I’ve posted about it before, but the issue is actually being debated in Rhode Island’s General Assembly as I write this. Yesterday after work, I attended a marriage equality rally held by some of the students at the college. They had various speakers that included a gay Catholic priest (not Roman Catholic), some students, and some faculty. I didn’t get to stay to the end as I had to get home to make dinner for my wife, but it was a great rally.
You see, I work at a Catholic college. The Catholic Church has been known to be against marriage equality, especially the Diocese of Providence’s Bishop Tobin. The reason is that the Church defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. The Church has an outdated view of marriage as being for the purpose of procreation, which obviously cannot happen between same sex couples. They claim that allowing same sex couples to marry destroys the “sanctity” of marriage. While the Church might be arguing this, they fail to consider that a strong division of church and state exists in this country and was defined in the Constitution to prevent any single religion from biasing laws. The reason for that is we also have written into our Constitution a freedom to practice whatever religion you want. My religion says that anyone should be allowed to be joined in a civil marriage. You see, marriage equality does not change the Church’s view on marriage. It does not force the Church to marry same sex couples. It simply makes all people equals in the eyes of the government.
While at this rally, a small group of four or five students gathered across the street. I can only assume they were anti-equality as they were not joining us. They carried signs that read “Born Normal” and “Straight Pride”. There was also a longer one that didn’t really make a whole lot of sense (not that the other two made any sense). You see, I am pretty sure that the majority of the people at the rally, myself and one of the organizers included, were straight. I am proud to be straight. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be proud to be gay or bisexual or transsexual. It just means I am proud to be who I am. What does being straight have to do with being anti-equality? It was as if they were saying that if you are straight, you should be on the other side of the street with them. And how about “Born Normal”? What is “normal”? “Normal”, as far as I’m concerned, does not exist. Everyone is different in some way. Some of us lack critical thinking skills, like those skills required to realize that signs that say “Born Normal” or “Straight Pride” make absolutely no sense. I just kind of chuckled to myself at these students who were clearly ignorant.
Anyway, the rally seemed to gain a lot of support from the people driving by, though I have to wonder if they were honking their horns in support of marriage equality or if they were just honking their horns because there was a rally of some kind. One guy driving by actually yelled out “It’s time!” That gave me some hope. You see, he didn’t look like the type of person to believe in marriage equality. Yes, I am stereotyping the typical ignorant Rhode Islander. I probably shouldn’t be. All walks of life. All types of people believe in equality. I can only hope that our state government also believes in equality.