Yesterday many friends changed their Facebook profile pics to a red box with two horizontal lines in the center in support of marriage equality. I did as well, though I was more punk rock about it, selecting a red box with four vertical lines (the logo for the band Black Flag).
I doubt all this online activism will influence the US Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. The justices march to their own drummer. They get to serve for life, free of the political pressure that comes with standing for election. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we all follow our conscience. Mine tells me that the government has absolutely no business defining what marriage — and, more to the point, love — should be about.
That’s at odds with the beliefs of the Catholic Church and I am a devout Catholic. So why go against my church?
For starters, going against the church does not mean going against your faith. I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and that I owe it to Him to earn that salvation. I haven’t yet. Not even close. But it’s what I strive for. As for Christ’s teachings, the thing that always sticks with me is that we’re all sinners and have no business judging others when our own hands are dirty.
I’ve long believed that the old men who set the rules in the Holy See are wrong about how they approach homosexuality. There’s this notion that a person wakes up one day and decides being gay is a great lifestyle choice. All the people I’ve known over the years who fought against and hid their sexuality have shown me that’s bullshit. They didn’t get a choice. Then they were slaves to shame, escaping through false personas, drugs, and suicide.
Those I’ve known could only live and be a blessing to those around them once they came clean. I’ve seen a lot of friends and family come clean and lead beautiful lives, and I love them dearly for it.
My religious beliefs are beside the point, though.
This country is supposed to have a separation between church and state, and that’s for good reason. We’re a nation of many faiths, and we all deserve the freedom to worship God — or to not — as we see fit. If two people love each other and are law-abiding citizens who pay their taxes, the government has absolutely no business making judgments on how such love should be defined. Love is love. If two people of the same sex choose to keep house together, they should be entitled to the same rights straight couples enjoy.
Feel free to disagree.