Many people I know (myself included) have all the self-love and respect in the world, but do not see their worth reflected back at them by the society at large. Over time this can have a negative effect on a person’s self-worth, and consequentially, their health and wellness.. People in same-sex relationships all over the country (and the world) are consistently sent the message that their relationship is of a second class status and does not deserve equal recognition. I wonder why so many people are against same-sex marriage, and to me it means that they must not understand the love. The opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is fear. I have spent time wondering what fear-based thoughts those opposing same-sex marriage must have, in order to strongly prevent two loving and committed adults to have the same benefits/freedoms/choices/rights that heterosexual couples have. Maybe its the fear of the unknown? Maybe its the fear of something they don’t understand? Here is my attempt at explaining that we same-sex couples, who seek the same rights and freedoms, are just like anyone else. Here is my open letter to all those opposed to same-sex marriage:
Dear Fellow American,
What is your fear? If you act to prevent love, then it must be an act of fear. Do you fear that we are so different from you that we can not peacefully co-exist in this nation? Do you fear that YOUR relationship may eventually be viewed as anything but first class and worthy of all its rights and privileges? Do you fear that same-sex couples will take over the nation and use up all of the federal funds that you now hold for yourself? Allow me to explain one point:we are JUST like you.
We own homes and pay mortgages every month. We have “rainy day funds” and wish to go on the vacation of a lifetime. We get up at 5am to walk our dogs, and get our kids ready for school. We head to our jobs at law firms, hospitals, consulting agencies, factories, banks, gyms, retail stores & court houses every day and work alongside you. We head to happy hour with our co-workers for a cocktail and a few laughs. We shovel snow when there’s a storm. We go food shopping and buy the same food you do. We pay taxes. We vote. We cheer for our hometown team in the local pub, and high-five you when our team wins. We face challenges, as all couples do, and we compromise and communicate to find solutions. We laugh. We cry. We get sick. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and we mourn losses just like you. We grow wrinkled and gray just like you have, and you will. We hope for our families to grow in a loving environment where each member is acknowledged, loved, respected and valued. We attend parent/teacher conferences and put our child’s best schoolwork up on the fridge. We are young couples navigating through our first love. We are old couples who have stayed by each other’s sides for decades. We are baby boomers. We are Gen X’ers. We are Gen Y’ers. We are everything in between. We are your neighbors. We are your bosses. We are your employees. We are your clients. We are your friends. We are your family. We are Americans, just like you. We do not seek to nullify or invalidate your marriages. We do not wish to create an entity for ourselves that is not inclusive of heterosexual couples. We do not wish to usurp all federal funds, monies and tax breaks so that there’s none left for you.
Fellow American who so adamantly opposes the right for same-sex couples to marry, I ask you this: what is your fear? I challenge you to sit with that question until you find an answer. The opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is fear. Do not be afraid of us, for we are just like you.