16 December 2014
Prof. Phillip Schunk
Same Sex Marriage in America
Having a same gender loving family member is never easy for any child. You selfishly consider how embarrassing it is to have to explain the Lesbian aunt to your classmates, or you fret over how badly you will inevitably be teased and even bullied at school by your peers, if word ever got back to the school about your male cousin who very feminine and may or may not don clothes meant for young ladies depending upon his mood. Coming to grips with and learning to love and accept them is a journey. A long and tenuous process, that can be fraught with anger and confusion on both sides, but when you arrive at a midpoint, and open your eyes, you come to realize that that relative who is the bane of your existence, is just that, a relative, A part of your family, and in loving them, you must accept them and at least attempt to understand their differences. One of those differences is their ultimate and inevitable desire to find a partner and build a life with them. A long- term relationship will certainly lead to the desire to enter into a life long partnership, also known as marriage. Once totally illegal in all 50 states, and unrecognized by any of the larger corporations around the world, same-sex marriage is now legal in 35 of the 50 United States. These unions are also largely recognized by many of the fortune 500 companies all around the world. A fact that is evidenced by the appearance of same-sex or domestic partner benefits offered in corporate America.
Karen Gets Married
One of the reasons that I can speak so totally unbiased and so well about the subject of same-sex marriage, the shame of having an LGBT relative and overcoming that shame, is because I was that child. I was that student who was bullied into condemning my own flesh and blood because she loved women the same as my mother loved my father. I was that teenager that snickered, and made coarse jokes when my aunt decided that she had met the woman that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, and finally I was that young adult who pretended to be on the bandwagon of conservatives and “church folk” who wondered aloud what the world was coming to, when my lesbian aunt was finally allowed, after years of having to deny an repress her feelings, to walk down the aisle with the woman she loved, and say “I do.” I did all of those things, for many, many years. Till the one day that I stepped back and took a look at what was really happening not only in our world as whole, but within my family. I watched my aunt when we would get together as a family at my grandmother’s home for each holiday, I watched how she and her fiancé interacted when we went on family trips and outings, I paid close attention to them both on occasions when I visited their home. The one consistent thing that I noticed time and again was that love was the most present thing in their dealings not only with each other, but their dealings with the world. They loved one another in a way that I have been hard pressed to find in most heterosexual relationships. After having been in a relationship for over 20 years, the tenderness, consideration, and simple caring for one another seemed not to stale or dim. In addition, they met each challenge when dealing with the outside world, with kindness, and patience. Wanting only to be seen as human beings just the same as the male/female couple down the street. The more I saw these things, the more my opinion not only on same gender loving couples, but on same-sex marriage began to