Letter: We must re-educate our hearts on marriagePublished 11:01am Friday, April 19, 2013
I have lived in the Austin community for the past five years, having moved from Topeka, Kansas. As I prepare to move to another city in another state, I feel obliged to offer my own commentary on an issue that I find profoundly important.
As humans, it is in our nature to reject and be repulsed by the things with which we are unfamiliar. We frequently fear what we do not intimately know, and more disturbingly, we fear what we do not understand. Our epistemological yearnings, our desire to validate what we deem to be the ultimate truth, frequently leads us to acts of devastating persecution.
Having read multiple opinion columns and letters to the editor in the past year condemning the intrinsic nature of citizens, I frequently am appalled by the vitriolic intolerance towards our LGBTQ community, thinly veiled by grandiloquence. Using higher learning (particularly philosophy and theology) to oppress our fellow man defeats the entire purpose of these studies. We seek to educate ourselves for empowerment, not oppression. In this age of enhanced sensitivity toward bullying, how is it possible that we allow others to condemn — to assert that the very nature of these people denies them the right to their relationship, regardless of how pure, loving, or significant — to be validated equally?
It seems inconceivable that my husband and I would be denied the validation of our profound and beautiful relationship simply based on incongruity with a “standard definition” of family. Therefore, it absolutely devastates me that people whom I love dearly and value greatly must battle this issue every day of their lives, along with wading through the anguish of lifetime marginalization, for simply pursuing the very human desire to love and be loved.
While the issues of the LGBTQ community are very close to my heart, we must remember that there are many differences in our world that inspire some to commit atrocious acts of violence and hatred. It is our duty to commit to acceptance, love, and understanding, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, ethnic background, or any other thing one can consider divisive. This is the very least we can do for our world.
While certain aspects of our humanity are unavoidable, the beautiful thing about humanity is our ability to learn, to accept; we can change our ways. Our words can be those of love, not intolerance.
We must begin to re-educate our hearts. Love is love, regardless of context.