theworldofdale

same love

In News and Politics, Relationships, Religion on May 23, 2015 at 5:32 pm

If you’ve read more than three posts on this blog, I’d first like to congratulate you on being part of such an exclusive group. Secondly, you may have noticed that a lot of post titles are music-related. It didn’t start out as a conscious decision, and it’s still not a rule so much as a tendency. But this title does refer to a specific song: Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert. It’s essentially a song in support of the GLBTQ community. When I first heard it, it was Mary Lambert’s sweet lilting chorus that hooked me (pun acknowledged, considered, and kept but not necessarily intended).

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

It’s a melodic expression of an age-old sentiment: the heart wants what the heart wants. Everyone who has known love knows the irrationality of it. I know far too many people (myself included) who spent a stupid amount of time and energy on a relationship weaker than the first little pig’s straw house. The frailty might be obvious and insurmountable – the straw house had no chance against the wolf’s inexplicably strong lungs – or it might never be realized – like water eroding the earth until the Grand Canyon reaches depths that far exceed its relatively mild epithet would imply.

The beautiful thing about love is that, like faith, it regularly overcomes the cyclopean odds against it and endures the wind and fire and hangry wolves determined to destroy it. We have as much control over whether we love the same or opposite sex as we do whether we love some asshole who tries to get you fired (you know who you are).

I recently became a Catholic. The why and how and whatnot are for another day. For the purposes of this post, most people are aware of the Catholic church’s stance on marriage equality (they are not in favor). What you might not know is that this judgment on marriage validity is not limited to the Adam and Steves of the world. There are some very specific reasons why the church’s stance on gay marriage is what it is – and they are mostly related to the inability to produce biological progeny. I won’t go into them here because you can look it up yourself on this thing called Google (or Bing, if you prefer your search results identical but further apart).

What interested me as I learned the premises on which the case for which marriage inequality was based, I realized my own (extremely hypothetical) marriage would not be recognized as valid by the Catholic church – and many priests would refuse to perform my ceremony.

Why? Because I do not want to have biological children. I will not be having biological children. There was a time in my life when I planned on a Brangelina-style brood of biological and adopted children who represented at least 5 continents. Life, being the great teacher it is, gave many practical arguments in favor of keeping the doors of my egg store closed, not the least of which is serious mental illness (in fact, it’s probably the most). The interaction of medication and hormones and the physical, mental, and emotional stress of pregnancy made it an easy decision – for ME. Please note, people prone to hysteria, that I am not making a statement on whether women with mental illness should have biological children. As always, I do not give a shit what other people think or do, in the same way I don’t give a shit what other people think about what I think or do.

Because of the motley logic leading to my unused uterus, the Catholic church would not consider my marriage valid – or “real,” as one would say in non-Catholic terminology. My imaginary husband could divorce me and get what is essentially a “get out of marriage free” card from the church – an annulment would be a no-brainer. The reason you get married is to have children. Yeah, it’s also to unify with another human being who you will love and honor through sickness and health, wealth and poverty, good times and bad, but the baby-making is still required. It’s not an either/or proposition.

Is it difficult to belong to a religion that can (and would) refuse to acknowledge a lifelong commitment I made to a man who probably will fart under the covers and leave the toilet seat up and forget to buy bourbon when we run out? Sure. There are other tenets of the Catholic church with which I don’t agree, but just like any relationship, I make compromises and I know the commitment I made on April 4, 2015 will be tested like any other eternal promise. I grant the church something that it is sometimes slow to grant to others – flexibility. My faith, like love, will face the obstacles life presents, and against all probability it will prevail.

But here’s the catch – I can still get married legally. I am free to receive all the benefits of marriage – not just the dutch ovens and empty bourbon bottles, but insurance, estate protection, hospital visitation – all the fun, sexy stuff that comes with a government-issued document. This is where my religion breaks my heart – crossing the line between church and state to intervene in what is legally none of its business, but moreover, it opposes the highest and most central of Catholic tenets – human equality, dignity, and love. Losing sight of Catholicism’s strongest belief – love – has resulted in the promotion of well… not love. And that, unlike love, can change. If it could, and if it would, it can change.

__

Postscript:

As I completed this post, the shuffled playlist on my iPod played “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons. Not as prophetic as if “Same Love” had come on, but it still seems appropriate.

__

Post-postscript:

If you’re wondering if I wrote about gay marriage before, I have, although even I don’t remember writing it. The best thing about a horrible memory is re-reading things like it’s the first time… even when you wrote them. I also remembered my previous blog, which if I was the ambitious sort, I would import into this one or however computers and websites work.

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  1. Dale Marie, glad I got to read this again. I read it right after it was first posted, and read again today. Who am I to stand in the way of other people love? thanks for your great ability to put your thoughts into words.

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