I've been fascinated all day by watching friend after friend change their profile pictures to resemble something like this:
As I understand it, it's a symbol of solidarity as the Supreme Court begins ruling on Gay Marriage rights - click here for latest news.
I wasn't surprised by many of my friends who changed their pictures, I fully expected it, and quite frankly might have been disappointed if they didn't stand up for what they believe in.
Others surprised me somewhat but only because I had not previously understood their views.
I then read one thread where a friend exclaimed how proud she was to see so many profile pictures changed and more so because several of the people that she least expected to, joined in the movement.
I got thinking about what message am I sending when I don't jump on board and change my profile pic.
Does it mean that I don't love gay's or lesbians?
Does it mean that I am threatened, scared or afraid of their lifestyle?
Does it tell people that I refuse to allow others equal rights?
As of this moment. Right now. Let me be clear.
NO to all three above questions.
Years ago, after meeting an incredible woman, her wife and child - I wrote a blog post sharing my feelings. Click here, if you are interested in reading it.
I have gay family members, friends and acquaintances. I'm not afraid of them nor their lifestyles which are different than mine. Just as I am not afraid of someone who follows a different religious sect than mine.
I believe all people should and can receive equal rights without destroying what other people hold sacred.
Ahhh, that's where it gets tricky.
See there are many of us who believe in the bible, God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. We believe God ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman. Key word Marriage.
In my faith, as through all my life, Marriage is held sacred. It's not to be entered into lightly. We made covenants with one another (more than vows). That in itself makes Marriage and the very word Marriage something different and holy.
For one who believes these things as part of their religion I am compelled to stand strong for those principles.
I do understand that many do not share my beliefs. Other religions, faiths or belief's in a different kind of high power are common in all walks of life. I do not expect them to hold the same value to a word that I do simply based on the fact of our varying beliefs. And I appreciate when I am given the same respect in return.
That being said, for those gay/lesbian couple who are in committed relationships, have children, and enjoy all the benefits of a legal Civil Union, I believe are entitled to all the same legal rights as a marriage is. Insurance, children decisions, end of life decisions etc. Their Civil Union is legally the same as a Marriage but I believe simply called something different.
Can Marriage be reserved for those of us who believe in God, the bible and His mandate for marriage to be with one man and one woman.
Can Civil Union be reserved for those who believe in unions that are different than that?
Legally, I would like to see no difference. I have no problem with same sex couples enjoying the same legal benefits.
Religiously, it makes all the difference in the world to me. As one who believes in God and his mandates of what Marriage should be, I want to obey and honor that directive.
Just as I don't want other people to tell me how I should believe or practice my religion, the tolerance goes both ways. Those supporting the equal rights/marriage are in turn attempting to force me to accept something I don't believe in.
No win situation.
There has to be a compromise.
Can it be merely a difference of a use of words?
Marriage = between a man and a woman.
Civil Union = between same sex couples.
And maybe instead of the Federal Government making that decision, it could be left up to the individual states. Just as was originally intended when the United States was created. The states to govern themselves.
I don't know.....just some thoughts.
Guess I needed to clarify that just because I don't change my profile pic to be an equal = sign like everyone else today, doesn't mean I don't love everyone and want them to be happy, enjoy freedoms and legal rights just like me.
I guess I just want to hold the name Marriage as sacred as I believe it to be and as the God in which I believe in, commanded it to be.
But I like giving my gay and lesbian friends their special name that is just as sacred to them and entitle them to all the same legal rights.
Just my thoughts.