This year in particular we are seeing some remarkable reactions to the recent advances in LGBT civil rights, especially in the United States. But certainly the US is not alone in having its share of folks who are convinced that equal rights for people they don't like is somehow an attack on them. An Australian couple are so upset at the idea of possible marriage equality for Gays Lesbians that they have publicly threatened to divorce should same sex marriage become legal down under. (hat tip to joemygod..)
Nick Jensen, who posed with his wife Sarah on the cover of the latest issue of Canberra CityNews, writes of the Christian couple’s decision to end their marriage under the headline, “Gay law change may force us to divorce”.
"My wife and I just celebrated our 10-year anniversary. But later this year, we may be getting a divorce. The decision to divorce is not one we’ve taken lightly. And certainly, it’s not one that many will readily understand. And that’s because it’s not a traditional divorce. Our view is that marriage is a fundamental order of creation. Part of God’s human history. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman before a community in the sight of God. And marriage of any couple is important to God regardless of whether that couple recognises God’s involvement or authority in it."
- Nick Jansen, writing for Canberra's City News. Jansen adds that he and his future ex-wife will continue to live together.
It's very easy to laugh at wackjobs like the Jansens, or the various American Talabangelicals who are shrieking hysterically how an anticipated US Supreme Court ruling on Same Sex marriage will result in nothing less than some sort of Gay, Nazi... apocalypse.
Setting aside the fact that allowing same sex couples the same legal rights as opposite sex couples doesn't impact Bryan Fischer's life in any way. Fischer and his assorted ilk in the social conservative wingnutosphere are doing all they can to flog the talking point that giving equal rights to Gay people is somehow taking rights away from them.
Seriously?? It's like asking why isn't there a "White History Month". It's always interesting to see people who have never faced discrimination based on their sexual orientation, claim any sort of recognition of the dignity of people who have faced that discrimination , is somehow an attack on them.
I think a fundamental question here is what is the actual purpose of Gay Pride celebrations in 2015? Is it "celebrating" being LGBT? Is it (as it was originally), a protest to fight bigotry and discrimination? Or is it a bit of both? In truth, Pride celebrations are more than all that. They are a message. Sent to those who are not actually there attending those celebrations.
My reasons for attending the parade that day were not to "celebrate" the fact that I was a Gay man, who finally had come to terms with my own sexuality; But rather to do for someone else what Pride participants years past had done for me. Send a clear and very public message that being who you are is ok, and there really was life outside the "closet."
The truth is, Pride celebrations are not for the people who attend them. Instead they are for the people who cannot attend them. Growing up as a Gay kid in a small town in South Central Wisconsin, there were times when I was convinced I was the only gay person on Earth. The constant message from popular culture, religion, family and peer groups was "boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married (or not) and have kids (or not) and live happily ever after". There was no happily ever after for someone who felt what I was feeling.
Then, in June, I would turn on the TV News and see thousands of people... just like me, in places like New York, San Francisco and Chicago saying "No, that's not true, you are not alone, and there is a big wide world out here beyond Sun Prairie Wisconsin. So hang in there .... we're here and we're waiting for you!"
Pride Celebrations are the original "It Gets Better Project".
To my Straight friends, I have to ask, how many times have "respected" public figures, politicians, pundits and clergy gone on national television demanding that everyone be given the chance to VOTE on your civil rights? How often has someone told you that not being able to discriminate against you was somehow an attack on them? When was the last time you heard a member of the Supreme Court saying that simply by being allowed to exist, you were "an attack" on the moral fibre of America?
Anyone?? Yeah...I didn't think so... I have a flash of the obvious for you, every month is "Straight Pride Month." Saying LGBT people are human too, isn't an attack on straight people.
My straight friends never needed to be told that being straight was okay, and that they were okay because nobody ever told them they weren't. Pride isn't about celebrating being Gay, it's about publicly showing that being LGBT is just as much a part of the human experience as being straight is. I for one would love to see the day when Pride is obsolete. When that scared closeted kid, doesn't need to be told that he or she is fine just the way they are.
But until that day comes, my husband and I will be adding our voices to the joyous mob in places like Market Street in San Francisco, Oxford Street and Trafalgar Square here in London, Halsted Street in Chicago and Fifth Avenue in New York City. If for no other reason to let that kid know, it really does get better. There is a world where "boy meets boy" and "girl meets girl", where they fall in love and (if they want to) get married, and yes, even live happily ever after...
Happy Pride Everyone.
Happy Pride Everyone.