Have you ever been in love? Have you ever had someone in your thoughts, night and day, and dreamt of a future with them? Have you imagined what it would be like to raise children, go travelling everywhere, and live in a house with them?
Has anybody ever disapproved of your relationship? Sure, we have all had relationships that others have thought aren’t the best for us…but did anybody ever stand on a street corner with a sign protesting your love, calling you names, and denying you your civil rights? If so, you may be part of the LGBTQ community.
For those of you who don’t live in Maine or are completely out of the loop, tomorrow we vote whether to allow same-sex marriage or to deny a wonderful group of citizens their civil rights.
Many of you know that I am no history buff. The worst grade I got in high school was in US History. But I do know that separate but equal never works. In fact, separate but equal is a cruel oxymoron that allows people to pretend that they are giving you your rights, when really they are boxing you up and pretending you aren’t there. When I was in high school, our GSA participated in the Day of Silence each year. Participators would remain mum all day until the end of the day, when we would gather to scream our lungs out and signify the end of the silence that LGBTQ people feel in day-to-day life, particularly when people box them up and push them to the side. This oppressive silence is what Maine could be preparing to dole out to a large portion of its citizens.
This past weekend, I participated in a Yes on 1 flash mob. Suzanne came up with the idea so that the dancers could bring back some love and positivity to the campaign. And love and positivity there was! I came to the event as an outsider, having never met any of the participators before, and I was immediately welcomed. There was so much energy, love, support, and positivity that I can’t imagine anybody looking at this group and saying, “This is wrong.”
But people aren’t rational all the time, are they? Some people have a broken stream of logic that does not allow them to realize that there is nothing wrong with same-sex couples. Same-sex couplings occur in nature among animals. They have occurred since the dawn of the human age, too. In Greece, it was considered honorable to have a relationship with your mentor (because women were so inferior that it was better to be with a man if you were a man…but I won’t get started on that).
What it all comes down to tomorrow is that even if you are against same-sex marriage, voting against it isn’t going to do you any good. Stuffing people into boxes and hiding them in the corner is not going to work. If you vote against same-sex marriage, we will get louder. We will have our way no matter how long it takes, because you, you the person voting against love, you’re on the wrong side of history. Civil rights, on the whole, are progressing (let’s ignore the steady decline in women’s rights for now), and there is nothing you can do to stop them. On the other hand, if you vote Yes on 1 tomorrow, you will be contributing to the happiness of thousands of people. And that’s where your contribution stops. You don’t need to get a same-sex marriage. You don’t need to perform any religious ceremonies for same-sex couples. All you need to do is allow same-sex couples to live in the same way you do. You’ll find that they aren’t so different from you after all once you stop trying to force them into a box.
Vote Yes on 1 tomorrow. Vote for love. Be on the right side of history.