In a landmark decision last Friday, SCOTUS (Supreme Court of The United States) voted 5 to 4 in favor of legalizing Same Sex Unions in all 50 states of the United States. A mixed reaction was received from sheer elation to total shock and horror.
Those of you that know me well, will be aware of just how much work I have put into effecting change in the last 25 years for the LGBT Community. For me this ruling should be a landmark in my timeline., as a gay person who believes in equality, however my response was sadly, bitter sweet.
Whilst I am elated that my community will finally have more rights, as a Christian and someone who considers themselves to be so much more than their sexuality, I will not be so easily bought with high priced tokens . It has become clear that not toeing the LGBT line has a price to pay but clearly I lost my fag badge some time ago.
For us to assume that this is a solid victory is nothing short of folly. When the US Government dealt with Civil Partnerships, they could have saved a lot of bad feeling and disharmony by affording exactly the same rights as Marriage, however they didn’t. Please do not delude yourself that the recent ruling is anything to do with equality or truly supporting our community, as the methodology is further evidence of governmental control attempts.
“Oh Xander but we now have full equality under the law”, I hear you say, but sadly we haven't and the cost of this empty gesture has far reaching consequences for us as a nation. If we analyze the rights afforded by Marriage and those of same sex Marriage, we will see they are anything but equal. Employment rights surely needed the most urgent attention as one can still be fired for being gay in some states.
Legalizing same-sex “marriage,” means The State can call upon public officials to preside over ceremonies, order public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punish any state employee who expresses disapproval. One could maybe argue Judges and officials should perform these ceremonies as it is their job, but do we really want anybody to be forced to accept us?
Ministers of Religion could also be forced by Law to perform these ceremonies under penalty of prosecution, even if they do not accept the sanctity of the ceremony. If a heterosexual approaches a Minister of religion to request a Marriage Ceremony be performed and the individual does not attend the church or is not a member of that faith, the Minister may refuse. How is this Equality if people are forced to participate? This is called slavery and no one should be forced to perform a service if they choose not too in these United States.
Christians will now be expected to ignore their conscience and comply or face prosecution. Is this really what we want in order to access our rights and to obtain equality? Is this what I have spent the last 25 years campaigning for? I really think not. If obtaining our rights includes trampling all over the rights of others, what have we really achieved?
Before you say “Xander, it would never happen” I am here to tell you that it already did. Donald and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers who own the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho were told they had to either perform same-sex weddings or face jail time and up to a $1,000 fine. Equality is not about my rights being more important than yours, it is about them being the same or that would be privilege. surely? Saying no should be a right for whatever reason, and being forced is slavery.
There is method in the madness here and this is clearly the Government using Same Sex Marriage as a tool of control. Churches that refuse comply as well as being open to prosecution will more than likely lose their Tax Exempt status . If like me you were wondering what the cost is for all of this , you now have the answer. When did our community become the aggressors? Did I miss that memo?
I have defended our rights to the hilt and whilst I will continue to do so, I am really left scratching my head. This really is equality at any price any price and the fact that most won't see that we have been used, is the saddest part of all . Whilst division is never totally unavoidable, this was clearly premeditated and I cannot support or celebrate slavery. We all deserve equality under the law, but forcing others to comply or celebrate it is not what I signed up for. We need to see beyond the veneer of gestures of this kind and hold on tight. This is a very slippery slope! Are you here to be liked or to make a difference? Love and Peace, Xander.