Thoughts from a Reluctant Gay Throat-Crammer

I, too, have loved the outpouring of support for marriage equality on Facebook. But I woke up this morning feeling oddly libertarian. (I hope that’s the right political persuasion.)

I woke up as I do every morning, next to my snoring lover, unless it’s the rare occasion when we have had a fight and one of us has escaped to the couch. I woke up embarrassed that nine Supreme Court justices are focused on my relationship as they publicly debate it’s legitimacy. It feels like this intense invasion of privacy.

And then I remember yesterday’s quote from a local radio talk show host about the gays forcing their agenda down the throats of the American people. Would that I had the luxury to roll over and hit the snooze alarm unnoticed.

Surprisingly, I understand how that radio talk show host feels. But let’s say we lived in a world where people who speak into microphones are historically considered an abomination. As a result, the government does not recognize the primary relationship in your  life. You go to work, and other people talk about their wives or husbands, while you either keep you silence or refer to your lover (eww), or life-partner. You have dealt with this kind of thing most of your adult life. Suddenly, the entire country is talking about you. How do you feel? Wait! I don’t want to hear it. Stop your throat-cramming ways and shut up.

The road to equality isn’t an easy ride for anyone. But a little empathy can take us all a long way down that road.

Religion and Same-Sex Marriage

A bill before the Indiana legislature would amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

During hearings about the bill, supporters said it would preserve values; opponents said it would codify discrimination. Some people believe that homosexuality is immoral and that same-sex marriages should not be permitted. Others argue that same-sex marriage should be permitted because everyone has the right to be treated equally.

Which teachings in your faith tradition offer guidance?

How Does Your Religion Address the Issue of Same-Sex Marriage?

I’m Tired of Waiting But I Don’t Want to Move to Canada

“Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages (Corretta Scott King in 2004).”

It feels weird to realize this woman is talking about me. If I personalize what she said, it gets even weirder:

Doug is gay and he has a family. His family should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A law banning same-sex marriage is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.

FamilyPeople who are smarter than I am have spoken and written about the similarities and differences between racial civil rights and sexual orientation civil rights. I’m reluctant to emphasis the the sameness of the two because I don’t want to hijack the raw, emotional, and for many, very personal history of the racial civil rights struggle in this country. But it’s sad that I’ve grown so accustomed to the way things are that I don’t spend much time questioning them. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

I’ve lived with my partner for almost eleven years. If he or I died tomorrow, I think things would be okay, knowing our families, but I don’t know that for sure. I’m not one hundred percent sure our employers would honor our pension designations or even allow us bereavement time off. So far, when one of us has been in the emergency room, there’s been enough gay nurses around that we’ve been able to visit with no questions asked. But there’s nothing in place that guarantees that right in the future. Am I denied any other rights? I don’t even know.

Like the title says, I’m tired of waiting but I don’t want to move to Canada. Frank would love it there. But it’s too cold for me.

Tenth Anniversary

Doug and Frank

Tomorrow is our tenth anniversary. It’s the anniversary of a significant commitment Frank and I made to each other, not the anniversary of our marriage, because the state where we live (Tennessee) and the denomination where we are members (United Methodist) do not recognize either civil or religious marriage for gay couples.

This is the first anniversary that we have observed with a real date. There are reasons for that:

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What the New Hate-Crimes Law Means to Me

Conservative (and gay) blogger Andrew Sullivan has forever spoken out against the Human Rights Campaign, even to the point of visible anger. I don’t know what to think of the new hate-crimes law, the HRC, or Sullivan’s anger, but I do know that when I read the comments about gay rights that he scatters regularly throughout a blog that’s mainly about politics, I feel like I’m still in the closet.

I once thought (and still like to think) that I had a gift for passionate public speaking. I have a blog that’s basically dead except Sunday’s Shot of Grace. What am I afraid of? Why do I feel like I should remain silent? What’s missing within me, or so deeply a part of me, that keeps me from screaming to anyone who will listen (and some who won’t) that I have a right, a basic need, to marry the man I’ve loved for years?

Perhaps it’s time. icanhasgrace?