A Short Response to Those Angered at Seeing Photos of Gay Couples on Facebook
Alabama. This week. It’s a veritable miracle that gay marriages are being conducted in the American South.
Given that background, this photograph depicts an expression of love. A moment of joy. Two people expressing their happiness with finding one another. Posting this photo on Facebook should be considered no more a provocation than if I were to post a photo of my lovely wife Amy and me. And yet such images continue not only to disturb, but also to anger so many people. They’re so angry that they feel justified in commenting on the pages of people they don’t know, who live many miles away from them — some inner fuse lit, prompting them to lash out, to ask — no demand — that a stranger stop posting these images.
I guess we just need to continue posting such photos until the critics begin to understand that these images are actually about love and commitment. They’re not about the critics and their personal beliefs. They’re about compassion and understanding and love. They’re not about the critics’ inability to open their hearts and minds to the possibilities of love. They’re not about them at all. The appropriate response? “Congratulations!” “God bless.” “Mazel tov!” Maybe “Live long and prosper,” if you’re a Trekkie. Be happy for these couples on their happy day. If your impulse, however, is to denigrate these couples — your fellow human beings in love — then maybe keep those thoughts to yourself. Go talk to a gay or lesbian person about what it’s like to live in this country. On this planet. And to yearn for love. Learn a little first. Listen. Be patient and compassionate and humble. Follow the example of the religious leaders you claim to follow. And let these happy people — celebrating the most joyous day in their lives — let them live in peace.
Also, if you’ve always believed the same thing about gay people and gay marriage, maybe take a moment to consider that you might be wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being wrong. We’re all wrong about something. I was wrong about gay marriage and gay people but I changed my mind. I didn’t change my mind because I backslid or because the devil tricked me or because I’m weak-minded and soft. I changed my mind because I realized gay people are like you and me. They’re attracted to people and they want to be loved. I just happen to be attracted to different people than they’re attracted to. That doesn’t mean they’re doing any harm. If you want to keep two people apart who are in love, the onus is on you to show that they’re doing any harm. And, boy, people have been failing miserably now for eons to prove that gay people are doing any harm. Keeping people who love one another from loving one another, however? That’s harm.
So. Look at that image above again. Doesn’t it simply just make you want to smile?