In almost any situation when people want to judge or be harsh with others, I am instinctively protective.
I was born with an odd and compulsive desire to see things from others’ perspectives. It gets damn awkward constantly clunking around in someone else’s shoes, but it makes us more fair and enlightened. It helps us to find common ground, which like it or not, is the only ground we can truly stand on.
So, all of those times on the playground, in the locker room, at the dance studio when people would trash talk or tease or exclude, I never cared to participate. In fact, there have been many times when my refusal to participate has made people feel irritated and uncomfortable with my choice. Apparently, having some drip remind you that your behavior is petty (even if only by not participating) puts a damper on the fun derived from belittling others.
I will conjure any number of excuses for perfect strangers…until they directly bully someone else.
At that point, my sisterly love flies out the window and I frankly want to flay someone alive. All I want to do is attack—with words, social coercion, even fists. In the heat of my knee-jerk reaction, it feels like nothing is off-limits.
Few things make me as angry as others’ beliefs that they have the right to infringe on someone else’s rights. How dare anyone pretend that civil rights are an opinion. Even writing it makes my blood boil. It is reprehensible!
The fact that our government has a federal law that infringes on the right of gays to marry is positively shameful!
Not only is it ethically and ideologically wrong, but it is also in direct contradiction to The 14th Amendment. (And, frankly, if it isn’t, then it damn well should be!)
For me personally, every single time I hear about or read about people fighting to infringe on civil rights, I picture the “Christian” PTA mothers who spit and curse at those children as they entered Little Rock High School.
So, when I read Mayor Menino’s big old, “Suck on this!” I couldn’t help but rally and cheer! I posted it and applauded it and I can’t say that I’m sorry for it, because it would be a lie.
That said, I’ve since simmered down and I must concede that he has no grounds for denying Chick-fil-A’s permit if they have not directly infringed on anyone’s rights. There, I said it. I admit it and this crow tastes like sh*t, but it is what it is.
I really wish that he would have written that same letter, but rather than deny a permit, pledged the support of constituents to boycott his restaurant. Unfortunately, that’s not how it went down. But I think the knee-jerk reaction that many of us had is merely our defense against the bullies, who up until this point, are still winning. That does need to be changed, just not this way.
So while I eat this crow (which doesn’t even taste good with lots of salt) I still want to make an important point:
Civil rights are not a matter of opinion. There are only two sides to civil rights: right and wrong.
You don’t like gay marriage, don’t have one! I certainly don’t like the idea of crazy, judgmental bullies marrying and reproducing, but you don’t see me out there blocking them from getting married.
Editor: Brianna Bemel
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