In 2004, I was attending law school in Portland, OR, at what apparently is one of the most liberal law schools in the country. And I was a conservative who voted for George W. Bush. The day after the 2004 election was… odd. It was like a funeral. Everyone was so freaked out. And I couldn’t celebrate. I couldn’t even smile about it. I had people who saw me coming, and said to my face “I can’t talk to you today.” And then they turned and left. It was one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had.
These were people I loved and respected, and didn’t necessarily associate with politics. It just wasn’t part of my calculus. But it was made very clear to me that there are people out there for whom the politics was very important as to who they would or would not associate with. And now I’m really conflicted. I’ve been writing all month about integrity, pressing forward on the path, being who you are, etc. In the process, I’ve been very open about my faith, my perspective, and my starting premises. So it shouldn’t come as a huge shock that I think that the vote of NY to allow same sex marriage is, while not altogether surprising, maybe a little disappointing.
And I guess that to some people that makes me a horrible person, a hater, and a bigot. I realize this is an unpopular position to take in today’s culture. And it would have been very easy to just keep my mouth shut and my head down. I’ve done that plenty of times. But given everything I’ve been writing this month during the #Trust30 challenge, it would be hypocritical of me to do so in this case. So last night on Twitter and Facebook, I posted something that expressed my feelings on the matter, and the thought that apparently having that opinion makes me a bigot and a hater. A couple of people were kind enough to ask for a little clarification on what I thought about the issue. And I suppose this is as good a place as any to do some explication on the subject.
It’s not that other people were happy that same-sex marriage passed that prompted this response, and I wish those people who will be taking advantage of the law good luck with their families. No – it wasn’t the celebration. It was the belief that I saw expressed multiple times that anyone who thought differently must be operating from the basis of hate, must be an unthinking, reactionary bigot, unworthy to engage in conversation. I saw plenty of people saying that they were dropping people from their network because they were disappointed or upset that same sex marriage passed in NY. To those people – the ones who are using that as a litmus test for their social networks – the sound you’re hearing is my slow clap celebrating the public demise of your much-vaunted tolerance. So much for that, eh?
Now, to really justify you dropping me from Twitter, Facebook, or whatever…