This piece was originally posted on June 22, 2011. It is being re-posted as part of our CHICKS ROCK! Summer Retrospective, during which we will post a combination of new content and posts from the past. Enjoy!
The ongoing debate about gay marriage, particularly in New York and New Jersey, has flared up annoyance and some anger in me. Every time I think we as a society are moving closer towards acceptance of all law abiding people, regardless of sexual orientation, I am reminded by certain people that we still have a very long way to go. I have heard it said many times that the pursuit of equal rights for gay and lesbian citizens is our latest civil rights movement. People may dispute this vehemently, but I believe it is true.
I think the opposition to gay marriage shared by a number of religious groups is one of the main reasons why I am no longer religious. Born and raised a Roman Catholic and having attended Catholic schools in New Jersey, I felt genuinely repressed and ill at ease with religion as a whole. I always believed in a Higher Power, but I find the bigotry towards gays and lesbians to be contradictory to Christian values of acceptance and love. I have a distinct aversion for people who consider themselves closer to God based simply on which religious group they belong to, especially when they speak words ranging from ignorance to pure hatred towards those they see as outsiders.
As a straight woman who believes that there are many people out there who should not be married due to their destructive personalities, I am also supportive of anyone who wants to enter into the matrimonial state for all the right reasons. Love, friendship, respect, loyalty, and more can be shared by any two people who want to grow old together, and that is a beautiful thing. Regardless of the outcome of the pending vote in New York for or against gay marriage, I will always see any union between two loving people the same way, regardless of sexual orientation. Regulating love is never a good thing.