Two gay friends of ours celebrated their first wedding anniversary the other day. The Beloved Spouse made a card for them; I delivered it. (I wouldn’t want anyone to think my contribution went no farther than a signature.) Last night I received a thank-you note, in which the money quote was:
We've both lost friends over their insistence that they "have no problem with us choosing to be gay" but they cannot recognize our relationship as a marriage.
I have no problem with such people choosing to be assholes, but I cannot recognize them as fully functional human beings.
In have several gay friends. (That I know of.) In all but one case, we were friends before I knew they were gay. Learning their sexual preference did not alter any of the things that made us friends. They had the same personalities, the same tastes, the same senses of humor, and enjoyed the same sports, music, television and movies. Nothing about them changed. Discovering they were gay was, to me, not unlike becoming aware they liked a style of music that did not interest me, or were addicted to Top Chef, or engaged in a sport in which I have no interest. (Yeah, I know…)
To allow same sex couples to have the same options as heterosexuals when it comes to marriage seems to be self-evident in the Preamble to the Constitution many homophobes claim to hold so dear. They are just as entitled to pursue happiness as any of us. As for the Biblical issues, I’m tired of God-fearing “Christians” only reading as far as Malachi. Even I am tolerant enough to understand there are those whose religious beliefs cannot accept homosexual behavior. Fine. If your church doesn’t want to perform or accept same-sex marriages, don’t. Christians are generally advised to follow St. Augustine’s admonition to “love the sinner but hate the sin.” Make an effort. (Do not take the liberty to consider this to be an anti-religious rant. It’s just that many homophobes like to dress their prejudices in religious robes in an effort to give them a veneer of respectability.)
Here’s an insight for homophobes: gays are just like you are. (Which is probably what scares them.) I’ve shared locker rooms with friends I knew to be gay; I’m sure I’ve done so with others I didn’t know about. Not one has ever made an advance toward me. I know of no gay person who would attempt to recruit someone—even if we grant the possibility that sexual preference is a choice—not because they’re ashamed of being gay, but because they’re painfully aware of the bullshit that must be endured.
Gays are parents, teachers, cops, athletes, soldiers, accountants, comedians, assholes, philanthropists, humble, arrogant, smart, stupid, loyal, faithless, religious, atheists, Buddhists, violent, passive, alcoholics, teetotalers, activists, and sloths. Just like everyone else. This is a line that need not be drawn, but, if you insist, you might enjoy Mississippi, which only last week got around to admitting slavery is a bad thing. You’ll fit right in on the wrong side of history.