Thursday, August 01, 2013

Keep Your Religion Out Of My Civil Rights

The other day, as I was cruising the interwebz, I stopped in at Maybe It’s Just Me...–if you aren’t reading it, well, why aren’t you reading it?—and I came across this quote from Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"People have labeled me homophobic. If I was homophobic, I wouldn't have friends who are gay and lesbian, so that can't be true. But because I have a certain belief system, I am now the enemy. And I'm not the enemy. I have love for everybody, period.
I don't think it's my role and responsibility to take on a platform unless God calls me to do it. That's not something I feel called to do. When my mother was living they tried to pit us against each other. I love my mother and she loved me. They couldn't divide true love. We had good conversations concerning this whole issue. But I think we have to be careful in our nation that we don't demonize everyone who doesn't agree with us.
I value marriage between a man and woman. Spiritually I value that. Psychologically I value that. I know that the absence of my father in my life had its cost."
Being kind of a Regular Joe Homo, I got to thinking about The Religious Folks and The Gays and how we fit, or don’t fit very well, and I thought I would dissect what Bernice said, in her own words.

She uttered one of the lines that I hate most of all: I have friend who are fill in the blank. I mean, surely, being the daughter of Dr, King she heard time and again people say they couldn’t be racist because they had black friends; and surely she doesn’t believe that simply because she’s knows some of The Gays means she can’t be a homophobe. She can; I don’t know for sure if she is homophobic, but she certainly can be.

But she isn’t a homophobe because of her faith, and this is where I take issue with The Religious Folks and their stance against same-sex marriage. This isn’t a religious issue, as I have said so often my throat hurts. It’s a civil issue, and a legal issue, but marriage, the way it stands today, after being changed and changed and changed and changed, is no longer a religious institution. I want to say to people like Bernice King that there is not one legal marriage in this country that has only been performed by a religious official; marriages are not valid until sanctioned by the government, so let’s keep your religion out of my marriage.

I say to people like Bernice King, you can believe in your heart of hearts that marriage is a one-man-one-woman thing, but we all know it hasn’t always been the case; just yesterday i posted about church sanctioned same-sex marriages from 100 AD--see HERE. And I want to remind Bernice King, and others in the African American community who insist only on so-called traditional marriage, that as little as 45 years ago a black man or woman could not legally marry a white woman or man; marriage has changed, and will continue to change, as society changes.

Lastly, I say to Bernice King, don’t use your father to try and spin your argument. You didn’t grow up without a father because your mother was in a same-sex relationship, and you didn’t grow up without a father because he ran off and left you; you grew up fatherless because your father was murdered, and you lived your life knowing that, if not for that one day in 1968, you might have always had a father. Growing up without your father because he died has no place in a debate about same-sex couples, and father-less homes.

See, Bernice, I have no problem with your religion, your faith, or your spirituality; I have no problem with your beliefs. My problem lies in the fact that you want to use your religion, faith, spirituality in the political arena. You want to deny me the right to marry my partner because your religion tells you it’s wrong, but what about the other religions that have no issue with same-sex marriage? What about those who don’t believe in God? They don’t get a voice in the discussion.

You can have your faith, but you cannot use your faith to deny me my constitutional rights. And that’s the only place where you and I have an issue. I don't think you're a homophobe because your religious beliefs tell you that same-sex marriage is wrong, but I do think you are homophobic in using your religion as a weapon in my fight for my Civil Rights.


the dogs' mother said...

Our local state senator has floated a proposition that the state of WA amend our constitution to allow discrimination on basis of religion. Guess whose voting for the other guy this November.

SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

She should also know this:
The right for blacks to marry was granted in 1860, however due to Jim Crow laws, most marriages were not recognized. in addition, other factors limited the right to marry (ban from municipal buildings, unfair marriage taxes) in 1948 the supreme court granted Blacks the right to marry the partner of choice. this was important because many blacks were banned from marring very light skinned blacks, or mulattoes. the states slowly lifted bans on interracial marriages. and it became a federal law in 1967.

Ron said...

Bernice KIng may have convinced herself she's not homophobic but she is as long as she continues to view gay and lesbian committed relationships as "less than."

She's telling the world that her marriage (does she have one and how many?) is better than a same sex marriage. That is just wrong.

And the "some of my best friends are....." come on Bernice, you can do better than that.

truthspew said...

Homophobia and bigotry is based on the concept of emotivism. It's defined as being based on feelings instead of rational thought.

I draw the analog of the ick factor. They think about what two men can do together and get grossed out by it. But the thing is, if you step back and look at what goes for 'straight' sex it does the exact same things; and if one goes a level up all sex has a certain disgust level to it.

But the human brain can overcome disgust, except for the homophobes and bigots.

And with regard to male homophobes - there was a study done where they measured the tumescence of the penis when viewing hetero and homo sexual images. The phobes tumesced on the pictures of the males.

I do wish someone would repeat the experiment. Because I bet the result would be the same.

So they're homophobic because they've got some sugar in the tank too.

viktor kerney said...

Thanks for the shout out

Bob Slatten said...

@ viktor
Thanks for blogging. Your's is one of my favorite stops!

anne marie in philly said...

her daddy must be rolling over in his grave listening to her talk like that! :(