Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ranty McRantypants: On Marriage Equality

Normally, this blog is dedicated to writing tips, advice, and other aspects of the artistic profession that I so love.  But today, I feel the need to talk about something else.  And, since it's my blog, I can do that.  If you find yourself offended by what I'm about to say, please take this opportunity to bugger off and find something else to do.  We'll be back to writing advice soon enough, but do please keep your opinions to yourself.

Over the past few years, I've seen a lot of ink and airwaves about "gay marriage."  I prefer to call it "marriage equality," but that's not the subject here.  I've seen people on both sides of the fence, and I've heard all kinds of arguments, and I think it's time for me to come right out and take a stand on which side I fall.  So here's the short version:

Everyone has the right to be happy, to be loved, and to declare a life-long bond with whomever they want. Everyone.  "But what about..?"  See the first word.  It's important.  "Everyone."  Live it, love it, deal with it.
Because I said so. That's why.
Look, I've seen so many right-wing Christian fundamentalists scream and bitch about the "sanctity of marriage" and the the "abomination" of what gay sex means, and every time another one opens his or her mouth, my eyes roll so hard that I'm afraid they're going to roll out and wind up in my shirt pocket.  First off, it seriously cracks me up when people who have been divorced, people who are in abusive marriages, or people who got married because one of them was pregnant gives anyone else lip about the "sanctity" of marriage.  Newsflash, people:  You have no room to talk.  And, while marriage can be a religious thing, it doesn't have to be.  Which means that your supposedly religiously-mandated homophobia doesn't apply.  "But God says..." Nope.  Sorry.  The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America (remember that little holy document? The one that allows you to be an asshole?) provides for the separation of church and state.  Which means that the moment you say "the bible says" or "against the will of God," guess what... 
Don't let the door hit you where the dog should've bit you.
But why is that?  Why would we want the country to be run by people who actually make laws based on logic or on, Gods forbid, what's  best for everyone instead of based on what your God wants?  Picture this...What if someone got into power who believed in something other than your God?  Let's say, just for the sake of argument, Tom Cruise decided to run for president.
Mr. President... 
Suddenly, all laws are based on the beliefs taught by the Church of Scientology.  Your beliefs as a Christian?  Thpppt.  That's wrong now.  Sorry.  All praise Xenu.  "But that couldn't possibly happen!" you say.  "Because Christianity is the right religion!"  Weird.  That's what pretty much every other religion believes.  And they're just as convinced as you are.  Believe it or not, your beliefs don't really make a big difference to the rest of the world.  They're content to let you believe whatever you want as long as you don't try to force those beliefs on other people.  Which, by the way, you're doing.  Pretty sure you wouldn't like it if the same thing were being done to you.   Moving on.

I read an article today that stated that the "militant" homosexuals are targeting the Christians.  
Yeah... These guys...
Look... I grew up in a small town on the Texas coast.  It was so inundated with Christian fundamentalism that the largest arguments around town was who was more Christian than whom.  And the one thing I saw targeted more than anyone else?  Gays.  I grew up around slurs of "faggot," "fairy," "homo," "queer," and every other slur you can imagine.  I've seen gay men (and boys) get beaten nearly to death for loving someone.  I've had gay friends commit suicide rather than face the hatred they got for being something they couldn't help.  I've seen families ripped apart because people were too afraid to be who they were.  Here's another news flash:  The homosexuals aren't targeting Christians.  They're not "targeting" anyone.  They're not harassing anyone.  They just want to be considered equals to everyone else.  And they should be.  That the homophobic hatred is being called out for what it is, many find threatening.  But really, it's just exposing it for what it is:  Hate.  Plain and simple.
This is you.  Seriously.  This is you.
Really, look at the central message of Christianity (or most other religions, for that matter).  Boil down all the messages and lessons and everything else and you come up with a pretty easy message to get:  Don't be an asshole. And that's what you're doing.  So, if you're really trying to follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, cut the shit and quit preaching inequality and hatred.
So there's this woman right now who is refusing to do her job, which is to hand out marriage licenses, because she is religiously opposed to same-sex marriage.  The Supreme Court (you might've heard of 'em) have ordered her to do the job for which she is paid.  Let me repeat that:  HER JOB IS TO HAND OUT LICENSES.  I wonder, does she also refused to hand out licenses to people on their second or third marriages?  How about mixed-race couples?  How about couples in which the woman is not a virgin (look it up... It's a "sacred" requirement)?  Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you or I refused to do our jobs.  What would happen to us?  We'd be fired, right?  What if our religion prevented us from doing the job for which we were specifically hired?  Fired.  Done.  Do your damned job or we need to find someone who will.  The thing that gets me is that she's being held up like some sort of martyr over her "heroic" stand for God's rules.  In a government job.  Re-read the whole "separation of church and state" thing.  Yeah.  She's not a martyr...She's a hate-monger.  What else should we do, lady?  Have "gays only" drinking fountains?  Make 'em sit on the back of the bus?  Have special "gays only" entrances to movie theaters?
Let's be perfectly honest here.  If you are trying to deny someone the right to marry or love because they are gay, it isn't because of your religion.  It's you.  You just don't want them to.  For whatever reason, you just want to discriminate.  And guess what.  That makes you a bigot.  That makes you a bad person.  That makes you everything that your religion, in theory, stands against.  And, if you truly believe in God, then you have to know that he's staring down at you with sadness in his giant metaphysical heart and disappointment on his face.  Congratulations.
Hope you're happy.
I'm getting married in March, to a wonderful woman.  It's one of the most amazing things I could've ever hoped for, and I can't fathom denying anyone else that kind of joy.  Love is rare.  True love, even more so.  We don't choose who we love.  We don't choose who we're attracted to.  If all the scandals of the past have taught us anything, it's what happens when bigoted assholes deny people the right to be themselves.  Gay, bi, pan, trans, straight... It doesn't matter.  Everyone deserves happiness.  EVERYONE.  Say it with me.  EVERYONE DESERVES HAPPINESS.  Love is not wrong.  Remember the whole "God is love" movement?  Love is not wrong.  Love is good.