Gay or straight: Thank you for being a friend

Honey and I have very few gay friends. This weekend, if all goes as planned, we will travel to watch two of them get married. We were at their commitment ceremony a few years ago, but since they have moved to a state that recently recognized gay marriage, they will make it official this Saturday.

I am not sure why we don’t have more gay friends. We don’t typically visit places where gay men congregate, and the few gay people we have met at church usually offer nothing more than a courteous hello.

Although it is unfair to paint everyone with the same brush, most of us gay men are downright nasty to each other when we first cross paths. It isn’t unusual to get a judgmental sneer or some side-eye. Whatever the reasons, I suspect it has to do with male aggression and competitiveness. Much like a lion defending his pride because of reproductive rights, we don’t want any interested parties sniffing around. Relationships are hard, but because gay relationships have even more challenges to face, it stands to reason that we don’t want to invite trouble.

Although it would be nice to have a few more gay friends who personally understand all the issues that gay people face on a day-to-day basis, genuine friendship from anyone is the ultimate goal. And, frankly, I have wonderful straight friends who are supportive, accepting, and understanding without being judgmental.

True friends are priceless, regardless of their sexual orientation.

20 common myths about gays and lesbians

gay_men_holding_hands

  1. We want to sleep with you
  2. You can spot us a mile away
  3. One is the “man” and one is the “woman”
  4. We can’t have children
  5. We can’t be monogamous
  6. We are into feathers and leather
  7. We have a choice
  8. We want to convert your children
  9. We hate the opposite sex
  10. We don’t have long-term relationships
  11. We had overbearing mothers and absent fathers
  12. It’s a sickness and we can be cured
  13. Our lives are tragic and sad
  14. We are promiscuous
  15. It’s just a phase and we can change
  16. We’re pedophiles
  17. We just haven’t met the right man or woman
  18. We like to flaunt our sexuality
  19. We’re the cause of AIDS
  20. We are not entitled to equal rights

*seen on a tshirt, edited by yours truly

Quote

A new perspective, a new insight

Until recent years, many citizens had not even considered the possibility that two persons of the same sex might aspire to occupy the same status and dignity as that of a man and woman in lawful marriage. For marriage between a man and a woman no doubt had been thought of by most people as essential to the very definition of that term and to its role and function throughout the history of civilization. That belief, for many who long have held it, became even more urgent, more cherished when challenged. For others, however, came the beginnings of a new perspective, a new insight.

Slowly at first and then in rapid course, the laws of New York came to acknowledge the urgency of this issue for same-sex couples who wanted to affirm their commitment to one another before their children, their family, their friends, and their community. And so New York amended its marriage laws to permit same-sex marriage. New York, in common with, as of this writing, eleven other States and the District of Columbia, decided that same-sex couples should have the right to marry and so live with pride in themselves and their union and in a status of equality with all other married persons.

DOMA seeks to injure the very class New York seeks to protect. By doing so it violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government. When New York adopted a law to permit same-sex marriage, it sought to eliminate inequality; but DOMA frustrates that objective. DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal.

DOMA undermines both the public and private significance of state sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition. This demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, and it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples.

DOMA is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.

- Justice Kennedy on DOMA