The other side of the Rainbow

Rainbow FlagIt’s days like yesterday that really make me step back and appreciate just how truly changed I have become these recent years. As you all know the US Supreme Court decided that it was unconstitutional for the States to deny same sexed couples the right to marry. This ruling has struck down a hoard of discriminatory mixed-gender-only marriage laws from coast to coast. This decision has been long awaited and greatly anticipated by some while at the same time enraging and threatening for others. For what it’s worth, here are my thoughts on it:

When I was a fundamentalist christian I held to the orthodox belief that homosexuality was unnatural and evil. As for “gay marriage,” forget it. To me this would have been viewed as unthinkable and an abomination. It was the kind of stuff the kept a fine young christian boy such as myself awake at night, fearing that such a thing would cause the Lord to rain down fire and brimstone on our heads, Sodom and Gomorrah style. It wasn’t that I hated gay people, far from it. I was taught in church that they were lost and deceived by the devil, destined for hell if we could not reach them. But we never called this hate. The common rhetoric was, “hate the sin, but love the sinner.”

While I was a believer I never really questioned my prepackaged thoughts about homosexuality. It was just what we believed. And conveniently, I didn’t know any homosexuals. I was in a vacuum of sorts. All I had was the bible, and the bible wasn’t to keen on the issue.

I remember after my deconversion from Christianity a few years ago, there eventually came a time when I started to examine my beliefs about the gays. I would ask myself questions like, “The bible aside, why do I dislike gays? Does their lifestyle really harm anyone? If homosexuality exists, then how can it be unnatural? I don’t even know any gays, so how is it that I have all these strong opinions about them?” It was a process, but I eventually settled where I am to this day.

My exploration into the world of science has educated me that homosexuality is actually a common behavior in the animal kingdom and among mammals in particular. And for that matter, I have discovered that gender itself is not the concrete A or B, clear cut concept that I had believed it to be. some people are born female, some male, some neither, and some both. Science has a way of destroying our sacred cows. It was a good learning experience, but what really moved me far away from my old way of thinking was simply getting to know a few LGBT (sorry if I left out some letters) people. I learned pretty quick that we are a lot alike. As a whole they love their families. They strive to be productive members of society. They desire to be respected and treated equally. And what really stood out to me, at least with the few individuals that I have met, is how friendly and inclusive they are.

Now about the SCOTUS ruling. I am overjoyed that as a nation we are moving on with the rest of the civilized world in acceptance of the dignity of our fellow human beings. It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like we’ve finally made it to the other side of the Rainbow.

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