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02/02/2009

Our fight is the righteous one, without a question

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 7-153Rev. Dallas Henry is against marriage equality making its way to his home state of Maine. In a new piece he's penned for the Christian Civic League of Maine, the pastor has tied in that marriage antipathy to acceptance in general, asking his fellow foes of nuptial-bound 'mos to consider a few questions regarding gays and the tolerance thereof:

If you were a landlord, and a gay couple wanted to rent your house, what would you do? If your grown up child wanted to bring home a gay partner, you would have to decide if you would let them stay at your house. Would you let them in? What if they invited you to their wedding?
...
Here’s a test; if a gay couple moved in next door, would you invite them over for coffee? Would you be as friendly to them as you are to the neighbors on the other side? Would you, could you invite them to church?
Gay Marriage and the Bible [The Record]

Alright, so there's lots more to Henry's piece. But you know what? Just the fact that our opposition even thinks to ask these kinds of questions tells us just about all we need to know about the worth of their side's queer-centric outlooks. Because just look at these questions entail: Fair housing. Accepting your child for who they are and who they love. Attending your child's one-in-a-lifetime special day. Being cordial to people and inviting them to share in your faith. These are all things that should be no-brainers. Even if your faith deems homosexuality a sin, these points still shouldn't need even a second of discussion. Yet for so many of those who claim to be "pro-family," gay people's every last breath is a point of contention!

The anti-marriage side always says that their efforts are solely about "protecting the institution" or looking out for children. And honestly, we recognize that some people's marriage views, typically religious-motivated, can end right there, with no further hostility meant towards gay people. But when you dig a little deeper and listen a little more closely to the gay community's organized opposition, you will see that this is not usually the case. All too often you will hear things that make your ears go "HUHWHAAA?!" It's not atypical to hear "pro-family" types asking questions that you'd think belong to an earlier age. Eventually you realize that for most of them, sweeping discrimination is de rigueur.

For a gay person trying to make it in the world, questions like the ones posed by Rev. Henry are the very reason why we can't simply "agree to disagree" on this particular issue. We will never never agree to the idea that our benign life qualities are hidden land mines. We will never agree that a parent slamming a door in their gay child's face is an okay way to greet his or her engagement news. And we will never agree that the problem is ours, when they are the ones who so clearly have a problem with our day-to-day operations as humans.

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Your thoughts

If I had a neighbor like Henry I doubt I'd accept the invitation. His questions didn't even make much sense. It sounded to me like he was encouraging acceptance. Of course I don't like thinking of what my parents' answer would be to the marriage question.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Feb 2, 2009 2:12:51 PM

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