My neighbor sent me an out-of-the-blue text this week.
“How do you feel about gay marriage?”
His first mistake was sending that message to me via text. That’s not a question that can be answered in 160 characters or less! Any type of relational question takes some serious thought and more than a few sentences.
Therefore, I give you the pleasure of reading my answer. This is how I feel about gay marriage.
Much of what I’m going to say come from observations, and not personal experience. I, sadly, do not have many gay and lesbian friends (that I know of) so I can’t claim these thoughts come from real conversations with friends. Take that into account with what you read, and forgive my ignorance.
I think, that it would be really difficult to be gay or lesbian. I’ve yet to hear a story of a child who, when asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, their eyes light up and they shout “I want to be gay!”
I’ve yet to know of a teenager who, after being ridiculed and possibly physically abused in school, says “I want nothing more in life than to be gay”.
I’ve never heard of an adult who wants to love and be loved romantically, who says, “well I’m going to choose to be gay because that’s the easiest route to eternal happiness”.
I think that being gay is not an easy life.
Gay marriage, I imagine, includes the same issues that straight (heterosexual) marriages have. Who’s going to take out the trash? Who’s going to pay the bills? I don’t eat tomatoes. I love tomatoes. I hate when you make that noise. I love when you look at me like that. I don’t want to be treated this way. I appreciate when you do this for me.
To marry a person, means to commit to living with that person. It means sharing life together. It means experiencing great joys while working through the muck of life. Marriage is supposed to mean “when no one else is, I am for you. I am on your team. I want to get to know you more every day”.
Marriage takes a great deal of vulnerability and courage. Those two reasons are likely the reason I’m still single. Not exactly the person to be speaking about or making decisions regarding marriage.
Everywhere I turn, I see marriages that ended. Each marriage writes its own story, but our country does not hold up a reputation of strong, long-lasting marriages. Although I won’t give up great hopes for marriage, I’m not naive enough to believe that choosing to share my life with someone is a decision to take lightly.
A gay marriage, includes all the above, plus any additional pressure regarding sexual orientation. Which, as you already know, there is a great deal of outside pressure and, dare I say, abuse.
In summary, how do I feel about gay marriage?
I am sure that being gay and being married must take courage, strength, support, and trust.
In addition, I think a heterosexual marriage must take courage, strength, support, and trust.
Upon reading the condensed version of my response, my neighbor sent another text, “Do you believe gay people should be allowed to get married?”
Ah, so that’s what you really wanted to know.