Monday, January 28, 2013

My thoughts

"UK Government Source: Teachers May Face Firing for Refusing to Teach Gay Marriage"

As with any other job where you work with the public (and teaching children is "working with the public", unless you work at a private religious school or home school), you can't discriminate. If the law says you must teach about various types of families, you have to teach about those families, or you can find another job.

(Knowing regrettably little about the fight for equality in the UK or in the rest of the European Union, I'm coming at this from the perspective of an American. If anyone reads this who knows more about the laws in the UK or the EU, I'd love your input!)

Look, gays and gay families are here to stay. They're not going away just because some folks wish to ignore them and pretend they don't exist. Gay couples will get married (or have civil unions, domestic partnerships, or whatever) and adopt children or have their own whether the Religious Right likes it or not.  That's a given.

You see, I've read and heard (and agree) that part of "freedom of religion" is freedom from religion -- we're all free to believe, or not, in a Higher Power (whether it's God, Allah, Krishna, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (for all my Pastaferian friends ;-)). As much as my Christian friends don't want to hear it, this is not a Christian Nation. Even though some of our laws coincide with biblical laws (e.g., "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not steal"), those laws are in place to protect the rights of other Americans (i.e., the right to life and the right to their property).  Whose rights does not allowing gays to marry and have children protect? The rights of Christians not to have to see "those people" going around acting as though what they're doing is completely natural and normal? Sorry, but it is normal and natural -- for them. Gay people deserve to be able to be with the ones they're in love with, just like straight people do. (And if the thought of gay sex grosses you out, here's an novel idea -- do what I do and don't think about it! See how easy that was?)

I will say that I sometimes have sympathy for Christians who can't deal with the thought of gay rights or gay equality. I was right there with you up until about the time I was 25 or so. I was raised Southern Baptist, as a lot of you know, and a lot of you know that Southern Baptists are some of the most conservative folks around! (For all that they hate Catholics, they sure have some of the same ideas!) Then I moved to Dallas and met some gay people. And I discovered that hey! They're really no different than straights. Not one of them have ever tried to "recruit" me into the "gay lifestyle" (for lack of a better phrase), and I've grown to love some of them like my own family. There are rare occasions when I wonder if what I'm doing is "right", if maybe I'll end up going to hell for "doing what's right in my own eyes", but if I do, I know that a lot of other people will be there with me. I'm just trying to treat people the way I'd want to be treated, and that includes fighting to give them the same rights that I have -- the right to marry the person that they love, the right to raise children, the right to go where they want and do what they want without fear of being attacked (verbally and/or physically). As long as it's not harming anyone else (and it's not), it's nobody's business what they do or where they go.