My Views on Gay Marriage – A Stream of Consciousness

My Views on Gay Marriage – A Stream of Consciousness

I was brought up that being heterosexual is the way to go, and one gets married before one has heterosexual sex with one’s spouse of the opposite sex. That’s it, that’s all.

There was no fire and brimstone telling me that gay sex is wrong because the Torah says so, or that being gay is the end of the world. Homosexuality wasn’t on our radar. At all.

These days kids cannot grow up without becoming aware of gay rights, gay marriage and everything associated with it. In my boys’ yeshivot  it seems as if they have been issued all the fire and brimstone that was (happily) lacking in my upbringing.

I am often asked where I stand.

I’ve always known I was straight, and I would assume that made my life way easier than my gay friends’ lives. I very much appreciate my right to marry whomever I choose. I made a choice at 21, and another at 35.

How would I have felt if I was told that society did not allow me to marry the person of my choosing? I would have been devastated, angry and would have fought for the right to marry.

I have seen many heterosexual married couples make a mockery of the institution of marriage. They had the legal right to marry, but did not take it seriously. Should they have been allowed to marry, knowing they didn’t respect the institution?

Should anyone be interested in what goes on behind other people’s bedroom doors? I am only interested in what happens in my own bedroom – I couldn’t care one whit what others get up to in the privacy of their own spaces.

Am I out there pushing to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states? No. Does that mean that I am against it? No – it just means that I put my energies into my home and my family, and that, yes, this issue does not directly affect me. If that sounds apologist, know that I am not pushing any legislation for any issue because that really isn’t who I am.

How would I react if one of my boys was to tell me he was gay? I am asked this often. I honestly don’t know. I’d like to think that it wouldn’t change the love that I have for him, I’d like to think that I would accept him and his lifestyle – but it’s impossible to know. A mother’s love is supposed to be unconditional – I pray mine is, no matter in what context it is tested.

I love all my friends – them being straight, gay or bi makes no difference to me. It’s their friendship that I appreciate – and such friendship needs no labels.

I am so much in the live and let live mode. I know what is right for me, and we are raising our kids the way we believe is correct. It is not our right to dictate to anyone else the best way to raise their kids, to celebrate their own loves and relationships. We need to accept people for who they are, not WHAT they are. We need to stop slapping labels on everyone.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Naomi says:

    I love this and can totally relate. I always have a hard time trying to understand what’s so hard about dealing with people as if they are people instead of by their labels. I wish I could express this so well. Thanks. :)

  2. Samantha says:

    This relates to me closely. I have family members who are gay. One family member asked me if I can’t love them because of my Jewish faith and the Torah says gay sex is wrong. I told said family member that I love them for THEM and that will not change just because of my Jewish faith and observance level.

    • HaDassah says:

      Well said. Do we only love people who practice religion the same was as us? No. We accept people for who they are.

  3. Ellie says:

    I completely agree with you. I cannot understand why all the interest in what goes on in peoples bedrooms. That is really what is comes down to. Who cares? It’s so difficult to find love nowadays, shouldn’t we just be happy for two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together, regardless if they are of the same sex?

    I also wonder if I’d be accepting of my children if they were gay. I can hope that I would be but you never really know until you’re in that situation, right?

  4. tesyaa says:

    Nice post. It shows compassion and honesty, and doesn’t sound the least bit like apologetics.

  5. Hadass says:

    Nice post, Hadassah, but then we expect no less of you ;-). We have a close teenaged friend who is gay and I am happy to support him in his journey. His parents are having a harder time of it. I often wonder how I would be in their shoes, but I would like to think that I would be just as loving and supportive to one of my own kids as I am to theirs.

    • HaDassah says:

      So glad you are being supportive. I am sure it means the world to your teenaged friend. An ally in an older generation can make a huge difference especially when parents are having a rough time dealing with it.

  6. I think it’s an interesting and poignant observation that you say “I love all my friends – them being straight, gay or bi makes no difference to me,” but just above that, you say, “How would I react if one of my boys was to tell me he was gay? I am asked this often. I honestly don’t know. I’d like to think that it wouldn’t change the love that I have for him, I’d like to think that I would accept him and his lifestyle – but it’s impossible to know.”

    I’m not criticizing; I think this is a natural sentiment for many parents who love their children far more than they love their friends. But somehow, we struggle to let go of the deeply ingrained notion that our children are a reflection of us – an extension of our own identities – and that their acceptance in the world affects ours. To some degree, it really is and does. And maybe this is the root of the problem, this notion that we are somehow “to blame” if our children grow up not matching our vision of their ideal and perfect future.

    I would worry, if one of my kids were gay, that the world would not be kind. That they would have to struggle in ways that I never have. That their potential happiness would somehow be lessened. But I wouldn’t want to add to that burden by giving them one reason to think I loved them less. I used to wonder – back when I believed it was a “lifestyle choice.” Now I think the only choice gay people make is whether to live honestly as gay people or to be celibate and give up their own dreams of forming a happy marriage and having a happy family in order to try to please others. That just strikes me as tragic.

    To the best of my knowledge, the issue doesn’t affect me personally – except that I do have a few gay friends who are DEEPLY affected by it and there are legal, financial, and civil rights to which they are not entitled. I loathe injustice. Especially when it’s got no rational basis. I would never argue that any church should be accepting of, or condone gay marriage or the “gay lifestyle.” But I see no reason for the government or our laws to withhold rights to a whole class of people based on any given church doctrine and absent a larger societal interest. (You know, like “Thou shalt not KILL.” I’m all for law and church being on the same page, there. Well, until we get to “turn the other cheek” and someone says I can’t kill in self-defense… because no matter how morally wrong that MIGHT be, I’m going to defend myself as best I can.)

    • HaDassah says:

      You are absolutely right – we want our kids to be just like us, and we do see them as a reflection of us, especially as we were the ones who raised them.

      I think this issue is one that needs to separate church and state. Civil marriage / union should be allowed. Religion should play no part in that.

      As for gay marriage within religion – that’s way more complicated.

  7. Deborah says:

    I appreciate your honesty – especially in confessing doubt about your reaction should a child of yours come out. We all want our children to be healthy and happy and be afforded all the benefits due them. It’s difficult to watch our kids travel a path that we know is more challenging.

    I often wonder what my reaction would be of one of boys told me he wanted a gender reassignment. I know I would love him, but I’d worry nonetheless. I tell you this from a gay mom’s perspective. I’m a gay mom, and my parents stopped speaking to me 14 years ago and have never met my children who are now 9 and 6. I am all too familiar with the mindset of those people who could turn their backs on their children. The fact that you entertain the questions and pursue the conversation shows that you are not those people.

    Thank you for the post.

    • HaDassah says:

      I am heartbroken – for you and your kids – that your parents have cut you out of their lives. It’s their loss, but how devastating.

      Don’t parents always want that their children should be happy and fulfilled?

      I am so sorry you were dealt this rotten hand. But I know that those special boys of yours will always feel loved and special no matter what they do in life, because they have you as their mom.

      • Deborah says:

        Not to worry, HaDassah! I have a large, amazing family of relatives, friends and community who love us deeply. I know this might sound cold, but in some ways, my parents’ choice was a blessing in that we are able to live without negativity and judgment. My point was not to say ‘poor me,’ because I honestly feel incredibly lucky but to say to you that you are a wonderful mother and that you should not fear. Your reply only proves my point further.

        Shabbat Shalom and a Zissen Pesach!

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