Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Off on another rant...

Okay, here she goes again, off on a tear! I wasn't going to write about this, since I know that I have readers who are not of the same, um, political persuasion as I am. And I want to say that, as difficult as it is for me (I'm extremely opinionated, if you hadn't noticed), I've come to realization that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I try to listen respectfully to all points of view. And (also respectfully) disagree while still allowing everyone their own point of view. I don't want to alienate anyone, but I still feel a powerful need to talk about things that are important to me here. Feel free not to read, and you can think I'm totally misguided all you want - I hope we can still be friends!

You may have noticed that I made a quick mention of the HBO documentary "All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise" the other day. And stated that I strongly support gay marriage. I didn't get into it any further, because (unlike breastfeeding in public) I know that this is unlikely to be an issue that the majority of my readers agree with me on. But I want to talk about this amazing documentary! So I'm going to. If you don't like it, don't read another word!

So, the documentary. It's about a cruise that Rosie O'Donnell and her partner Kelli put together for gay families and their supporters. They rented the biggest boat that Norwegian Cruise Lines has, and had no trouble filling it up with like 500 families for a two-week cruise. The show is basically a series of interviews with different families on the boat. There are several weddings, entertainment, ports of call (including coverage of the protesters who met the boat in Nassau), and seminars on issues facing gay couples and families. There was a session on adoption as a gay couple. There was a session where teen kids of gay couples spoke about their experiences (and, I have to say, what an amazing, articulate bunch of kids). And then just little interviews with various people on the boat.

Now, I know a few lesbian couples with kids, but I don't have any really close friends who are gay. So it was a really neat peek into the lives of gay families. The amazing thing is how similar they are to straight families, apart from the fact that they constantly face fear of persecution and rejection. It was heartbreaking to hear one teen talking about how her family is harrassed in their conservative suburban neighborhood (and how she lives in fear that one of her moms, who is not a citizen, may be deported at any moment because she's not legally married to her other mom and afforded any protection). Another recounts how she got into tons of fights when she was younger because of other kids dissing on her moms. I cried along with them at the end, when they were leaving after being in a place where they felt totally safe and accepted for two weeks and had to go back to the harsh reality of the real world. In fact, this show moved me to tears several times.

I've always been a strong supporter of gay rights, but this show really brought it home for me. There is no reason, other than some misguided view of "morality", to keep gay families on the fringe of society. The Bible is used for a lot of evil purposes, in my opinion, particularly when taken out of context (which is so easy to do, since it's a translated work that is full of contradictions, particularly between the Old and New Testaments). People really need to ask themselves, what WOULD Jesus do? Jesus was all about love and forgiveness, not hate and judgement. I know plenty of people disagree with me, but my God is perfectly fine with families who love each other and live in peace, even if they're headed by two mommies, two daddies, or one of each (or one of either). There are plenty of traditional two-parent families who are horrible to each other. Not to mention all the unwanted kids who end up in marginal foster homes until they age out of the system when there are loving families who would take them in a second if they were allowed to...

I hope that gay marriage becomes a normal and accepted thing in my lifetime. If one or both of my children turn out to be gay, I want them to have that path open to them. It's not special treatment, it's equal treatment. I can honestly say that the only sadness I would feel if one of my kids turns out to be gay would be due to the persecution I know they'd face. Other than that, a gay child is every bit as good in my mind as a straight one.

If anyone is still reading, get yourself to the tv and watch the show. If you don't have HBO, let me know and I can send it to you (copyright police be damned - I consider it a public service). And remember - "what the world needs now is love, sweet love."


Blogger Bitterknitter said...

You said it! I could go on, but suffice it to say that I agree wholeheartedly!

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Helene said...

We have april socks!

Pic in blog :)

2:55 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I agree - it's tough out there for people who are gay. One of my best friends is gay. Pea's sibling is gay. I love them both, and would love them just as much if they slept with girls, boys or both. I don't understand why small minded people have to make such a big deal out of it. I have no room in my life for discrimination of any kind.

3:01 PM  
Blogger msubulldog said...

