Note: I don’t know where I stand on the gay marriage issue. I just want that pointed out in the beginning of this entry.
Over the past 1.5 years I’ve taken on a new area of study in my life. I’ve set aside my psychology textbooks and have paid boo-koos of dollars on books that say “social work” on the front. I will be honest and say it was and still is hard for me to not be treading along my psychology path any longer. Psychology is SO me! And if I thought I could handle school long enough to go all the way for a doctorate right now, I’d still be in psychology, but since I was, and still pretty much am so burnt out on school right now, I’m traveling the way of a social worker, simply because a masters in social work opens up a lot more downs than a masters in psychology, plus, I can eventually go into practice on my own with only a masters in social work, unlike having a masters in psychology. Enough with that though…
So, while I’m still yet to be really “sold” on social work, I can tell you I’ve recently found myself complaining about all the stuff I don’t like about the social work discipline in comparison to the psychology discipline to some fellow psychology undergraduate friends of mine who are also “stuck” in this social work program….HA! One thing that I probably should keep hush-hush about, but I don’t really care, is the fact that I don’t know how much I like our social work code of ethics….HA! Without going into a lot of detail on that specifically, let me give you a scenario I’m working with right now on this topic…
Many of you Texans who are big political follows I’m sure already know about this, as many of you other Texans who might have gotten some of the circulating emails. And apparently, there is even an automotive phone calling service going around about it…HA! Whatever the case, there is going to be a proposition on the November ballot, here in Texas which is to write into the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution an amendment which would be banning marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples.
Now here is where I stand…
I don’t know where I stand on the issue, but let’s say I went along with my Church of Christ family background and valued the sanctity of marriage and its definition of being between a male and a female. Having said all of that, that would mean I would totally for this proposition. I would want it to be in place to keep gay couples from taking part in the unity of marriage which I believed is only to be for a male and a female couple. Obviously this would represent a personal value of my own, even religiously based I suppose.
Now, as a social worker, based on our code of ethics, I’m supposed to always put the best interests of my clients first. Realizing I will have gay clients, I am supposed to treat them justly. Let’s face it, social work is ALL about the treating everyone the same thing, which is cool you know, I’m not dogging it. So, as a social worker, I’m being asked to set aside my value of marriage being between a man and a woman; I’m being asked to set aside my religious beliefs; and stretching it even further, as the good ol’ Church of Christ ways are, the belief that homosexuality is a sin—that means I would be being asked to encourage a sinful lifestyle when I’m allowing for gay marriage to exist.
Okay, so do you see my struggle here?
Let me bring it more home with this…
Over the past two weeks I have gotten two emails about this Proposition from two friends of mine. One email was from one stance on the issue and the other from the other stance. One of the emails was written on October 11th, which was official “coming out day,” and it was written by a lesbian friend I have. Her email was written from a personal standpoint and really made me think.
The other email, though not to discredit it, or the person it came from, was the typical “let’s circulate this form email as quickly as we can to EVERYONE we know before November 8th gets here.” If this email did anything for me, it really just made me think how judgmental “Christians” can be. I don’t say to in reference to any specific Christians I know, I say it in reference to the “Christians” that the email was so frequently referring too.
Let me share the two emails with you here and let you judge for yourself. And let me end with this…
Like I mentioned in the beginning, I don’t know where I stand on the topic of gay marriages. I even wrote a paper over it last semester for a class where I had to debate both sides of the issue and I STILL couldn’t pick a side, but I will say this, if anyone out there, Christian or not Christian wants to shoot me a comment or an email defending the reasoning for voting “Yes” to this proposition (which means saying, yes, gay marriages should be banned), I’d love to hear a less “form email” explanation for that defense. Not saying I’m leaning one way or another…I just love hearing both sides! HA!
Happy National Coming Out Day!
Today is National Coming Out Day--a day that some people choose to let people who are close to them (or not) know that they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, queer, etc. It is also the day that I am asking you to "come out" in support of human rights for everyone in Texas.
In the upcoming November elections in Texas, there will be a measure on the ballot--Proposition 2-- which seeks to write unequal treatment for gay and lesbian Texans into the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution by banning marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples.
I have thought long and hard about this amendment and why I care about it. It's not just because I am in a same-sex relationship; it's not just because it will affect me and my partner significantly in ways beyond state recognition of our relationship--like our home ownership, our ability to visit eachother in the hospital, our ability to name eachother as emergency contacts with hospitals and other agencies, our ability to name eachother in our wills; it's not just because it will affect the family we build. All of those are great reasons to vote against this measure.
But most of you receiving this email, while you may care about me and my partner, won't be affected similarly. I will be voting against this amendment, and I am asking you to do the same, because it sets a standard for entrenching the denial of freedom and liberty to an entire group of people based on culture, lifestyle, personal choice, and biology. Please consider the impact of this movement on something that you care about and something that you take for granted every day--it might be your freedom, it might be your family, it might be the security that you draw from living in a society that purports to grant us all the same civil rights.
As I have said before, if you are unsure of how you feel about this issue--I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about it. Not because I want to "sell" you on my ideas, but because I think we will be a more cohesive and tolerant community if we understand and listen to views that are different from our own.
When I sent out the last email like this, I didn't hear from a whole lot of people, and thankfully, most of the people who did reply did so to let me know of their wholehearted support of human rights for all people in our state. But much later, I did hear from someone who originally disagreed with me and thought that same-sex marriage should be banned. She told me that after meeting me, knowing me and reading my letter, she thought about it for awhile and had changed her mind. Talking about it, "coming out" if you will, REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. So not only am I asking you to vote against Proposition 2, I am asking you to talk with other people about it. Let them know how you feel. Forward my email on to them.
Please "come out" with me--
P.S.--If you want more information about this proposed amendment or what you can do to defeat it, you can visit http://www.nononsenseinnovember.com/ or http://www.lgrl.org
If you get this and you are not a Texan-please forward it on to people who ARE Texans and encourage them to go to the polls and VOTE on Nov. 8. And other states need to watch for this. This is how Roe v. Wade got voted in; Christians were complacent and didn't realize what was going on, and being voted on. SO PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS-and go vote on NOV. 8!!!
Proposition 2 - on the November 8, 2005 Ballot
Please forward this email to every Christian that you know. It is important that the Christian voters of Texas speak loud and clear in November, by SUPPORTING and voting YES to Prop.2.
You may be wondering why you have not heard of this proposed amendment before? The answer is simple. There is a grassroots effort in our Texas gay communities to keep conservatives in the dark. Since there will not be any big elections this November, the probability of people getting out to vote are slim. The gay community is planning to use our complacency against us. While we are not voting, they will be!
PRAY!!! that the believers in Texas will rise up to vote in support of this resolution.
ACT!!! We are in need of Christians to educate the community of Prop. 2
The proposition currently reads as follows:
A Joint Resolution Proposing a constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman.
Be it resolved by the legislature of the State of Texas:
Section 1. Article I, Texas Constitution, is amended by adding Section 32 to read as follows:
Sec. 32. (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b)This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
Section 2. This state recognizes that through the designation of guardians, the appointment of agents, and the use of private contracts,persons may adequately and properly appoint guardians and arrange rights relating to hospital visitation, property, and the entitlement to proceeds of life insurance policies without the existence of any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
Section 3. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 8, 2005. The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition:
"The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or BR recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."