With the recent news (recent as in, a few hours ago at most) that New York just became the largest state to legalize gay marriage (Illinois legalized civil unions for EVERYONE earlier this year) the topic of people being gay and gays and lesbians marrying has been a topic in our house lately. Geo and I firmly believe that you should feel free to marry whomever you'd like; two people who are in love, regardless of gender, ought to be able to get married. It's not "gay people" ruining the sanctity of marriage, it's people who make a mockery of marriage (see: Britney Spears, Liz Taylor, etc etc) it's people who find it easier to get divorced than work through their problems, it's people who get married for the wrong reasons rather than for love and companionship.
Growing up I was really not exposed to gay people whatsoever, nor was George. It truly was a non issue in our families; however now that we're raising our children it IS an issue. We have gay friends, we've supported the idea of civil unions (and marriages) for EVERYONE since...well, forever. It's never NOT been a good idea in our minds. Personally, I don't think the gov't has any business being in my bedroom-or anyone else's for that matter.
ANYWAY, today at lunch, Bits said to me "Mom, is it okay for two boys to get married? What about two ladies?" I said "of course it is, honey, why wouldn't it be?" She thought about it for a minute and said "isn't it weird that they would kiss?" I asked, "Is it weird when mom and dad kiss?" Again, she thought about it for a minute and said "no, it's not" I gently explained that it doesn't matter if two boys, two girls, or a boy and a girl get married, as long as they love each other and care for one another. She said ok and went back to nibbling her lunch. Gabe and I have had this chat before; he made a point to tell me how "gross" it was that two men would kiss. When I asked why, he said "Because kissing is GROSS" I'm pretty sure he meant kissing in general, not boys kissing each other (ah the simplicity of a seven year old!)
I want to raise my children to know that no matter what, people should be free to love one another (isn't that a HUGE Christian value? LOVE ONE ANOTHER?) and they should be free to marry whomever they want regardless of gender, race, religion, etc. I know that a lot of people disagree with me (which is fine, I'm just thankful YOU aren't raising my children) and a lot of people would say I'm encouraging my children to be gay (ha ha, because you can "cause" someone to become gay...or not) but honestly, I just want them to be good people who see other people as PEOPLE, if that makes any sense. Labels are incredibly hard to shake and are, unfortunately, a big part of being a person, however, I'm hoping that by talking to my children, by exposing them to different people and different lifestyles (don't panic, we aren't going to Pride...at least not this year lol) that they won't look at someone and immediately pick out something they perceive as "different".
Gabriel, of course, IS different. He has a disability, he knows he has differences but doesn't want to be treated any differently than his classmates and peers-I honestly think because of HIS desire to be treated equally, he's not going to have any issue with this-likewise, Bits will be accepting and loving as well because of her brother. Parenting is a whole new ball game, I just hope that by the time Gabe and Bits have children, gay marriage will be a complete and utter non issue-everyone should be able to have the same rights that Geo and I have when it comes to insurance, power of attorney, child custody, etc. In my mind, giving partners these basic rights is simple...it shouldn't have to be a battle. Congrats again, to the state of New York and to all those who in 30 short days will be able to marry their partners!!