Gay marriage is redundant.

Shouldn’t we all wish for our marriages to be gay?  According to Merriam-Webster’s first entry, gay is defined as happy, excited and keenly alive.  Damn.  My husband needs to be a little bit gayer.  How about a little less Mr. Grumpy McFalls Asleep On The Couch and a little more Mr. Happy McMerry Pants?  Sounds like I need to work on my gay marriage.

And you?  How’s your gay marriage?  Are you and your spouse happy?  Excited to spend another day together?  Do you wake up thankful?  Do you wake up regretful?  Or fair to middling?  Just glad to have your health and a roof over your head?  Or are you simply appreciative for another day to try again?

Is your marriage just fine and dandy, thankyouverymuch, and what you’re really concerned about is those other gay marriages?  The real gay marriages, the ones that pose a certain threat to your heterosexual integrity and are out to redefine a traditional institution?   Are those the marriages that concern you more than your own?  Do you believe that if homosexual people were granted the same basic civil rights as heterosexuals, it would somehow negate traditional marriage and its 50% divorce rate? And if my friend married her girlfriend tomorrow, I wonder if I’d be able to continue on as a heterosexually married woman.  Could I?  Would I have to redefine the parameters of my marriage?  Would I be able to remember what goes where and who has which?  Would my husband have to read that Romance For Dummies book all over again?  Please, God, no!  It took me so many years to teach him what goes where!  Our traditional marriage would never survive if gay marriage suddenly took over and redefined ours.  He’d probably start washing the laundry and I’d immediately have desires to check the oil in my car, I’m sure of it.

So what if my gay friends got married tomorrow?  Maybe I could finally buy them that nice Sonoma toaster oven and start knitting a blanket for the motherless child they’ve been anxiously waiting to adopt and love.  Or maybe I could just say “congratulations” and watch them travel the world, share health insurance, buy a home, start a business and live exactly as I do, quite married and quite averagely.

Or maybe, just maybe, I could stand in their way, shielding my very traditional marriage with a book written and rewritten by men over the passage of 2000 years.  I could hide behind this book, casting judgments upon others because I am, after all, perfectly without fault.  I have earned the privilege to make social discernments because I read this book and live my life according to my interpretation of it.

I am very God-like.

It is very heavy, this burden I bear, to interminably know what is right and what is wrong.  My words are powerful enough to stop my brother from following his heart and strong enough to hold my sister down as she reaches for her dreams, as though the word of man is somehow influential enough to stop him from loving himself.   We’ve retranslated, redefined and reinterpreted this book until it suits our need to control, to dominate over, to feel superior to, to oppress.  And just like every other book ever written in the history of the Universe, humanity is writing its next chapter.  Will we use the same words as those we chose towards Native Americans, the Jews, the Africans and those loud-mouthed women who tried to get themselves into the voting booths?

Or will we have intelligently evolved into beautiful creatures capable of learning from our mistakes?

Will we write the same words as before and once again, unequivocally fail to follow the most important of all the words Jesus gave us?

Love.

There is no way to reinterpret or rewrite Love.  Love doesn’t change in 2000 years.  Love doesn’t use force.  Love is safe.  Love is unconditional.  Love can’t be legislated.  Love doesn’t bully.

As we attempt to teach our children not to bully one another on the playground, we tightly grip the pen behind our backs and vote against civil liberties, digging the pen into the paper with hatred and judiciousness.  And somewhere between holding their hand and handing them the car keys, we tell our children that not all civil liberties are allotted equally.  As if we are, again, God-like, to know which is which.

Each of us struggle as our own internal battle rages on, caught between our emotional fear and our rational intelligence, knowing all people deserve love and equality, yet misunderstanding what it means to be gay, why homosexuality exists and the fear of the unknown.  It is often here many people make their decisions out of fear.  But nothing good comes from fear.  All good things come from love.

And if there is a God, an all-powerful, all-knowing entity who has created this vast Universe of light and dark energy, swirling eruptions of brilliance and overwhelming beauty, an expansion of unknown wonders beyond anything a simple human mind could possibly comprehend, I wonder if He is at all concerned with whether or not a gay person should marry another gay person.  It seems like He would have much greater things to attend.

As I write these words, I understand how many of the people I love will judge me.  I might lose business and I might lose friends, but if our President can clearly speak the words so many have needed him to say, why can’t I?

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.  – Niemöller,1946

And if you told me you were gay, I would love you as much as I loved you the moment before, and perhaps I would love you just a bit more knowing how much of the world was about to turn its back to you.

Love, Renée

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About Renée Chalou-Ennis

Renée Chalou-Ennis lives in Presque Isle with her husband Jason and their three children, ages 17, 15 and 8. She owns a wellness center and instructs fitness classes part-time. Amidst battling the breeding laundry pile and negotiating the hormonally-fueled spectacles that accompany raising two teenagers, she enjoys helping motivate people to reach their fitness goals. She’s learned not to take herself entirely too seriously and tries to inject as much humor into life, work, play and parenting as possible, much to the teenagers’ chagrin. She’s fairly certain they’ll grow to like her someday. From the challenge of blending a family, part-time home schooling her children, having a severely asthmatic child, raising teenagers, life in rural Maine or losing 30 lbs to transform herself from sedentary sideline mother to competitive athlete mother, Renée writes about a life worth living well, even when it's so funny you want to cry.