Equal means = doesn’t it?

I remember enough about 9th grade and college algebra to know that equal means equal.  The sign = indicates that both sides are the same…and whatever kinds of formulas we have to use to get THERE, we use.  Our goal when doing math is that both sides of the = sign are the same.  I read a headline in the  news today that perplexes me in so many ways, that the Supreme Court was reluctant “to rule broadly on the fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians” and frankly, I just don’t GET IT.

We live in a culture that provides all sorts of benefits to people, incentives if you will, to be married.  The filing status of “married filing jointly” on tax returns is simply one of many.  There are all sorts of financial benefits to being married in this world in which we live  that are not afforded to us who are single or who live with someone we love.  In a country so often filled with unease and unkindness, I just do not understand how anyone can think that gay couples should not be entitled to the same benefits of marriage as straight couples.

I know and have known gay couples in much healthier, much more loving, much longer, much more compassionate, much kinder, and much more joyful & committed relationships than I have been in over my life…and that I have the right to marry whoever I choose and they can’t legally marry the person they choose positively blows my mind.   Weddings make me cry, mostly because I just feel so full inside of happiness for two people who met and fell in love and decided that they wanted to share their life with one another.  Why my friends who are gay can’t have THAT just confuses me.

I love my parents, so much, but they are very conservative in all of their views, compared to me at least, and I tried to talk to my Mom and Dad about this issue several years ago, and my father said something about that  if the courts allow for men to marry men and women to marry women, then who is to say that somebody won’t argue someday that they want to marry a goat.  I ended the conversation at that moment because I realized that I would never have the skill or the vocabulary or the knowledge of the subject to ever state my position in a strong enough way to them that could sway them.  They simply would  never see or understand my point of view.

Yes I am aware that in the last 13 years several states have adopted rules that allow for civil unions, like marriage, but not the same, and while I think it is terrific, I think it is ridiculous that if you are gay you might have to travel out of your own state in order to marry the person you love and have chosen to share your life.  I am often very naive, I know this, but I just can’t understand, in the world in which we live, filled with so much hate and so much that is unkind and so much that is unsettled, that anyone would want to deny people who love each other, the right to marry.  Why would you want to make loving any more complicated than it already is?

It is already something of a miracle really, when you think about it, that we meet people and get to know them and fall in love…that anybody would think it right to dictate who we love and who we can marry, confuses me on so many levels.  There is so much about relationships that is hard, any gay couple and any straight couple will agree…there is a constant balance struggle…who earns the money, who empties the dishwasher, who pays the property taxes, who does the laundry…just living life is hard enough, why make it so difficult for a couple who just happens to be gay, to make the choice to marry?

If Equal means Equal, then stop giving perks to married straight couples.  Stop giving them the best tax rate or breaks, stop giving them better prices on car insurance, or health insurance, STOP giving marrieds more financial breaks and incentives than singles, and then we can simply all be equal!  Men and women, white and black, gay and straight, people are people…let us all be the same.  Why should a married man and woman together for 20 years get financial benefits that are not given to a gay couple who have been together for 20 years but who have to file as “single” every April 15th?  Just because they (the straight and the married) are the majority, doesn’t make it fair, or right, or equal.  I don’t know enough about the laws or the issues to have much more of an opinion than I already do, but I do know this…we love who we love.  We are who we are.  Equal means equal.  Always.

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