One Equal World

Bye-Bye Bigotry

Posted on: June 26, 2013

Same-sex marriage

Same-sex couples have the right to be married.
Image: Shutterstock

Those who seek to deny gay couples the right to marry are stuck in the past.

There was a time, not so long ago, when mixed race couples could not marry.  People worried what would happen if they did.  Would everything just go out the window and would it ruin the sanctity of marriage?

Guess what?  They do marry now, and nothing has gone out the window.  It just means more loving couples get the chance to legally be together.  What held that back was bigotry, hatred and fear.  It’s the same vitriol that is holding gay and lesbian couples back today.  Is their love any less real because they are both men or both women?  Of course not.

Oprah Winfrey has gotten on board, as have a number of other celebrities, to stand up for gay marriage.  She spoke on a panel on OWN TV, about the danger of subjugating same-sex couples to the category of “other.”  She says that it’s easy to discriminate when one doesn’t know any gay or lesbian couples.

Yet, there has been a cultural shift in the way people view gay marriage.  In 1996, a Gallup poll said only 27 percent of American supported it.  Last year, that number had risen to 53 percent.  It could be the fact that it is more out in the open and more people are standing up for it. You’re more likely to know somebody who is openly gay today.

On the notion that gay marriage will erode the sanctity of marriage, another panelist, Elizabeth Lesser, quipped that “the institution of marriage was already in trouble long before gays were getting married.” That drew laughs from everyone on the panel.  Oprah replied, “Maybe gay people could make it better.”

One of the panelists, a priest, said that he marries gay couples and that marriage is “going to be enriched” by that.

Mark Nepo, the author of “Seven Thousand Ways to Listen” said, “The more that I have been through, the more I am open to finding love wherever I can find it.  It’s as simple as that.”

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