Kudos to President Obama for voicing his approval of gay marriage. It was a courageous act, considering the incredible bigotry and hatred that some people are directing at our LGBT brethren. I hear people use Biblical quotations to justify their positions against gays/lesbians, and it reminds me of the 1960s, when I was a Civil Rights Worker trying to change our treatment of Black people in this country. I heard “adults,” many of whom were religious leaders (preachers, priests, elders, pastors, etc.) quoting the Bible and telling me that I was “going against God’s wishes” by being involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Didn’t I know that Black people were cursed by God? Didn’t I know that “those people” weren’t equal? I thought then and still think that what was insanity and bigotry then is still insanity and bigotry now. Until we as a nation stand up and demand equal rights and push against the wars being waged on women, gays/lesbians, undocumented aliens, and poor people, we will continue to suffer spiritually (and financially) as a people.
As someone who has fought against prejudice all his adult life, I am sickened by the narrow, hateful voices being heard. I still believe we are too good a nation to allow hatred and prejudice (again) to rule our policies and thought. I was wrong – I thought we had seen the last of this madness after the many changes that came as a result of the Civil Rights Movement; we apparently just changed targets, although some people continue to use “religious” justification for their opinions.
As Pete Seeger said, “When will they ever learn?”
Adjunct Professor of Sociology