Sunday, May 31, 2009

WARNING: Long, Boring (political) Post; DON'T READ!

On Friday afternoon I checked Mr. Newberry into the Beverly Hills Plaza Hotel. A very friendly middle-aged gentleman, Mr. Newberry was an easy check-in with only one simple request: "Can you please add Alberto Curotto, my husband, to the reservation?" He placed an ever-so-subtle emphasis on the word "husband", as if he was eager to see what my reaction would be to the word. It's likely he anticipated a response ranging from a double-take to a widening of the eyes to the gag reflex. However, I went about my business as casually as if he had asked if I could add his wife to the reservation, replaying "sure, I'd be happy to add your husband's name. Could you please spell that for me?" The utter indifference of a heterosexual male to his homosexual marriage seemed to pleasantly surprise Mr. Newberry... and I think that's really unfortunate.

Remember when women couldn't legally vote or own property? Remember when a black person couldn't legally marry a white person? Of course not.. because these are Dark Age laws of decades long-past. Yet here we are in the 21st Century and my great uncle Donnie and his partner Russ, who live in Missouri and have been in a loving relationship for around 40 years, couldn't get married even if they wanted to. But creating a ridiculous television "reality" show in which a bunch of bimbos battle it out to marry a complete loser they don't even know, and then divorce a few weeks later? Well that's totally legit, right? There's plenty of "sanctity" in that, right? C'mon now...

I believe that state laws outlawing gay marriage are no less outdated, discriminatory and downright asinine than laws that would forbid my white cousin Charmie from marrying her black husband Steve, or laws that would deny my mom, grandma, and the two girls that follow my blog the right to vote. The rights to vote and marry are civil liberties protected by laws based on the Constitution of the United States of America, not the Holy Bible.

Now I have the utmost respect for Christians and the Bible, and I understand that Leviticus 18:22 says "Thou shalt not lie with mankind" ...but the Bible also says a lot of other things too.. I went to church a few months back here in Los Angeles. The young, very intelligent, very eloquent preacher of the evangelical church I attended quoted often from Romans in his sermon. He spoke of the dangers of self-righteousness in Romans 3:9, "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: '", and also in Romans 3:23, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

So, therefore, all people are sinners and NO ONE can meet God's standard of righteousness, right? And righteousness comes not from what WE DO but what GOD us done for US, right? Then it seems to me that acting morally superior to others (like gay people) and trying to become righteous by doing what one consider's "God's work" (like, perhaps, passing Proposition 8) is actually the antithesis of Christianity. When the pastor (talking about the Bible) yelled out "It's about Jesus! It's not about you!" it became clear to me that real Christianity is about becoming righteous by your faith in God, not by any works or deeds of your own... and certainly not by using the name of Jesus, the ultimate symbol of compassion, to restirict the fundamental rights of an entire group of people.

So anyway, in a (gigantic) nutshell, that's why I hope that someday Mr. Newberry won't need to stress the word "husband."

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