last line was, "And the other gay cunts, too.".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've a great ability to make me laugh!

      Delete
  7. I agree with Rubye. It's interesting to see we're not protesting in the streets, we're all thinking. The swell of public opinion is providing much of the momentum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that society is much more aware of the lives of gay people than ever before. Because it is more open it is less feared and less demonized. There is still a long way to go, but we are on our way to being liberated.

      Delete
  8. In my opinion the United States shouldn't support marriages of any kind. Marriage is a religious sacrament and no church should be compelled to accept same sex marriages. The State should not be in the business of handing out religious sacraments. The State needs to treat all of its citizens equally. Gay people pay taxes like everyone else and shouldn't be discriminated against because of the way they were born. The State should only issue "civil unions" that carry the same legal benefits as marriage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is quite reasonable thinking. Several countries in Europe require civil 'marriages' where the church service is optional.

      Delete
  9. I never thought about it this way before, but I agree with Stephen above that civil unions for everyone is the answer. That would do away with discrimination, everyone would have the same rights to property, social security, and all the rest that marriage now entails. And just imagine how much money would be saved on that wedding, the dress, and all the rest. I hate to be cynical, but I am so troubled by the hypocrisy of these large church weddings, often followed by an equally expensive divorce a few years later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know that it would do away with lavish weddings, much as I find them troublesome and outrageously expensive. I suspect that the tensions created when men and women put themselves through the trauma of these wedding may mark the beginning of the end of the marriage!

      Delete
  10. Love is love. I just don't get the idea that gay marriage somehow changes the concept of marriage for heterosexual couples. If you don't want gay marriage, then don't marry a same sex person. It is an individual choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, when I hear people say that gay marriage denigrates marriage I cannot understand it at all.

      Delete
  11. We can't evolve without discourse and arguments. Hopefully, we continue to evolve in our understanding of love and dignity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, Rosaria, I really hope so.

      Delete
  12. Hello,

    This young boy makes his case so intelligently and well. If only all the dialogue around this subject could be so eloquent and free from dogma.

    Love is indeed love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed! This boy's Torah Portion made it on all the TV networks while I was visiting my mother last November. I can't imagine this kind of thing happening not that many years ago.

      Delete
  13. Hear, hear, Broad. i haven't heard the video yet as our connection is poor, but I totally agree with the rest of your post. A few years down the line we'll be wondering what all the fuss was about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Social change is the challenge of our lives...

      Delete
  14. I liked the video very much. When I came to the US and read that they had separation of church and state I thought that they meant it, just like in France. In France you have to be married by the state, that is you go to the town hall, then if you are religious you can go to a church, a mosque or a synagogue, but if you don’t go to the state the marriage is not recognize (it is the same in Holland.) If the state recognized religious marriages then how could there be a separation between church and state? In the US they don’t mean it. I remember the first time I went to a PTA meeting (Parent-school association) for my daughter, I was accompanied by two neighbors, one Jewish and one Bahai. We were very surprised that the meeting started with a Christian prayer – this was done in a US public school, not a private school. I was flabbergasted to say the least.

    I remember reading a book a while back about a story happening in Louisiana – I mean in the 1800s. A French man had gone there and fallen in love with a free black woman – they had to go to France to be married, because there it was legal, and I was surprised, since I had studied the US laws saying that freedom had been a great part of the foundation of the country ….

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do agree that there is much hypocrisy about our democracy!

      Delete
  15. Dear Broad, thank you for posting both the video of the young boy at his Bar Mitzvah and the column by the journalist for whom the question is one of embracing love. For me, it's of embracing Oneness--the holy Oneness of Call Creation of which you and that young boy and the journalist and I and the cats and your grandson Sam and your husband and all of us are a part. Being inclusive is part of Oneness. And we can get into a long and convoluted philosophical conversation about including this or that which seems possibly evil to some but at least we must get into that conversation and talk and share our ideas and open our minds. For myself, I'm mostly unable to talk about child abuse or sexual exploitation because I see those as horrors. So where do they fit in Oneness? That is the question I pursue in my own journey toward Wholeness and Oneness. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me the 'horrors' represent that which is not 'whole'...

      Delete
  16. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. As a minister, I have married several same-gendered couples.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, Bear! Lots of hugs back!

      Delete

Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!