The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Well, I hate to admit it took me so long, but a couple of years or so ago, I finally came to understand the real issue about gay marriage.   For my adult life, after I came to an understanding of what being gay meant, or as they now refer to it, the LGBT life style, I thankfully had no problem with people simply living a different lifestyle from myself.  I just didn’t find the images of two men in tuxedos or two women in traditional wedding dresses going through a formal wedding ceremony very appealing.  Of course I also find very unaesthetic the image of a very mature bride all decked out in virginal white, and all that.  None of it made any social sense to me.  Okay, if people want to forge a marital relationship, that’s fine, but why try to emulate young, virginal (if there is such a thing anymore), dewey-eyed brides in flowing lace veils and their grooms dressed for possibly the only time in their lives in a rented tux.  Why try to pretend to be traditional?  I also thought it was pretty weird to get married underwater in scuba gear or while sky-diving from a plane.   I still do.   And I still think the most practical solution would be simply to require all unions to be civil unions, as does much of Europe, with religious celebrations a matter of additional choice.

But … I read a thoughtful article that completely changed my understanding about LGBT weddings.  (I figured out that LGBT is Lesbian/ Gay/Bisexual/Transsexual .)  I refer anyone who wishes to go to “A Conservative Case for Gay Marrige”, by Theodore Olson, published in Newsweek Magazine, on January 8, 2010.  Frankly, this article simply turned me around.   I read it and re-read it, and finally realized that the gay marriage issue is simply not about me.  Not about my aesthetics, not about my preferences, not about anything really, except someone else’s civil rights.  And the article also made me think about the long, long years it took for women in this country to obtain the right to vote.  And about the long, long years it took for African-Americans to obtain full rights of citizenship, even after so many contributions to the war effort during World War II by very brave black men who risked their lives in battle to save a country where they couldn’t go into a diner in most places and get a sandwich.  Much like the gay men and women who have served their country in the military in recent years under fear of punishment for being themselves.

Here is a quote from Mr. Olson’s article, the very last two sentences:
“Americans who believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence, in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in the 14th Amendment, and in the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and equal dignity before the law cannot sit by while this wrong continues. This is not a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American one, and it is time that we, as Americans, embraced it.”

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