What? No Anarchy?

It seems that David Tyree was wrong.

By , Contributor


Well, it finally happened; the New York State Assembly passed the same-sex marriage bill. It seems that David Tyree was wrong. We did not wake up to a country sliding into the throes of anarchy in the streets (throngs of elated celebrators at Stonewall in the West Village and Gay Pride Weeks across the country not withstanding) and despair in our hearts. What we did wake up to is a country one tiny step closer to the ideal of our founding fathers' grand experiment in democracy, a country based upon the ideals that everyone is created equal and that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

220px-NYC_Gay_Pride_Parade_Spectators.jpgGay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Americans have been oppressed, persecuted, shunned, and humiliated by the very same government that is charged with protecting their "unalienable rights" as "endowed by their creator." How many people (I will refrain from calling them anything but people because that is really what we all are, not the labels that cryptically say, "not quite one of us") have had their lives ruined simply because of their choice of lifestyle and partners? What will it take for all Americans to realize that all of us are entitled to full equality and acceptance?

To me, the whole concept of denying any group of people their basic right to happiness is criminal and unforgivable. I don't understand what causes the unwashed masses to look at this issue with such disdainful vehemence. Why should anyone care who decides to love and marry whom? A spouse is a spouse is a spouse.

I will always remember the unimaginable joy and fulfillment I felt on the day my life partner and I said "I do." At last we were legally joined. We could share tax and insurance benefits, could be together in any hospital, could stand to inherit our shared wealth (and debt), etc. Here's the downer - so many of our coupled friends could not join us in the joys and sorrows of married life. Why? Because they were not heterosexual. How effed up is that?

hands.jpgWhat is the problem with two people of the same gender who love each other getting married? Some religious folks argue that God only recognizes marriages between men and women, with any other configuration being an abomination. (Here we go again with the David Tyrees of the world knowing what God believes and wants. I got to get me some of whatever they are taking and some of those funky outfits and cool hats so I can know God's will too.) I wonder what God thinks about a Church that protects educated adult "holy" men who abuse and molest children, often of the same gender? Do Catholic priests get a pass because these "men of God" cannot get married?

I often wonder why I am so tolerant. I am everything a card-carrying homophobe should be - a white, middle class, middle-aged, Southern born, Christian bred man (who has identified as Buddhist for decades, long before it became fashionable). I am the son of a highly decorated career Navy officer, and I am a heterosexual married man, father, and grandfather.

Wait, I know why. When I was a kid my father gave me the best advice. He told me to question everything, accept nothing at face value, and use both my head and especially my heart to find the right path. He was a hardcore Navy Seal, but not stupid or mindless.

Well, I have found in both my head and heart that one should always, ALWAYS celebrate the fact that love is blind. Love doesn't know or care about color, religion, gender, or sexual preference. Man's laws cannot regulate the heart. Laws based on hatred, fear, and ignorance should never be used to deny consenting adults - emphasis on adults - the right to be happy together as a legally and religiously (if they want) recognized couple, to be loving parents, or to be socially accepted for who they are.

For my final word on the passage of this bill which will have such a positive impact on so many lives, let me paraphrase Neil Armstrong when he took the first step onto the moon: "This is one small step for a [country]." When we finally as a nation, a people, and a world stop debating this issue and learn tolerance and acceptance, then it will indeed be "one giant leap for mankind."

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Irascible lover of history, politics, reading, music, and film, Dallyon has held just about every job you could imagine and has opinions about everything under the sun.

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