Friday, May 11, 2012

Sometimes it's very, very hard being a Northerner living in a Southern world.  I will always have one foot in the North, one foot in the South.  I will always being a Catholic living in the Baptist Bible Belt.  I'll always get strange looks on Ash Wednesday because of the stuff on my forehead.  I'll always have to explain confession and communion, why we baptize our kids as babies and why my cross has Jesus on it and yours doesn't.  However, this isn't about North vs. South or Catholic vs. Baptist.  This is about basic human rights and freedoms and the US legislative system at work. 

I have seen so many negative, nasty FB and Twitter posts about the recent events in NC.  I have seen people supporting the decision handed down in NC and I have read posts bashing the ignorance of the residents of that state.  I don't know if it's the Libra in me.  The Northerner living in the South in me or exactly what it is.  But I can totally understand both sides of this story.  I have always supported Gay Rights.  Gay Rights, to me, isn't about homosexuals or deviant activity.  It's about people with very basic human needs and very basic human rights.  It's about people being free to love.  Free to be in a loving, committed relrelationship and not be judged or persecuted.  It's about recognizing that it takes all kinds of folks to make the world go round:  tall, short, white, black, straight, gay, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, etc.  Legalizing same-sex marriages doesn't not, in any way, shape or form, diminish the relationship I have with my husband.  It does not make my marriage any less of a marriage.  But, to be compassionate to all involved, if the definition of marriage is the union between a man and a woman, then perhaps we should be recognizing the legal "union" or "partnership" of same-sex individuals. 

I guess growing up in New York has made me a little more open minded about things like this.  It's made me more respectful toward other cultures, races and religions.  And honestly, I grew up in a very conservative household.  We didn't have major discussions at the dinner table about human rights, same-sex marriages or anything like that.  It was just understood.  Basic respect was ingrained in us and we didn't have big family pow-wows about it.  It was just implied and expected that my brother and I were to treat everyone respectfully and equally.  The family down the street was Jewish and celebrated Yom Kippor.  The family across the street was Greek Orthodox.  The girl next to me in Math class was Russian Orthodox.  My best friend in 6th grade, Joanne, was Episcopalian.  No big deal.  We went to different events at each other's places of worship, we went to food festivals during the summer at different churches, the schools didn't serve meat on Fridays during Lent and everyone loved bagels and matzohs. 

So, it hurts my heart when I read posts or tweets about gay rights in NC.  I try to put myself in other people shoes when stuff like this comes up and I have to think:  how would I feel if my child was in a same-sex relationship?  Or my sibling?  Would I be a good person and love them no matter what?  Or would I tell them that they are an abomination and their emotions are against the law?  I truly believe, in my heart of hearts, that homosexuality is not a choice.  I do think we were all born this way, whatever "this way" may be.   I just don't understand how someone can claim to be a good, upstanding Christian and not accept the differences in others.  It just goes against every principal I was raised on.  I may not like your lifestyle or understand it, but I will defend your right to live it. 

I do, however, have problems with Obama's timing on all of this.  I'm not so much bothered by the fact that his daughters (allegedly) helped him see the light on this topic.  The timing of his support is suspect and coincidental. 

Which now brings us to our legal system.  What happened in North Carolina was a perfect example of the imperfect American judicial system.  It went to vote, it didn't pass.  The American legal system at it's best.  Or worst.  Guess it just dependis on what side of the fence you're on. 

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