Over the past week we have been treated to posts by the anti-same sex marriage brigade peppered with insults such as ‘jaqq’, ‘abnormal’, ‘they deserve to burn in hell’ and plenty of other niceties which I would rather not repeat. Of course, not many were so crass and others chose to hold (not so) silent protests in front of Parliament this week.
Most of you know what my battle is, and that is promoting acceptance towards those who are different. I am not gay, my siblings are not gay but I do have some very good friends who are. Some might say that this issue does not affect me, and they would be right, but any attempt to oppress civil rights which are denied to certain groups of society, is something which I cannot ever accept.
I am not going to pinpoint any particular individuals, and the reason for this, is that I want to attack the argument and not the person, but I suppose it will be obvious who I’m referring to. I can also expect mass reporting of my Facebook profile, which seems to be the standard modus operandi of certain groups, but it’s OK, just like Arnie ‘I’ll be back’, eventually.
I have never been a person who trusts easily, but I do find people whose hobbies include interfering in other people’s ovaries and contraception and marriage choices rather iffy.
Those who insist that you can convert gay people then deny it has ever taken place are also a tad low on my list of people. Just like those who fool you into thinking they have baked you chocolate chip cookies when they are really raisins (you know who you are!!!).
Surely, there are more entertaining things to do like wrestling alligators or walking barefoot on Lego? (yes, the latter is a particular favourite of mine). When I commented about this ‘interference’ and the protests against same-sex marriage I was told various things: that freedom of speech allows them to express themselves; that this goes against the idea of ‘je suis charlie’; and that people shouldn’t only protest against things that affect them. I agree with all three, with the following caveat:
Freedom of speech isn’t about giving you the freedom to be an asshole. I was told that if in the past, people who weren’t slaves didn’t protest against slavery we would still have it…agreed…except that was a case where protests were made to grant freedom and rights to people, not to try and take them away.
Also, freedom of speech means that these people have every right to express themselves against a basic right, but it also gives me the right to call them on this. If you diss pigeons they will poop on you and your car, multiple times.
I will not deny that I am intolerant. Usually I am intolerant towards anti-vaxxers, as you all know, more recently people who play Despacito on a loop, and generally those who do not agree with me.
I’m working on the latter. I find myself saying ‘let’s agree to disagree’ and ‘I respect your opinion’ more and more, but on this particular subject, I just cannot seem able to do it.
When members of the clergy declare that gay people are unnatural, are destroying the family, and that just because the majority voted yes for same-sex marriage, doesn’t mean it is right, it all makes me despair.
I get the Bible thrown at me on various occasions when I get involved in this discussion. I get told that God wouldn’t want this, that it is unnatural.
I am not religious, but I do believe in God – except my God wants me to show kindness and acceptance towards everyone, not to shun those who do not fit into the family with 2.4 children model.
I remember the exact moment that I understood that it was okay to be gay. I was very young, probably around 12. I was a book-worm and would read anything I could get my hands on. I must have read one of Nanna’s Women’s Own magazines, where there was an article about same sex-couples adopting. I remember telling my mother how wrong it would be because these same sex parents would turn the child gay.
My mother will not remember this, but I do, vividly. She told me that gay people most probably had heterosexual parents, and that you are born gay and it is not something that you choose or get moulded into. I then said (I cringe when I remember the mentality I had), what if they abuse the child if it has the same sex as them? She told me ‘Aud, your father is heterosexual, you are female, has he ever done anything to you?’ That was the moment I realized how stupid my ideas were and the moment I was grateful for having a mother who pointed out the facts and did not encourage me to hate or distrust those who are different. Unfortunately not everyone is as lucky, clearly.
This brings me to comment about Ben, a gorgeous little boy who has been adopted by a same sex couple in Malta. It seems that certain groups would rather keep a child in the care system than giving him the opportunity of being loved by two dads or two mums.
Ben has Down syndrome, and was apparently previously rejected by fifty, yes you’ve read that properly, FIFTY couples, whose ideology of the perfect child was completely different. He was lucky that same-sex couples had just been granted permission to adopt. Something that of course, the very same protesters were against because, as they say, it’s unnatural. I say that Ben was lucky, but from what I can see it is his fathers who feel like they have hit the jackpot. In my experience of being privileged enough to share my life with my daughter who happens to have special needs I know it is not easy.
In a previous interview, Ben’s parents have said:
‘Although I never questioned why our son’s biological parents decided to give him up for adoption, I could not manage to hold my thoughts and to ignore the plurality of social consciousness, that is, of refusal by the mentioned number of couples.
It made me wonder about these people’s perception of their life, their myth of ‘beauty’, their ideology of the perfect child, the fluidity of today’s world and how deviants are handled. Apart from classifying this as morally offensive, understanding it is still obscure, because some (professionals included) even projected the idea that such refusal is in itself a permissible moral value, masking the fundamental significance of the collective consciousness and the shallowness of our time. But today we seem to justify everything by the purported false thesis entitled, Human Rights, rather than feel morally disturbed by the circumstance’.
Photo credit: TVM.COM.MT
My parents are not gay yet I was bullied until I stood up for myself.
Ben’s parents have helped him to improve in leaps and bounds by getting him the treatment and care he needs and he is happy and loved, and if this is not the perfect testament to grant same sex couples equal rights I do not know what is.
Some use the excuse that these children will be bullied. My parents are not gay yet I was bullied until I stood up for myself.
Children will pick on the fact that you are chubby, wear braces, have glasses or the wrong kind of shoes. And this is where all parents can help to avoid this. Teach your children to be confident and stand up for themselves, and to come to you if there is a problem. Teach them to accept those who are different and please, do not raise assholes.
Politicians have also jumped into the fray, with some insisting on a free vote. Both parties added this to their manifesto, so the decent thing to do would have been to speak out against this BEFORE the election, not after one is elected. Clearly, those speaking out against would have had the support of the protesters and I think I would have had a bit of respect had they spoken out before the election was over.
I promise you that your child will keep screaming out MAAAAAAAA when you are in the bathroom and make you binoculars out of toilet paper rolls on Mother’s Day forever, or rather, once a year until they hit puberty.
But enough about politics, the fact that in theory both the Government and the opposition were united (bar a few disagreements), shows that this subject is really apolitical.
As for those who insist that the new law takes away their right to be called a mother, or that Father’s Day will be cancelled, I promise you that your child will keep screaming out MAAAAAAAA when you are in the bathroom and making you binoculars out of toilet paper rolls on Mother’s Day forever forever, or rather, once a year until they hit puberty.
Which brings me to the point of all this. Some of the protesters shown on TV were young men and women who may one day go on to have children of their own. You see, life has a habit of happening while you are busy making plans like your daughter’s wedding to her prince charming even if she is still two years old.
Life is not clear-cut. I am a mother. I have a daughter who (thankfully) is still way way way too young to have an interest in the opposite sex (or her own), and if her father has his way it’ll be another 30 years before she does.
I do not know if she will be heterosexual or gay, and I do not care. I want her to be happy and loved and have the same rights as others.
I repeat, same rights, as these are certainly not privileges. What if the young people present at the protests end up being told that their children are gay in 15-20 years’ time? Will they beat on their chest and shout out that it is unnatural and boast about the fact that they tried (and thankfully failed) to take away this basic right? I think not.