Hear, hear! Well put, Chrissy. I'd like to see the show if you have a copy. We get lotsa tv, but no HBO.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I happen to agree with you as well. I remember living in Boston and having the gay marriage issue on the news practically every night. I just didn't get why people were so bent out of shape. Legalization of marriage to me is just that - a legal issue. People who were protesting the legalization of gay marriage were quoting issues of morality and religion and whatnot, but making gay marriage legal has nothing to do with whether it should be allowed for religious reasons. If a specific church has issues with marrying a gay couple, then shouldn't it be up to the church to turn down couples who want to be married there? it's perfectly legal for me to marry a Catholic boy, but there are certainly some Catholic churches who won't marry me regardless of what the law says!

3:18 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I don't get HBO anymore! Wah!!!! I'll have to check it out when it hits DVD.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Dani said...

I'm with ya! I have just set my tivo to get it next time it is on, and will gladly help you fill requests if you need the help.

You shouldn't EVER worry about sharing your opinions! I believe strongly that as long as you can voice them in a respectful manner, you have every right to share them, whether others agree or not! The worst thing to me is a closed mind - while I may not always agree with things other people say, I try very hard to at least hear what they are saying.

In this case though, I simply can't fathom the abuse thrust upon the gay community. It would never occur to me to define someone by their sexual preferences, any more than their eye color, or choice in sneakers. People are people, regardless of who they fall in love with, what clothes they wear, religious beliefs etc... I'm sad there has to be a "gay community", that we feel a need to label and define, and segregate, but that's an entirely different rant, huh?

I'm so afraid of the things this country has become, and how much further we have to decline before it gets better.

*sigh* Im gonna go knit =)

3:35 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

I could go on and on about this, too. My dad is gay, but didn't come out until I was 20. We are Catholic, so he stayed in the closet for a looooong time! It always makes me laugh when bloggers (myself included) apologize for content. Isn't that the point of a blog? Two pearls of wisdom: 1) after my dad came out my aunt said to my uncle "do you think of me and matt in bed?" "no," he said, "then why do you think of him (my dad) in bed?" AND 2) Why would anyone choose to be gay???

I'll take a copy of that tape!

4:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm with you, too! I have an aunt who calls herself a lesbian, and who had a baby -- now my 22 year old awesome cousin Gardner -- with her then partner. At the time of course, marriage was not an option. She got plenty of flack for having a baby which is INSANE! People who think that gay and lesbian people shouldn't adopt or have kids make me want to scream. Now my aunt is in a long-term relationship with a man and she has lost some of her lesbian friends because of that. Sad. How can you discriminate against someone for LOVING another person? I don't get it.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous jillian said...

Once again, I can say we are completely on the same planet politically! This aspect of American culture is so ludicrous it makes me embarrased at how in the dark ages parts of this Country are because of mixing up religious, social and legal issues.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. Thank you for posting this. I am so dreadfully tired of this argument. I think that ultimatley... people need to look at their own morality and lifestyle and leave innocent, loving and kind folks WHO just happen to be of the same sex alone.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Heide said...

One of my favorite bumper stickers of all time, "I don't have anything against God, I just don't like his fan club". Good parents need to be supported... period. Bad ones need to be educated and/or provided w/sterilization.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Well said. I couldn't agree more. One of my dearest friends is a lesbian and she and her partner have a baby boy (they live in Portland too!) and I find the idea that they can't be married absolutely rediculous. They had a big, fat, awesome wedding anyway, but it still makes me sad that they can't be legally bound. I too hope that gay marraige becomes a normal, acceptable thing in my lifetime.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Grauwal said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Living in San Francisco, where those topics are more openly discussed and gay families are just a normal part of life, I don't understand the whole discussion. I hope, it is just a matter of time until gay married couples are as common as unmarried hetero couples.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

Gotta love HBO! I just don't understand the vehement opposition to gay marriage. Not a single argument against it holds any water. My mom was on a rant about it one time and I had to say, "But, Mom, they're not going to make YOU marry a woman. You can stay married to Dad." Love, sweet love, indeed.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Tina in Wonderland said...

I hate prejudice of any kind and totally believe'live and let live'. It is ridiculous to me that so many people in this day and age still try to judge and ridicule people based on their race, gender, religion, etc.

When I hear a gay slam, I have ask the person who says it why they care who the person is sleeping with?

7:06 AM  
Blogger CarryFairie said...

Can I just say thank you and I adore you??? It means so much when a straight person takes a stand on our side. It *should* be simple, there shouldn't have to be sides, but since there are I'm SO glad you're on mine!

