I wore red today.
Not because the color highlights my amazing complexion or makes my eyes pop, although I do look pretty fab. Not because this shirt was at the bottom of my dresser drawer because I'm terribly unorganized and most of my clothes are on my floor anyway.
I wore red today because America's judicial system is deciding something that is going to affect a lot of us. All of us, actually. But it's going to majorly affect some of the people that I love the most.
In case you've been living under a rock, you'll know that this week, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments regarding Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Both of these are legal documents that bar homosexual individuals from entering into a legal marriage, a topic that has been hotly debated all over the country for some time now. My newsfeeds on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr have been filled with red to symbolize solidarity with the cause that is up for debate this week.
And today, I wore red too.
If you know me, it's not a surprise. It's something that I haven't hidden or denied. It's something that I haven't chosen to share if asked. I've even openly stated my opinion a few times. But as for going into detail why I feel this way? That's something I have never had the inclination, or courage, to do.
For those of you who are reading this that don't know, I have been raised in a Christian home. I don't feel as though this view makes me less of a Christian and I really hope that you don't think so either. I don't ask you to agree with me. I don't ask you to dismiss your convictions. And I don't ask you to support something that goes against your very core of what you hold sacred. Because that wouldn't be honest, just like it's not honest for me to say that I oppose equal rights. All I'm asking is that you hear me out. Or, if you'd rather not, that you not feel obligated to read on. The choice is yours.
Similarly, I will not deny that scripturally, homosexuality is spoken against. I know and understand this and don't seek to persuade anyone otherwise. The question I would like to pose here, however, is if we begin to mandate scripture into law, where do we draw the line?
Who decides where we start and stop mandating our faith? Think of the things that are scripturally held as dispicable. Shall we start imposing laws that limit caloric intake to deter the sin of gluttony? What of those who gossip or sow seeds of discord within the church? And furthermore, where did we adopt the idea that preventing these individuals from entering into a marriage stopped the act of sin from happening? Several couples live in a relationship that would, under heterosexual cicumstances, be considered a common law marriage with many of the rights therof. They have been committed for long periods of time, have cohabited, and many have started families through adoption. What they lack is legal recognition, nothing more. The case being heard by SCOTUS tomorrow is in reference to a lady who was with her partner for many, many years and upon the death of said partner, was not entitled to any part of the estate because their marriage was not legally recognized.
I don't understand how we can stand by and say that that is fair, simply because it doesn't match up with our personal belief system. The great thing about our country is that we have the freedom to choose what we believe, and as a result, there are many different backgrounds present within the nation. The individuals who seek the freedom to marry in this movement don't necessarily believe as we do. So why legislate that belief on them? Is it going to turn them into Christians? Is it going to change their beliefs?
The answer is no. It's not. And while Christians do have a voice in our country, and that voice IS important, the United States is not a theocracy. Religious law does not stand as the law of the land. And those who don't believe as you do should not be obligated to follow those laws. That's their perogative and their choice. And it's not up to you to make it for them.
No one is asking you to forfeit your beliefs in this legal debate. Senator Jay Rockefeller put my thoughts more plainly than I could earlier today. " Churches and ministers should never have to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs, but the government shouldn’t discriminate against people who want to marry just because of their gender."
No one is forcing you to attend or perform these marriages. No one is asking you to agree or change your beliefs. No one is asking you to wear red or concede the things that you hold dear.
What we're asking is that you let these people live their lives as they choose and accept that maybe, just maybe, that doesn't match up with how you choose to live yours. And we're asking you to love these people anyway.
NOTE: I know that some will protest that things such as laws against murder are scripturally upheld. This is understandable, as it is a command that prevents one individual from harming another. Not only is that biblical, but it's just good sense. And the difference between the two is simply that one harms another and the other harms no one. If you choose to murder another individual, you take the life of that person, as well as hurting their parents, their friends, their extended family. If you choose to enter a committed relationship with someone of the same gender, you are making a choice that solely affects you and that other individual. No one else is harmed.
SECONDARY NOTE: I am not writing this so that the comments can become an inflammatory debate. Any derogatory, harsh, or demeaning comments will be deleted as soon as I get to them. Actually, if there was a way to disable coments, I would totally do so. You don't have to agree. You do have to be respectful on my page.