As this debate goes forward, every American deserves to be treated with tolerance and respect and dignity. (Applause.) On an issue of this great significance, opinions are strong and emotions run deep. And all of us have a duty to conduct this discussion with civility and decency toward one another.
Maybe somebody can help me out here, because I fundamentally (pun intended) do not understand how you can treat someone with tolerance, respect, dignity and decency and discriminate against them at the same time.
If you ask me, this more of the same “love the sinner but hate the sin” crap that’s more full of hatred than anything else because it inflicts exactly the same pain on the person it’s aimed at. I’ve said it before.
From a religious perspective, is it really possible to love someone that you don’t see as an equal? Is it possible to see someone as less than equal without hatred, or without at least contempt? If so, how?
From my perspective, either you see me as equal or you don’t. If you don’t, as far as I’m concerned it amounts to hate – and the actions taken to maintain inequality stem from hatred. I don’t care if it’s for religious reasons. If you can’t see me as equal – and treat me as equal – then you have to see me as (even slightly) less than human. You can’t really see me as equal and still deny me equal treatment. That’s called having your cake and eating it too.
I’ve heard all I can stand of “love the sinner, hate the sin.” My gayness is not what I do. It’s a part of who I am – who I’ve always been. It’s what I feel – have always felt – in my heart. Even if I became celibate (giving up my partner and my son), I would still be the same gay person. I would still feel the same in my heart.
My gayness is not something I do. It’s part of who I am, and what is in my heart. Hate it, and you hate who I am. You hate what is in my heart. You hate me.
Sometimes people who hate also want to think of themselves as good people, but let’s break this down a bit. Treating me and my family as “less than” in the constitution is not treating us with dignity or respect.
Attempting to invalidate even alternative arrangements that might allow us to be with each other in the hospital — as Virginia and Georgia have tried to do — doesn’t add up to treating us with dignity or respect. Keeping Bill Flanigan from his dying partner, even though he had medical power of attorney (which the Virginia and Georgia laws could invalidate), had nothing to do with tolerance. The Ocean County Freeholders treated Laurel Hester with neither dignity nor respect even as she was dying.
Denying our children the rights and protections afforded other families is not treating them or us with decency. Neither does invalidating our relationships to our children — as Oklahoma has tried to do — amount to anything resembling tolerance.
About the only people who are being honest here are the folks who stayed away from the presidential photo-op because they actually believe the amendment isn’t harsh enough.
At least two prominent social conservative groups — Concerned Women for America and the Traditional Values Coalition — believe the language contains a loophole that would allow gays to seek civil unions.
The proposed amendment reads: “Marriage in the United States shall consist solely of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any state, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, and others say the second sentence leaves open the option that gays and lesbians could enter unions other than marriage; and that’s a deal breaker for them.
On its website, the Concerned Women for America says it “does not support the Marriage Protection Amendment as currently worded because the second sentence is open to differing interpretations.”
See they really don’t think all Americans deserve to be treated with tolerance, respect, dignity and decency, least of all me and my family, and they don’t pretend to. And that’s because outright hatred is at least more honest than hatred masquerading as love.