Don’t be an asshole in the name of your religion

You’ve probably seen the recent headlines. You can’t go a day without hearing about it. Voices on both sides shouting to be heard.

I’m talking about religious freedom.

I get it, I really do.

If we are talking about freedom in the purest form I am a big supporter. You do your thing and I will do mine. No harm, no foul.

However, where is the line where one humans rights stop and another’s continue?

How does one determine where a person’s beliefs start and another’s should end when there comes a difference in the name of religious standing?

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The law separates church and state. It is one of the things I love and appreciate about my country. It’s right next to ridiculous holidays l get to take off work. 

With this in mind, should elected officials, who work for the people, not be held to the same standard? Why should current elected officials, those serving the state where elected, cite religion as a reason to not serve tax paying citizens equally? 

Case in point:

The County Clerk in Kentucky who is currently behind bars for refusing to comply with the law. She, along with her staff, were refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Refused.

Despite being told to comply or suffer legal consequences.

Her office refused to issue licenses solely on religious premise. Not for any legal or arguably reasonable fact.

Consenting aged, not otherwise legally entwined, unrelated, and of sound mind adults were denied marriage licences. Based on someone’s interpretation of religion and moral code. This seems the only moral high jinks I see going on.

The only real problem is that committed, matrimonial minded adults were denied their basic rights.

It was not so long ago that multiracial marriages were against the law. Seems ridiculous now. Yet what is happening here does not seem at all ludicrous for an obnoxious percent of the population.

The law is the law. It’s pretty clear. Black, white, gay, straight, hot or ehhh … not. Still. All equal.

Couples, according to US law may be married if they choose. 

Anywhere they choose. 

In any state they may reside, visit or find themselves otherwise geographically located at the time they deem their significant other worthy of a lifetime commitment.

Let’s just say for argument’s sake that I, a representative of a corporation, in charge of customer relations, decide that I shall no longer offer service to those customers which offend my religious beliefs.

*For the record, I am only offended by people who punish others in the name of religion.

Let’s say I refuse to allow services, which are clearly outlined by my company policy, to those I deem unworthy. My fancy desk and beautiful view would be parted faster than a  gentleman’s dollar bills on his first strip club visit.

That is how it is.

It’s basic decency to not be an asshole but more it’s the law, the rule, the policy. We as society live by them even if we don’t feel like it some days.

Sure you can get away with a little eyebrow raising behavior. Like speeding on a quiet country road. Or offering a little extra discount to people who you have common interests (where my gays at?!)

A little bout of shenanigans is the spice of life.

Ruining someone elses in the name of (insert your religion here) is absolutely not.

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I’m not one who is going to start spitting bible versus but isn’t there a little something about love and acceptance in there? Maybe a little something about not judging others? How about just plain not living your life being an asshole to others?

If you absolutely must be cruel based on your “religion” then maybe, possibly, you could manage to not hold an elected government position.

The funny thing about gay marriage.

It’s ok. I’m allowed to say “gay marriage” and you are too and so is everyone and everyone is. It’s a topic we are all reading about and hopefully talking about. Whether it is in hushed whisper or shouts from the roof tops, I would bet it has been present at some point in your day this past week.

The news is all about it. I know you’ve seen it. The rainbow flags and Supreme Court headlines and picket signs and grandmas for gays. It really is everywhere. The thing I want to know is anyone really paying attention to what it really means? What it means for you or your neighbors or your friends or your co-workers? How about your kids or your grand kids? A historic movement is taking place right now. It could mean nothing to some but it means everything for the future.

Ok no more soap box speech. I promise. At least for now.  This blog was meant to be funny and I will do my very best to keep it light hearted.

So here goes – the story about what this all means to my little family.

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You all know I have a wife. She’s kinda an asshole sometimes but I love her more than any words in this blog will ever express. In July we will have been married a year. That’s like 8 years in a hetero relationship. I know these things. I hope to spend the rest of my days laughing at how much we annoy each other. We validate one another and that should be all that matters but it means everything to have the right to say “we do” and we did. Every single couple deserves the same right.

The sad fact is that we live in a state where our legal marriage has only been officially noted for just a few short months. The day the state of North Carolina announced the ban had been lifted I was elated.  It was like my being was validated. Not that I am worth only what society views me as but it still felt like I was worthy of everything that was granted to me before I married her. It was like we were just gifted a pair of magical unicorns following a lottery win, announced by a dragon holding a welcome sign to our fairy princess castle where a surgeon was waiting to give me a tummy tuck.

Yeah. It felt exactly like that.

A late but magical wedding gift had been bestowed upon us. It was surreal. I was at work and I wanted to stand on my desk and proclaim I was legally her wife. That I had a legal spouse waiting for me at home. My co-workers would have looked at me like I was high. One eyebrow raised and shaking their heads in bewilderment. They knew I was a newlywed but they never questioned whether it was “legal” here. It just was not a concern to them, it was not a big deal. It was a huge deal to me.

Imagine for me for just a moment sitting across from your significant other and knowing under the law, in the state you reside, that he / she is not your legal spouse. Imagine that those rings you wear and the certificate you signed are just ornaments. Imagine if you fall ill and can’t make decisions for yourself, that your love will not have legal right to see you. No decisions can be made for you. Your lover will not be holding your hand, they will not be by your side. That is not your spouse. Not legally. That person across from you is your roommate.

Alright now snap out of it.

For the majority of you that will never be your reality. For the few of you who wish it were – shame on you. Jerks.

So here we are. This is happening. By the end of June a historical decision is going to be made. This will matter. This will be the reality of the future. I will no longer take a drive to visit the in-laws only to be “unmarried” when we cross the state line. Although sometimes that sure sounds heavenly in all seriousness it’s an awful hit to the gut. every. single. time.

Until the ruling is made I will be over here holding my breath and holding her hand. because it matters.