Earlier today, I received a call from a friend of mine. Normally a very soft-spoken person, I immediately knew something was wrong when I answered the phone. She bombarded me with the unpleasant sound of what can only be described as a cross between gurgling and screeching. After some careful coaxing, I finally got her to calm down enough to tell me what the problem was. Imagine my surprise when she told me that the USA had legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 of its states and how worried she was that the Caribbean would soon be following suit because, “everybody like copy the Americans.” I believe sometimes I’m slow because I could not figure out for the life of me what this possibly had to do with her calling me in a panic and I asked her this, only to realize where my problem lay when she replied, “we can’t allow them to marry here, they gonna sink our country.” I momentarily forgot my problem and became curious at this point because I was trying to figure out whether she meant this metaphorically, as in our country’s development may become stunted upon legalization of same-sex marriage or whether she meant this literally. Did she believe our country like the fabled Atlantis would sink because we upset the Gods?
Coming to the realization that I would never know what she meant as she continued rambling on about sins, I hung up the phone and tried to objectively look at my problem, because aside from being an avid consumer of food, I also enjoy solving problems. Before coming to my decision, a bunch of possibilities popped up, such as, “don’t comment on it,” “ignore it” etc. but these posed new problems as I am a very opinionated and vocal person and I just cannot stay silent on issues which concern me. Bigotry, religious extremism, male chauvinism and babies in Aeroplanes are all issues that I believe need my prompt addressal. My problem is that I always seem to end up with friends who have intensely different religious views or different political views than my own. I believe I have them mostly just to show everyone how open-minded and accepting I am of everyone elses belief systems. I realized however that for the preservation of my sanity, I would have to give these people up and be branded as someone who is intolerant of other people’s beliefs and rights. Although the irony hurts, I realize how necessary this is to preserve the modicum of self-respect I have for both myself and my few remaining religious friends.
Instead of celebrating or at the very least, being accepting of the strides made by the USA today to further push equality forward, I see my social media feeds dripping with hate and disrespect of the grossest manner. There are the outright ones who clearly state how wrong and immoral this is and then there are the ones who take a more errrm political approach to it while still displaying their biases. Although there appears to be a few level-headed persons amongst the mixture, this number is alarmingly small and speaks of how intolerant our great nation is. To the ones who say they should not get married because it is a Christian concept, I say to you, please do some History. Marriage was a legal contract long before Christianity even existed and dates back to the code of the Hammurabi 1790 BC. I realize that years of social and religious conditioning has changed most of us for the worse as we are allowed to pick and choose our morals, but wouldn’t it be nice to love someone as they are rather than hating them for it? I applaud the USA for its decision and I can only hope other countries do follow them soon. It has been a bad week for bigots. I can’t say I’m sad about this as I hope that in the near future these bigots will be hit closer to home. It’s unfortunate that some of you are so riled up, but it’s about time you have had a bad week when the rest of us have had bad decades and centuries.