I live in the most free country on the planet. My country was founded on the the freedom of individuals. In my country, the benefit of the individual outweighs the benefit of the government. In my country, I am free to be whatever I can make of myself. In my country, I am free to make my own choices and live with them.
At least, I was free until the 2005. Something happened that year. It was a big event for me, although not so big for those friends and family who shared it with me. I came out that year. I announced to the world that I’m gay.
Now, I’m no longer free. In my country, in the majority of states, I can be denied housing because of this. In most states, I am not free to marry the person I love. In most states, I can be fired from my job no matter how good I am at it or how long I’ve held it because of who I am. In many states, I can be denied public assistance because I’m gay. In many states, I can be turned away from hospitals and health care because of this. I can also be denied seeing my partner if he’s in the hospital, and vice versa. The list goes on.
It gets worse. We’re in an election year. There are many issues facing the country. The economy is struggling. The country’s reputation around the world is suffering. Global warming is causing one natural disaster after another all over the planet. Non-renewable energy sources are starting to dry up. Families can no longer afford their houses. Jobs are scarce. And I want to get married.
I’ve said for years to anyone who will listen (and I’ve written it in this blog and others) that the American people have evovled into a two-party, single issue voter. The majority of Americans will focus on that single issue that’s important to their set of circumstances and will choose the candidate from the two parties who will support their view on that issue. It’s inevitable. People are busy, and politics are complicated. It’s difficult to stay on top of all issues and make informed decisions about everything. It’s much easier to select the issue(s) that important to you and vote based on those. For most people, it’s the economy. They want job security. They want jobs. They want to be able to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. They will vote for whoever they believe will help them do that.
I want to be free. I want to hold the same rights and benefits today that I did in 2002 when I was legally married. I want the same rights and benefits guaranteed by the Constitution that are enjoyed by every other non-gay citizen of this country. That’s my issue.
It also seems to be the issue of the Republican party, and it’s candidate, Mitt Romney. Only for them, it’s the flip-side of the coin. They want to work to deny me those rights. They want to make certain that if they get into the White House next year that they do everything in their power to deny me those freedoms that I used to enjoy. I watched the evolution of the party politics this election cycle with a grim fascination.
The impetus for this animosity comes from a group I call Christianists. I can’t call them Christians because they don’t evidence the teachings of Christ. I spent all my formative years studying the Bible and doing my best to deny my homosexuality and being the uber-Christian. I know what Jesus taught. I know what the New Testament says. Christianists have either ignored it or forgotten it.
Christianists remind me of the scribes and pharisees in the New Testament, the ones Jesus called “Hypocites” and said “Woe unto you.” They were the ones to whom he said, “You strain at a gnat, but swallow a camel.” They were the ones who were so wrapped up in interpreting the law and what God meant, they were neglecting the very people they were supposed to be helping. There’s a wonderful pic floating around the internet showing a huge, modern, expensive church building with the words How Does This? followed by another image of a destitute and hungry person with a hopeless look in they eyes with the words Help This?
Christianists are the first to judge what God wants based on their own microscopic world view. Many of them are angry. Many of them are hypocritical. Many of them blame me for any natural disaster that comes along. And they are the people who are telling the Republican party what their politics are and who to put into office. And they are telling that man what to do when he is in office. Mitt Romney signed NOM’s Marriage Pact when he was still campaigning for the nomination. NOM is a political veneer for the most rabid of Christianists.
We’re only a few days away from the election. I can only hope and pray and trust that it will come out okay. If the Republican party gets into the White House, it will not go well for me or for the millions like me.