Yesterday North Carolina banned gay marriage and amended their constitution. It was not only sad that they did this, but what was even more sad was that it was such a small part of the state that turned out to vote. I kept wondering what would happen if the entire state showed up. there is a good chance that the amendment would have still passed, but by how far. After the vote passed to amend the constitution, Obama decided to come out and say that he now supports gay marriage. I think it’s great that he now supports gay marriage, but something really bugs me about what he said.
Some of my friends are against gay marriage, even though I’m gay and they are my friends. That doesn’t stop us from being friends, but it does make me sad to think that they wouldn’t show up to my wedding if I called it a marriage. They do however support the word civil union instead of gay marriage and they would show up to my wedding if I called it a union. The reason they have an issue with it is that they are religious, but more importantly they feel that there is a long standing tradition and meaning, both religious and socially, behind the word marriage. That is where I have the problem.
When people are saying that marriage is a religious term or has a lot of tradition and meaning, they are forgetting that gays feel the same way. There are tons of gay who are religious and are good Christians, Jews and other faiths. They go to church every week, they celebrate the holidays in a traditional manner like Yom Kippur or Christmas and they are very devout to their beliefs. When you say the word marriage to these people, they have the same emotional attachment to the word or term that the people who are opposed to marriage have. Why should it be any different?
If gay people go to church, worship the same God and are just as good of followers as their heterosexual counterparts, why shouldn’t they get to feel the same meaning and emotion behind the word marriage. When my friends asked why I wouldn’t be ok with the term civil union, I asked them why we can’t call their marriage a civil union. They instantly said that it’s because it is a religious thing. Guess what, I’m Jewish and very proud to be a Jew. I too feel meaning behind the word marriage and I think that I am good enough to have that word describe a relationship where I am monogamous and loyal to my partner when I find the right person, just like you feel like you have the right to have the same feelings about that word.
Civil unions are about equal rights and I support them because that is one of the most important things. Marriage is something that carries tradition and emotion and that is why I love the word. Although I would be happy to have equal rights, I am very happy that I get to also enjoy the word marriage because I live in Washington DC where gay marriage is legal. One thing I wish politicians and people would think about is that marriage doesn’t just mean something to straight people, but it also means the same to gay people. Ask a straight person why we can’t change their marriage to a union and then ask again why a gay person who has the same religious beliefs as them should have to settle for it.
It is very sad what happened in North Carolina yesterday, but at least it may help other states to get gay voters and people who support equal rights to come out and vote in their states to help protect gay couples and gay marriage. Luckily for gay couples in North Carolina, Washington DC is only 1 state away and they are always welcome to come here. It is also great to see that Obama finally came out and said that he now supports gay marriage.
On a different note, I just saw these images on Facebook. I don’t know where they came from so if it is yours let me know and I’ll post a link to give you credit for it.