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Thursday, December 16, 2010


Sanctity - noun - 1. The state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly
2. Ultimate importance and inviolability

I wrote a post the other day, called "Mommies Talk Gay" which only slightly touched on my beliefs of the breadth of rights which are denied to the homosexual community.

Gay Marriage is not a neutral topic. I get that. I get that on the spectrum of discussion, you can hit a huge breadth of believers in the very same room. I would imagine that on the spectrum, you would find people who can associate themselves to one of the bullets below, or some variation therein.

1) You can beat the gay out of anybody.

2) It's not natural. There is nothing natural about this. God did not want this. Gays bring this on themselves and if they were just "normal" and reprogrammed themselves to do as God intended, there would be not issue.

3) I have gay friends. My gay friends are nice people. We'll even have lunch together sometimes. I make sure not to eat from the same plate as them. I just prefer a "Don't ask, Don't Tell" mentality with them.

4) I love gay people. They dress well and I love to shop with them! But while I "love" them, I just don't think they should have the same rights as me. Gay marriage is a no-no.

5) Everyone should have the same rights. Period. Gay or NOT.

I think we can all identify ourselves SOMEWHERE on some spectrum of this belief system on the institution of marriage, particularly whether it should be extended to the Gay community. You probably know where I am at, but again - I am not saying your opinion is wrong - I am acknowledging that it is most likely based on a belief system that was based on your religion, family teachings, and some level of acceptance of societal norms.

But I wanted to discuss the last factor there, and perhaps one which most pervasively impacts our beliefs on this.

Societal Norms.

Growing up, I was surrounded by some degree of divorce - but it was rare - and especially in the Indian community - it was not something that was done. But I was exposed to marriages which scared the living daylights out of me. There was no concept of "sanctity" in my young mind at that time, but realizing that the union between a man and woman did not always create a sacred result was not lost on me as a child.
Sanctity. Holy.

Words of anger. Violence. Hatred. Fear. Lack of respect.

I saw what I believe were some wonderful marriages, but there were also those "other" models I saw displayed in that sacred institution of marriage. Even as a child, I knew that there were times where divorce should have been the option that those adults turned to before creating and spinning lives for their children which left them with only one goal.

Sanctity. Of self-preservation.

My friend, Suzanne, re-posted something on Facebook, and I am not sure who the originator of this thought was, but I loved reading it, because it strikes me as so true about the hypocrisy of our society and the idea that we are, in fact, trying to protect an "institution."

"So let me get this straight... Larry King has had 7 divorces, Elizabeth Taylor is possibly getting married for a 9th time, Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage. Jesse James and Tiger Woods are screwing EVERYTHING, yet the idea of same-sex marriage is going to destroy the institution of marriage?? Really? REALLY...??"

Ultimate importance and inviolability.

We are so beyond that as a society and if we try to kid ourselves that we are not, we are hiding behind a reverse Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak - but not the kind where you are invisible, but one that makes society invisible to you.

Protecting the "institution" of marriage is not something that has anything to do with extending this right to homosexuals only. The increasing numbers of broken families, divorce, infidelity and spousal abuse - not only in Hollywood, Washington, our sports and news celebrities - but all around us in our own communities shed a picture that we can hardly ignore.

Why then, is the idea that two people who are committed and love each other cannot be offered the same privilege? The privilege which many heterosexuals have the RIGHT to STOMP on which so many of our own brothers and sisters are FIGHTING for.

What are we scared of? This is NOT a rhetorical question. If we extend the rights of gay marriage to our homosexual population, what is it that we believe will happen as a society? Here are some of the only things I can think of . . .

1) Straight people will become so disenchanted with the "institution" that they will divorce en masse.

2) Straight couples will break up and marry the gay partner they always yearned for, because now they can.

3) Our kids will no longer value marriage. If they see that Uncle Bob can marry his friend who is now their Uncle Shane, marriage will become tainted for them. (I don't know how or why, but is this something that might be a fear?)

If marriage is an institution that is created because man and woman are meant to procreate, if a marriage does not create a child, does that lessen the sanctity of that union?

If a marriage occurs where there is nothing but abuse and disrespect, because it is done within the "institution" of marriage, and because this marriage is still between a man and a woman, has it protected the ideals of sanctity?

I don't know. I am asking you what you think. I am not saying I have the answers.

The one thing I hope I don't come off here is this word:

Sanctimonious - adj.
Making a show of being morally superior to other people

"Sanctity" and "Sanctimonious" both trace back to the Latin word Sanctus - holy.

What I believe is holy when you discuss marriage is the idea of love, respect, and the creation of a union which surpasses the physical and the material. It is a spiritual union where two people become one to become something much bigger, brighter and greater than they might be.


I think many parents of gay children try to shield themselves from the truth about their kids. There are those who know and encourage them to come out and be honest from the start, and then there are those who hide behind their own rose tinted glasses to hide from what is a clear reality to strangers, colleagues and friends.

I have friends who are gay who have married women because they could not disappoint their parents. Because they could not face being chastised by society. Because they believed they could "cure" themselves with the right focus.

Because they couldn't be who they are.

There is no sanctity in that.

If I have crossed a line, I guess I could apologize. But I am tired and don't feel like it today.

But if this is something that just starts an honest conversation, that's all I can ask for.


The picture below has nothing to do with this post but I thought it was funny and needed to be seen.


webb said...

You are so right on. It breaks my heart that we can't get past this as a society. What folks do - or don't do - in their bedrooms has absolutely nothing to do with love, commitment and faithfulness.

alessandra said...

I'm with you, if only we knew that believes are just..well believes, not the truth.

Jaime said...

I couldnt agree with you more. People tend to pick and choose what parts of the "definition of marriage" suit them (it should be between an man and woman) and conveniently ignore the others (til death do us part, forsaking all others, for richer or poorer, etc)

Colleen said...

Exactly. Exactly. EXACTLY. Amen.

Sara said...

You've got some cojones, lady.

This is such a polarizing topic, much like abortion or the age old battle of paper vs. plastic.

I'm with you on this.


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