“You sent me the link to your blog, and I knew I was never going to open it,” one of my closest friends who falls on the other side of this issue told me.
It was reported that a family member said something to the effect of: “I just began reading a few words of her blog and it made my stomach turn.”
I have mulled these words over and over. Both of these friends have known me since childhood when I was immersed in lesbian community. Both of them see the depth of relationship that I have with my mother now. But the repulsion regarding my support for traditional marriage is palpable.
Why. The media and some gay-marriage supporters have been exceptionally successful in equating advocacy for man/woman marriage with support of miscegenation laws, and framing this argument as one of love vs. hate. Simply put:
For gay marriage = love of gays.
Against gay marriage = HATE.
We live in a culture that seems to allow entertainment to lead it by the nose. When was the last time that you saw a Christian or supporter of man/woman marriage portrayed as loving and safe within mainstream media?
Guess what. Media doesn’t get it right. Nearly everyone I know who is a Christian has a family member, friend, or co-worker who is gay. And guess what. They don’t hate them. Yes, sometimes things can be tense, but no one is getting “cut off.” My Christian friends invite their gay family members in. They accept them despite their difference.
One product of this media onslaught is the stifling of true dialogue. It can whip both sides into an emotional frenzy and instead of seeking to truly know the one with whom you are speaking, you see only the worst of what sensationalists say about who they are.
My friends mentioned above can’t see me- there’s so much stigma in the way. A stigma that media has crafted and reinforced through daily repetition. When we attempt to talk about this issue, they aren’t talking to me. They’re talking to the attention-hungry Westboro crazies. They’re talking to the New Normal’s racist, homophobic, and insulting Jane. They’re talking to Ann on Arrested Development.
Robert George puts it this way:
…advocates of [redefining marriage] are increasingly open in saying that they do not see these disputes about sex and marriage as honest disagreements among reasonable people of goodwill. They are, rather, battles between the forces of reason, enlightenment, and equality—those who would “expand the circle of inclusion”—on one side, and those of ignorance, bigotry, and discrimination—those who would exclude people out of “animus”—on the other. The “excluders” are to be treated just as racists are treated—since they are the equivalent of racists.
“You must be deeply conflicted over this issue,” another dear friend said to me. If promoting traditional marriage meant hating gays, then I would be conflicted. I know it’s a shocker to those who are willing to risk hearing a voice outside of the mainstream. But the truth is, you can believe that men and woman give uniquely to childrearing and therefore advocate for traditional marriage… and not hate gay people.
For more on media misrepresentation, see “What is a bigot anyway?”
For more on why kids need a mother AND a father, see “You’re only against gay marriage because of your religion.”
For more on how to love those in your life who are gay, see “Why do you hate gays?”
On why advocating for man/woman marriage is not like supporting miscegenation laws, “AsktheBreeder: The question of discrimination.”