Annette Gross

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Filed By Annette Gross | September 06, 2011 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: commitment ceremony, Indiana same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, marriage, marriage equality

WeddingCake.jpgAllan and I walked into the church. We chatted with friends as we walked into the chapel. The minister took her place on the altar. Music began to play and all of the guests rose from their seats. The couple came in and stood in front of the minister. Their families and friends surrounded them in love as the minister welcomed the guests and began the ceremony. She spoke of the love and devotion the couple have for each other. The couple exchanged vows and rings. Everyone applauded and some shed tears of joy. We all enjoyed cake and punch and wished the couple a long and happy life together.

What is wrong with this picture? Did buildings fall down and did birds come dropping out of the sky? Did oceans flood the land and did volcanoes erupt? Did millions of happy marriages disintegrate? No!

Yesterday I was invited to my first commitment ceremony between two men. I was honored to be on the guest list - I am friends with one of the grooms. Not only was it a same-sex ceremony, but the grooms are interracial. Marriage between two men in Indiana is still illegal (hence the commitment ceremony), and interracial marriage was only legalized in Indiana in 1965. That's not very long ago. I am assuming that before 1965, many thought that disastrous things would happen if two people from different races could marry. Now the same is said of same-sex marriage. Not only will the sky fall if same-sex marriage is legalized, but it will supposedly destroy "marriage as we know it."

So I watched two families come together. In the middle of the ceremony, each groom gave their mom a rose. As the women stood to receive their flower, I could see love and pride on both of their faces. Again, nothing I could notice indicated a negative or disapproving note.

As the ceremony progressed, I felt tears of happiness welling up in my eyes. I couldn't imagine what about this event would cause anyone to think it was a bad thing. Two lives were merging as one. The couple was professing their love and devotion to each other in the eyes of G-d, and in front of their friends and families. They promised to take care of each other and make their home a haven - a refuge from a difficult and sometimes harsh world.

Opponents of homosexuality claim that gay people are promiscuous. They also claim that men who are married live longer. But, on the other hand, they deny gay people the very thing that would make their lives more stable and enduring. Why is this? Many spout biblical text, but I can't believe they're all that devout. That leads me to believe (and this is just my belief) that most of them are just homophobic, mean-spirited people who will do anything they can to make gay people's lives miserable. They want them to go away. To disappear. Here in Indiana an amendment to write discrimination into our state Constitution is on the drawing board. It says that only one man and one woman can get married. Why do this? If passed, I'm sure many GLBT people would leave the state.

I find it interesting how strident some of our legislators in Indiana are about same-sex marriage. I also find it interesting that more than a few "doth protest too much." Look at Phil Hinkle: He got caught soliciting sex from a teenage boy. He is one of the legislators pushing for HJR-6 to get passed. Why do these men care so much? In addition, so many of them cheat on their wives. How sacred can marriage really be to them?

So, let's get back to the commitment ceremony. I wish that the opponents of same-sex marriage could have seen the love on both of these men's faces and in their eyes. I wish they could have seen these men's elderly parents, siblings, children, and friends congratulate them and wish them well. I wish they could have heard both men vow to take care of each other as they grow into old age. What can be wrong with that?

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Those who would use the Bible to justify their hatred are being bad Christians, and sadly, at the same time, are liars.
There is not a single word regarding homosexuality in the Bible, old or new testament.
All references to "homosexuals" are faulty and dishonest modern translations that twist and distort the original text. Nothing in the original Aramaic speaks of homosexuality. Meanwhile, in Greek there were MANY words to describe homosexuality, yet none of those words are used in the New Testament in its original version. Every time a mention of same-sex "abomination" is made, it is a deceitful usage of "homosexual" in place of the REAL original text.

'What's wrong with this picture?'

Oh that's easy!

2 law-abiding, tax-paying citizens are banned from entering the legal contract of marriage because they are gay.

Once a Christian violates that important directive to 'treat another as they'd be treated', all bets are off as to the authenticity of their belief in God, or Christ or any other faith.
I personally will put my faith in love, equal justice and fairness because no person or nation has ever suffered under such ideals.
And there isn't a person of faith who could argue one ever has.

That aside, those of us who witness love, and know it in ourselves to SHARE it with another, understand our obligation to at least be fair.
There was never any reason to assume that a gay person doesn't need what all human beings do.
I'm one of those straight allies that would love to shout out to the anti gay, that they are missing on something truly wonderful and powerful.
That the loving alliances between gay and straight people is strong and meaningful.
And they shouldn't take it for granted that we are the ones who aren't understanding or knowing what is going on.
In fact, I'd laugh at the kinds of discouragement I get to have the relationships I do have with gay folks.
Love can bring a courage alien to the anti gay. Indeed, we have witnessed for ourselves what hysterical, brainless people they have become over an issue that's really a non issue.

One has done the right thing, when another human being IS happy, in love and WANTS to lend their talents, responsibility and potential to the world.
I don't know why the anti gay think treating a person with disdain, spite, hostility, threat and violence is going to reap anything good from doing so.
However, in spite of all that, the vast majority of gay people does rise above it...and still would love and marry and raise children because the good heart, knows what it needs and should do.
Congratulations to your friends Annette.
Thanks for this lovely uplifting article.

Annette Gross Annette Gross | September 7, 2011 11:33 PM

Regan, my life has changed for the better since my son came out, and has definitely been enriched by my GLBT friends. I pity people who can't accept diversity into their lives - be it someone of a different religion or nationality or sexual orientation. I would think it must be boring to always eat the same meal every day - you need some spice in your life! I still can't for the life of me figure out why certain people don't want others to be happy. Oh, I know there are many reasons, but it just doesn't seem right. What a shame.

The bottom flowers should be violet