At the time I wrote this opinion, I was not taking into consideration the feelings of my heterosexual friends. For that lack of consideration I do apologize to them, but I still have great misgivings about allowing heterosexuals to marry. Haven't many of them shown us, through divorce, cheating and general philandering, their complete lack of respect for the "Holy Bonds Of Matrimony?"

No, I do not jest.

Taken For Granted
A Gay Opinion 4/09/00
by R.A. Melos

Recently a heterosexual friend of mine asked me to be a member of his wedding party. I reluctantly agreed, but regret saying yes. Why?

Several months ago, when I was first asked to be part of this celebration of heterosexuality, it never occurred to me to say no. People ask other people to share in their joy and happiness at finding a life companion, and they celebrate it by giving a lavish party to announce their joining together on their life path to all their family and friends, and perform a ceremony "in the eyes of God."

Heterosexual people ask other people to share in this joyous occasion, giving no thought to how much this hurts the homosexual who is legally denied the same rights they take for granted. The benefits of marriage, aside from sharing your life with someone you love, include financial benefits, such as insurance, and personal rights, such as the right to hospital visitation as a "family member" should it be necessary. These are all things heterosexuals take for granted, and by asking me to participate in the ultimate celebration of legally sanctioned heterosexuality, my heterosexual friends showed they truly do not have an inkling of understanding for the hardships face by what is most commonly known as an invisible minority.

I agreed to participate, but the mere fact I am currently not afforded the same legal rights to join together with someone I love, should that miraculous event happen, insults my sexual orientation. To put it in perspective for any heterosexuals who might happen across this, consider you are a woman, in her mid 30's, who for whatever reason is unable to bear a child, and you are constantly invited to baby showers and christenings. How would it hurt you to know these people are having something you can never have? Oh sure, you can adopt, but is it the same?

Thus, homosexuals can have bonding ceremonies, and handfastings, and many other symbolic ceremonies, but to legally call it a marriage is like pronouncing the sky is green. No matter how much you say it, it still isn't something others will acknowledge.

I wasn't always for the concept of marriage, and I'm still not sure anyone, homosexual or heterosexual should get married, but I want the option to exist. And I want my marriage to have the same respect heterosexual marriages have. Okay, maybe I'd like my marriage to have more respect, since most of the heterosexuals I know either cheat on their spouses, or have ended up divorced after a few years. However, that is up to my partner and I to see to it we do stay together.

In all, I'm most annoyed by the misguided belief of my heterosexual friends to think I would just gladly hop on the band wagon of celebration for something I am not allowed to have. It shows no consideration for me as a homosexual, nor any true consciousness of the issues which permeate the daily news. Heterosexuals can be forgiven, for they are focused on their happiness, which they take for granted.

My heterosexual friends will not understand my feelings, simply because they are heterosexuals. I have been treated to hearing all the romance of their engagement dinner, the proposal, if I cared, or thought how wonderful it was to hear. In reality, I listened thinking how they would so not want to hear the same things from me if I were to be talking about how much I loved someone of the same sex, or how romantic he was when he told me he loved me for the first time.

I find it hard to understand their joy, simply because it is something taken for granted. Heterosexuals get married, and celebrate. Heterosexuals openly confess their love for one another everyday in some way, and no one questions it, or mocks it, or tries to deny them that right. When a homosexual proclaims their love for a person of the same sex, they are taking a risk with their very lives. They are not taking for granted the overall societal acceptance of their love, but opening themselves up to all kinds of possible hurts and pains from an uncaring society.

I feel sorry for my heterosexual friends ignorance of my feelings, but then there is very little I can do to change their perception of the world. I doubt you can teach and old heterosexual new tricks, nor do I want to take the time and effort involved in the retraining of ingrained heterosexual teachings. Let them take for granted something homosexuals are fighting for, and let them learn it is something scared which they abuse every time they cheat on each other, or divorce.

I don't believe allowing homosexuals to have the same legal rights of marriage will destroy the sanctity of marriage, I think the heterosexuals have already done that with multiple divorce, illegitimate children, their own version of what is condoned "under the eyes of God."


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