As I stood by my cash register yesterday afternoon at work, yawning and daydreaming about any and everything imaginable, I began to take a look around at my surroundings. You see, I don't exactly live in the most cla ssy of places. I live in rural Pennsylvania, amidst people that think poofy hair and neon-colored jumpsuits are still "in". People that value the word of their religious leaders over their own opinions. But alas, they are still people.
So with that in mind, it always amazes me how many of these same people don't come to the same conclusion. Yes, there are differences in some groups of people, and you may not like them, but they're still people.... and should be treated as such. From a political standpoint, things seem to be getting better on this issue.... you know, minus the exploitation of the issue to create partisan divides. God forbid if President Obama were to support same-sex marriage. I mean, seriously, he might end up alienating his conservative base! You know, the one that doesn't exist anyway?
Don't worry, I'm going to try not to go on one of my gay rights rants again. We all know I've been there, done that. But that's because I no longer really view this as a battle for one group, to right one injustice. This is no longer about gays, or blacks, or hispanics, it's about human rights. Ironically, something more non-religious people seem to respect and comprehend than religious individuals do.
That's not to say that everyone that's religious is a bigot. I have several religious friends who treat me as their equal, and I respect them for that. But it can also be argued that the same principles and idealogy fictitious pieces of literature like the Bible teach, go against their own morals of equality. Endorsing slavery and condemning love of any kind is not open-minded, accepting, or "Christian" in any single way, shape, or form.
I recently stumbled upon a new Gallup poll on the issue of gay rights (ok, so I lied, I'm going on a rant again), which contained relatively upbeat news that, though most Americans still oppose same-sex marriage, more are coming around. While this is, in some sort of twisted way, "good news", I think I was more disturbed with the percentages of people that opposed gay rights. Forty-percent of Americans do not believe same-sex relationships should be legal. And I'm not talking about marriage, I'm talking about relationships in general. Essentially, that's saying that forty-percent of Americans are so bitter and miserable that they'd love to spread their own hate and malice upon other human beings, just because they're different. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we taught at a very early age; pre-school perhaps, that we're supposed to respect those who differ from us?
I suppose this wouldn't be so upsetting to me, if it weren't for the fact that so much progress has been made in the past few years. Four states have legalized same-sex marriage in the past six months alone, and more and more legislation is being pushed forward to address hate crimes.
What makes matters worse, in my opinion, is that even though I forsee minorities eventually winning this battle, I don't forsee a victory for the right reasons. I believe conservatives and evangelicals will move on to support these kinds of issues to get ahead politically, not to better themselves socially and morally. Let's get real here, today's America will not elect a Sarah Palin. We're passed the George Bush (pick one) days, and even the Clinton years. This is a new America, and conservatives (and even democrats) are beginning to get a wake-up call.
Perhaps a new party should be formed? Like the Anti-Ignorance Party? Or the Human Rights Party? Anything but democrat or republican, really. I can respect a democrat or a republican, but until they can each entirely respect me, I have no desire to be associated with either.