Anti-Gay-Marriage Activists—I Feel Your Pain

The California Supreme Court has just overturned the state’s ban on same-gender marriage. People (gay AND straight) who support full civil rights for all Californians are celebrating; those who believe people forfeit their routine civil rights if they have same-gender sex are outraged.

Memo to this latter group:

I’ve read your denunciations of this court decision. When I look beyond the lies and distortions, I see your fear and anger. And I sympathize. Appreciating your pain helps me forgive—well, at least understand—your destructive, undignified lying, your desperate cries that civilization is collapsing.

So let me address some of your lies:

Lie: “These are liberal, activist judges inventing new laws.”
Fact: You know that three of the four judges affirming the decision were appointed by Republican governors. They describe themselves as conservatives who consider the Constitution the final authority, not themselves.

Lie: “This will destroy traditional marriage.”
Fact: You know it hasn’t done so in Massachusetts, or in Spain, an even more traditional society. Traditional marriage has been destroying itself quite energetically in America for years, BEFORE gays could marry.

Lie: “Marriage is intended to facilitate procreation.”
Fact: You know that if this were true, marriage would be denied to couples who were infertile, post-menopausal, or committed to being childless. The state doesn’t do fertility tests before issuing marriage licenses.

Lie: “Children are better off with a heterosexual couple.”
Fact: You know there are no reliable studies showing that kids do better with straight parents. You know there are LOTS of studies showing that kids do as well with gay parents as with straight parents with similar incomes and education. And you know that half of all heterosexual married couples get divorced. Do you argue that having divorced heterosexual parents is good for kids?

You tell these degrading lies because you’re afraid. Afraid of this homosexual “other,” this monster you’re convinced is different from you. If you knew how many gay people you saw today at Starbucks or Target or the gas station you might not be so afraid. If you knew that that helpful woman three cubicles down from yours is gay you might not so easily deny her the basic rights that you enjoy.

Being a psychologist, I have to add that you (or your best friend) tell these lies because the whole idea of a man kissing a man’s penis is creepy. A creepy idea that you (like ALL men) think about once in a while—which is way too often for your comfort.

You tell these lies because you’re angry. Things are changing way too fast for any of us to absorb. Everyone who isn’t young feels old. It seems like no one’s really in control. We can’t blame the Communists, and the terrorists aren’t molesting our kids, or demanding we commute 90 minutes to work everyday in horrible traffic.

Your churches and political leaders are telling you who’s ruining America—gays. You can’t kill them or deport them, so you try to limit their rights and their impact. You’re failing. You’re getting angrier.

And now it looks like gays are going to share what you value most—the right to love, and the right to have that love blessed by the state (with, of course, the tax advantages and hospital privileges that come with that blessing).

I understand your pain.
But quit lying.

Gays don’t want to seduce you or your spouse, don’t want to molest your kids, don’t want to undermine your marriage. Each gay man and lesbian has their own life to lead, their own petty little problems to work out. It’s not all about you and your little marriage, which NO ONE except you cares about.

So I understand your pain.
But quit lying.


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