Last week, while wasting away in the middle of the flu epidemic that rivaled the deadly virus in Contagion, I came across a post about the lovely and talented Ellen Degeneres. If you have been frothing out of your mouth like those infected in the aforementioned film, you might have been too busy to hear the news. For that, I pity you. I love that kind of power. Pity makes me feel superior. Gotta love superiority.
Needless to say, I shared the news of all the hullabaloo on my Facebook page. In the time that it took me to wipe the Contagion froth that had accumulated on the side of my face, I was receiving a phone call from a friend curious to know why I had decided be so generous with politically charged information. I say “politically charged,” because the debate that ensued, and the subsequent conversations with various professional mentors, was unlike any other catfight that I had experienced before. All I had wanted to do was “share.” I like sharing. They taught it to me in grade-school.
In our time of immediate news gathering, we are expected to craft opinions based on split-second imagery and consolidated ideas via Twitter feeds. We enter into political discourse with people across oceans because we should, and we can. It is beautiful and free and, many times, draped in ignorance. I think those drapes might have looked great in my living room of bliss…
I found myself at a loss in my response when questioned on the difference of civil unions versus gay marriage. As an American citizen who proudly defends our rights, I think it is my duty to know the specifics of why people nearly spit on each other during this debate. In essence, regardless of whatever religious background you come from, or what your moral standpoint may be, it all boils down to one very simple word: equality.
My question was: “Why is it so difficult to understand that people just want to be afforded equal rights?”
His reponse: “Why not just call it something different and be done with it? Why call it ‘marriage’?”
The most interesting part of this debate is that one side stands behind one word (the equal sign), where the other stands behind another (a cross). It is my understanding, and I’m going out on a tiny little tree branch here, that the LGBTQ community is not waging a rainbow war against anyone’s church (kinda sounds pretty). Doesn’t seem to me anyone wants to RuPaul bitch-slap the sanctity of that dearly held sacrament.
People just want to:
1. Nervously gnaw at their fingers together while filing joint taxes so our politicians can waste them debating names of bodies of water for amusement.
2. Holler snappy obscenities at each other during meatloaf night because their Social Security benefits are too miniscule to afford more Prilosec for that darn Klondike addiction. Lactose intolerance is a real bitch.
3. At least be able to find the silver lining when the other kicks the bucket. “Maybe now I can spend money on my weekly permanent like I always wanted! The cheap bastard. I’ve been dying to go purple. Crap, I didn’t mean to say, ‘dying’.”
The juiciest part? A prominent New York divorce lawyer couldn’t even tell me the difference between CUs and GMs. But, he asked me to cheat on my manfriend with him. Put that in your coffee and swirl it around a bit…