Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Right to Love

Maybe this is "not in my lane" since I'm neither a resident of Malawi nor seeking a relationship with a woman, but I'm still gonna post about it.*smirk*

Last week in Malawi, two men were sentenced to "the maximum 14 years in prison with hard labor." Their crime? Being in love with each other. According to MSNBC:

Chimbalanga, a 20-year-old hotel janitor, and his unemployed partner were arrested Dec. 27, the day after they celebrated their engagement with a party at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked — an apparent first in Malawi.

"Maximum sentences are intended for use for worst cases," Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa said as he delivered his sentence. "We are sitting here to represent the Malawi society which I do not believe is ready at this point in time to see its sons getting married to other sons or conducting engagement ceremonies."


Thank goodness we don't go to those extremes here (although antiquated laws relating to homosexuality are still on the books in several states). I don't know how anyone could read stories like this and not see how fucked up it is. But I know people who do. Typically conservative, staunch Christians can really be assholes when it comes to homosexuals. Okay, you don't agree with their lifestyle. you don't understand it. You may even think that they are going to hell for who they love. You are entitled to your opinion just as they are entitled to do as they please. But to openly say that they don't deserve the same rights as their straight counterparts simply because they don't live like you think they should? Sorry, can't go there with you, and I doubt Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, etc. will either.

The reasoning I've heard some people give for being discriminatory towards gay people is utterly ridiculous. They say that if we allow gay marriage it's a "slippery slope" to people marrying animals and adults marrying kids. Aroo?! Since when could kids or animals give consent? How does one equal the other?
I also remember hearing a preacher saying that if they are given the right to marry, fight in the army, etc. that they'll "soon be in the schools, right there over our kids." NEWSFLASH: (you may wanna sit down) There have always been gay and lesbian teachers, preachers, doctors, lawyers, and whatever else. This isn't some new craze that's going around. Homosexuality goes back to the earliest days of mankind. To think that they have to be stopped now is absurd.

And if all of their rights were taken away, what change would be made? What "good" would that do? Would that cause them all to say "Oh well I guess I won't be gay anymore!" or something? Will discrimination force them to be straight? Umm, no. A person won't and shouldn't have to change who they are just because someone else doesn't agree. Whether it's a lifestyle that they chose or just how they were born (I refuse to get into the "nature or nurture: homosexuality edition" debate) they deserve to live their lives with the same right to love and happiness as everyone else.

We can't play God, no one has a heaven or hell to put anyone into. If you don't agree with what they do and how they live, condemning and discriminating against them won't make the situation better for anyone. Simply pray for them, and while you're at it, pray for yourself. God knows we all have our own shit to get straight.

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