In the nearly four years I've been writing this blog, I've steered clear of politics and taking sides, not because I'm afraid to speak out but because I rarely have a side. Being in the middle means sitting on the fence, seeing both sides, recognizing valid arguments for both, and reserving judgment.
But there's one issue I'm not on the fence about at all. This week my home state of North Carolina passed a ban on gay marriage.
I am sad right down to my core.
I am sad because sexual orientation isn't a "lifestyle choice." Science shows this clearly and unambiguously. Everyone I've ever known who is gay is simply that. They did NOT wake up one morning and say, "Gee, I'd love to make my life more difficult and really piss off my parents and invite bullies to harrass me, so I guess I'll choose to be gay." Some of them tried to pass themselves off as straight for years, and the effort of pretending to be something they were not nearly killed them.
I am sad because I have friends in North Carolina who have been in committed, same-sex relationships for longer than I've been married (and that's over a quarter century) who have raised children and are raising children and doing a better job of it than some traditional families I know.
I am sad because when government starts instituting bans on private citizens who are not hurting anyone, where will it stop? Churches, of course, have every right to limit who is admitted into the sacrament of marriage--that's what freedom of religion is all about--but does government have the right to say who can and who cannot enter into the civil, legal institution of marriage? I think not.
I am sad because love isn't winning this debate. Where is the love?