Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Seeing

Earlier this week, I had a break during work and renewed my love/hate relationship with Huffington Post.

I read an article about how more people are changing their attitude toward not just gay marriage, but gay people in general. The article centered around a specific family in which a man's father initially is devastated by his son coming out as gay, then becomes accepting of it (It was really much more engaging than that, but I can't find the article again to save my life, so here's one on a similar note.).

I'm one of those people whose views essentially have done a 180.


For a long time, I didn't think gay people should get married. Looking back, I'm not quite sure why. The only thing that I can come up with, as lame as it is, is that I didn't get it.

I never had anything in particular against gay people. My parents never even really talked about it one way or the other, and with the majority of my friends it just wasn't discussed. Even in church (I'm a Catholic), it wasn't really a talking point.

What my thoughts boiled down to, I think, was I was quietly afraid that the world I grew up in would change.

But sometime a few years ago, during college, I believe, something just clicked.

A radio personality here, Steve Morrison, whose morning show on WMMR I've listened to since middle school, talked about gay marriage during one of those flashpoint days when it boils to the top of the news.

All Morrison said was, "Who would it really hurt?"

I didn't immediately latch onto that, but as more came up in the news, I began to really turn that question over in my mind.

Finally, it just came down to this: "If gay people can get married, does that negatively affect me? Does that negatively affect people close to me? Does that negatively affect most people?"

The answer I came up for to all three was, "No."

Then, I asked myself who is negatively affected when gay people are denied marriage.

A lot of people, including some people I care about, I realized.

Since that thought, my views are different. Allowing gay marriage doesn't change the world, one way or another, I thought. It just allows everyone to enjoy the same rights and, importantly, the same happiness.

As a reporter, I've become very attuned to the fact that bad things happen unexpectedly and a lot. Every day.

And from what I've gathered, when those bad things happen, you need support to get through them, to see them out. A wife or a husband, a family, is a great start to that.

In the end, I just don't feel like denying such a large part of America their potential for happiness makes much sense.

Over the past few days, I've thought whether I'm ashamed of the way I used to think, quietly opposing gay marriage. I don't think I am. I wish I hadn't thought that way, but I think it was just because I didn't understand the issue.

I believe now that I was wrong, but I don't think I was, for lack of a better phrase, intentionally wrong.

Intentionally wrong is what I consider the stance of those that hate the gay community and are just using the marriage issue as another way to rake them over the coals.

What I mean, I guess, is I didn't just keep my eyes shut, like them. I just hadn't seen what I needed to see yet. When I did, my outlook changed accordingly.

And it's my opinion that a lot of America that remains opposed to gay marriage and related gay issues is the same.

I could be completely wrong about that, but I'll choose this moment to shed my characteristic pessimism and hope that everyone soon can see the same things I started to.

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