Sunday, July 29, 2012

Real People

Betty and Naomi had been in a committed relationship for over 10 years when Betty decided to leave Naomi.  They weren't married because it is illegal in their state for same-sex couples to marry.  Not only did Naomi have to deal with a broken heart, but she also had the added worry of her future.  Betty had the full-time job and career, Betty had the health insurance, and Betty was the "legal" adopted parent of their son.  Naomi had no protection nor rights in this divorce.  Luckily in this case, Betty is an honest and caring person and has provided for Naomi as she is getting her feet under her.  But, sadly, as in heterosexual divorces, this is not always the case.  At least heterosexual couples have the protection of the law on their sides.

Frank and Jerry have been committed partners for 30 years.  They were legally married in New York.  Now they live in a state where their marriage is not recognized.  They are in their 70's and in failing health.   Frank suffered a stroke and was rushed to the hospital.  Jerry dutifully called Frank's family to let them know and they all came to the hospital.  Once there, the family barred Jerry from Frank's hospital room.  Even though Jerry came in with Frank and had been with him for the few days it took for the family to gather, he was barred.  The hospital had no choice, because legally Jerry is not Frank's next of kin.  Jerry sat in the waiting room for days without leaving.  Finally a nurse came by and told him that Frank had just died.  Jerry had no input in the funeral.  He was not allowed in the family group.  He sat in the chapel as a guest.  He didn't even get to say good bye.

Daniel comes from a great family.  He was loved by his parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins as a child.  He was raised in a moderate church in the Baptist faith.  His family made "fag" and "queer" jokes.  He heard from the pulpit that homosexuality is a sin but that we should love the sinner.  He struggled with his sexuality but knew his family would be no help.  So he kept it all in until he graduated college.  Then he came out to his family.  The family was horrified.  His mother says that she loves him, although she thinks he is a sinner.  She is against marriage equality for her son, and works adamantly against gay marriage.  This does not feel like love and support to her son.

These are all real people.  I have simply changed the names. 

This is what the Chick-Fil-A uproar is about.  This is what the fight for marriage equality is about.  People.  Real people.  People who deserve the same rights as everyone else.  Why should they be penalized for whom they love?

Yes, I believe in freedom of speech.  Yes, everyone has their beliefs.  But it is the hatred of that speech and belief that I have to stand up to.  Just like we denounced the businesses that said, "whites only" we denounce the businesses that put money towards hate messages against the LGBTQ community.

I bet some of those little cafes with the sign, "Whites Only", had great pie.  Pie better than your grandma's.  But would you enter and give your money to someone with that kind of hate in their heart?  Would you?

I know the Jesus that I read about in the Bible would not.  He did not.  He was against all laws that were unfair to all people.  Even the lowest of the low.  So, what would Jesus do?

I don't think he would eat the chicken, even though it is the best.

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