I happened to have both of my boys with men, but that was before I had gathered up the courage to live as I am. I feel the pain from my oldest on a daily basis. He is gets harassed for his mom being gay. How is that fair? And now in my current hometown we are having to fight the school board to have our families included in the curriculum, and to have our kids be able to participate in school plays (long story there...) I get so sad some days and just don't understand. I hope, as well, that gay marriage will be legal in my lifetime.

And I have to thank your other readers that have posted comments so far too...makes a person feel all warm and squishy inside! What a heart-warming way to start my day (even if it brought tears to my eyes...)

8:55 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Beautiful, Chrissy! I find it so ironic that the folks traipsing around with the "WWJD?" t-shirts and bumper stickers are so often the ones who do not seem to get at all that Christ's message was all about LOVE.

I'd love to borrow the tape.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

YES!!! I'm glad you posted, there is NOTHING "misguided" about your opinions at all -- I am SO sick and tired of all of these so called "christians" who only preach hate and discrimination... umm hello? can we say hypocritical? It's ok to have millions of divorces and marry for money or whatever people marry for, but it's not legal to marry for love anymore. I'm all for gay rights, as well -- I don't see any differences between me or my gay friends except for their sexual preference, and who should really care? That's a personal matter, not a legal one. I'm also sick to death that our country's government has forgotten about the separation of church and state completely... we need more free thinkers in the world!! America is *so* in the dark ages. Right on!

10:01 AM  
Blogger Lavendersheep said...

I have to totally agree with you. It completely ticked me off when it came up here to vote for changing our constitution to define marriage. There were so many things out about the "morals" of gay marriage and nobody seemed to touch on the fact that this is about real people. Ones that just want the privileges that marriage gives to everybody else, things like insurance, emergency room visitation, and joint tax returns. It just drives me crazy that there is a group of people out there that are so discriminated against. Thank you for putting up your post, I enjoyed reading it and everybody else's comments too.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Gay citizens work and pay taxes, get called for jury duty, and are allowed to vote. They have all the same rights as straight citizens except the one. Why should they be denied any right the rest of America has? If they don't have the same rights as me, they at least should get out of taxes and jury duty! :)
Your post was well-written and right on the money!

7:32 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Rock on sister!
I also have april socks done (currently posted) and brownie socks (to be posted tomorrow!). Woo Hoo!

8:38 PM  
Blogger minka said...

good post, and completely agree with you!!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Me said...

completely agree with you! Thanks for sharing.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Miss Tonia said...

I agree with you! Everyone should be free to marry who they want. And I had seen it on HBO, but hadn't thought about watching it until now. I'm gonna sit down and pull up On Demand and watch it. I do have a dvd recorder, and if anyone wants it on dvd and is willing to pay the postage, I'll record it for them.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Crazy About Sox said...

I watched that show myself the other day and i i don't think i could have said it better myself. Thanx for sharing...

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Brittney said...

You go, girl! I'm a huge supporter too (and do have several close friends who are gay), and my hubby actually wrote his thesis at Reed on the Constitutional issues surrounding gay marriage. I don't have HBO and would LOVE a copy of the show. Thanks for the rant!

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:58 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Spun is up! I cannot wait to make Cleo! I was excited about it before I saw the designer's name - now I'm thrilled! Woo Hoo!

11:01 AM  
Blogger keohinani said...

FINALLY!!!! Spunmag is up, girl, and I see LOTS of CLEOS in my future! I love you! Great job!!! YOU are officially my hero. You were before, but now it's officially official :) hehehe...Have a great weekend, Chrissy!

12:30 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Well said. I can't understand why anyone cares who loves who, and a family is built on love, not on politics or someone else's view of the bible. Oh, and you might want to check out the blog of my friend Trey :http://www.lathefamily.org/warren3/. He's just plain amazing, and a knitter, too!

8:32 AM  
Blogger lexa said...

Got another pair of brownie points socks! Got pictures up on my blog.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Ah, Cleo is so cute! I want a green one! Hey everyone, go to http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/millionformarriageac
and sign the petition for marriage equality at millionformarriage.org
Chrissy, maybe you could post it in your next entry? You have a lot of readers who support GLBT marriage.

3:16 PM  

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