The Equals Sign.

Preamble to this post:  I write this blog to educate people about what it’s really like to parent many kids from hard places, the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows.  BUT… I also write this blog to document the momentous things that happen in their lives.  I consider this week momentous.  Please don’t send me angry emails about what I am about to write.  It’s not because I don’t respect your opinion, or because I want to censor you.  I just feel this isn’t a subject that anyone will change my mind on.  And, damning me to hell won’t do it either.  Crazier people on Facebook already tried that.  

Hi Kids,
This week is one of those weeks in history that brought out all kinds of crazy here in the U.S.A.  There have been other kinds of crazy like this, but I have to say, it’s been a little more polarized than I’ve ever seen.  It was two-sided crazy too, liberal crazy and conservative crazy, religious zealot crazy and atheist crazy.  This week, the Supreme Court in the U.S. started hearing arguments both for and against something called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

I truly believe that by the time you read this, you’ll be studying DOMA in history.  You’ll probably also be reading these blog entries with some sort of retinal implant that I don’t understand and refer to as “new fangled”, because, you see, by then I’ll be old, and that’s what the old folks do.  The hate them some new fangled technology.  Also…

Please come and visit me in the home.  I’m probably lonely.  

By the time you’re my age, DOMA will be history.  I truly believe that there will be a day in this country that we look back at the hearings on DOMA and think of it like we do the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.  I think it will be one of those things that we say we’re a little embarrassed had to happen at all, because it will be second nature to accept a couple as a couple, regardless of their gender just as most of us know that you accept a person as a person regardless of the color of their skin (notice I said most of us).

Because I feel that way, I put up an equals sign as my Facebook profile pic, the same way, I hope, I would have worn a button on my coat, or put up a ‘We Shall Overcome’ sign in my window in support of Civil Rights in the ’60s.  So, right now you might have to look up Facebook on your retinal implant to know what I’m talking about.  Go ahead.  I’ll give you a minute…

Do you get it?  Good.  So, I made my profile pic this little equals sign.  Only, it turned out not to be so little.  You see, it brought out all kinds of weird.  Because of it, I got added to, and quickly unjoined, a group that professed to be open-minded and tolerant only to find out tolerant only meant they were tolerant of people who believed what they do.  I learned the hard way that some people who claim to be tolerant aren’t exactly tolerant of a family as large as ours because it’s different than what most people do in this day and age.

I had Levitical Law (you won’t need your implant for that, you’ll know what it is, RIGHT?) quoted on my Facebook wall as a means to argue a point AGAINST marriage equality.  Yeah, that one didn’t get me either, because apparently, Levitical Law instructs women not to go out when they have their period.  When someone pointed that out to me, again through Facebook, I laughed a little, and that argument died right there.

So, one little equals sign caused quite the kerfluffle.  You see, symbols, and words, however small, have power.  That’s why people don’t want words that are second best.  The word marriage is powerful.  In our house, and in a lot of houses across this country, the word marriage defines a lifetime commitment, a promise like no other promise.  No one wants a civil union because they aren’t allowed to have the word that equals an even greater commitment, or the federal rights that go with it.  No one wants what is second best, especially when second best isn’t close to equal.  Separate but equal didn’t work the last time we tried it in history, and it doesn’t work now.

People were straight up ticked that I compared this week to the Civil Rights movement, saying being gay is a choice, and that being black isn’t.  Apparently, one is a “behavior” and one is just who you are.    Kids, who you are is human, and that’s what we need to remember.  We’re talking about humans here, people with families like ours who are being hurt by being denied the rights we take for granted every single day.

At one point in history, some of you wouldn’t have been allowed to be married at all, and in even more recent history, you wouldn’t have been allowed to marry someone who looked like me.  Sad, isn’t it?  Someone stood up and fought for that right for you.  There were people who fought to give you the right to marry whoever you loved.  I guarantee that those people were met with intolerance and laughable biblical arguments.  Wherever those people are, I owe them a huge debt of gratitude because their work laid the groundwork that allowed us to become a family.  I’m paying that forward right now in the only way I know how, by doing what is right, even when it’s met with some major unkindness.

I hope you remember that whenever you face whatever injustice you will undoubtedly have to face in the future, because nothing in the world would make me more proud than watching you stand up to defend what you feel is a basic right for others.

–FullPlateMom,
who just wants to remind everyone, on both ‘sides’, that I have comment moderation enabled.  While I read your comments, I may choose to not reply or post them.  I’m asking for basic human kindness before you hit send.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Yvette says:

    I for one loved the analogy to the civil rights movement it made me think

    Like

  2. 2plus2mom says:

    During the recent Chick-Fil-A disaster, I unfriended most of my non-open-minded friends. I was certainly glad I did, and have not looked back. This week, my feed was a beautiful list of red. Good for you – you’re teaching your kids that everyone has value and worth. And that’s a powerful lesson for our kids.

    Like

  3. Carrie says:

    Great post! I have also compared this time in history to the civil rights of the 60’s. it is so true! Thanks for the post!

    Like

  4. Sarah says:

    Well said, as usual. I think the hardest thing for me is tolerating people who don’t share my opinion when I feel like they are being insanely closed minded. However, I make every effort to tolerate them all the same – everyone is entitled to an opinion. It’s what you say and do with it that makes all the difference. Tolerance, for me, is a much easier task when people are simply stating their opinion as I simply state mine, and not damning me or insulting my intelligence or worse just for having it. I can agree to disagree, but if you get nasty toward me or my children…well, then you’ll have a serious fight on your hands! And for the record, I’m with you in hoping that DOMA is just a point in history someday.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.