An Essay on Same-Sex Marriage and other United States Liberties

gay-marriage-button“I rarely offer opinions in this blog that might be construed as political, in nature. However, today’s post is the occasional exception. The recent North Carolina ballot initiative, and the voting outcome, has made me sick-to-my-stomach.

I have found the entire public discourse disgusting and distracting, Therefore, I’ve chosen to share a series of personal thoughts and observations, based on many life experiences.

Some people will agree with my points of view. Others might revile them. Yet others may be moved to think in greater depth about same-sex marriage and other issues of personal liberty. Regardless of where you fall on the issues, I simply hope you’ll consider these words.

Should you find this commentary worthy, you are welcome to link to this post.”

Andy Ebon

I grew up in a relatively sheltered, but free-thinking environment. My parents saw the sorry state of public schools in New York City and invest in a private school education for me. First, at Fieldston School (an Ethical Culture School); then at Riverdale Country School (grades 4-12).

Both schools offered an analytical view of the world around us, and nurtured critical thinking for its students, beginning at an age that others might find astounding.

On race and interracial marriage

As a child of the 1960’s, I grew up smack in the middle of the civil rights movement, Vietnam war, the cold war, the space race, recreational drugs, and more. In third grade the issue of interracial marriage presented itself to me.

One Monday morning, my class mate, Mary, told a story about a weekend outing with her parents. Their destination was a public fair. At the gate, security would admit Mary and her mother, but not her daddy. I came to understand that her mom was white; her father, black. It still didn’t make sense to me.

I sought out my mother for this confusing matter. She put it in terms any third-grader could understand. Ice Cream!! Flavors of Ice Cream. She explained that people, like ice cream, came in many flavors. These flavors were different from each other, but no flavor was better than another. Sometimes flavors are blended, in ice cream, and in people.

She explained that some people in the world were not quite as enlightened as I now was. I should treat all people, in all flavors, as wondrous individuals, and variations were part of their beauty. That bit of coaching has held me in good stead, all these years later.

Awareness Of Homosexuality

For me, it probably started in high school with observations of certain teachers. Mannerisms, speech patterns and such, stood out as different, but were unclear to me.

Again, my parents came to me with plain-English explanations of same-sex and heterosexual, attraction. They explained that this was part of the natural order of things and should be viewed and understood in that context. Homosexuality was nothing evil or something that should be, or could be, corrected. Again, I should appreciate it as part of the variety of human kind.

Homosexuality in the Adult World

My life as a nightclub and mobile disc jockey put me in settings rubbing shoulders with large segments of the LGBT community. Spending 26 years in San Francisco, both culturally, and in business, gave me endless opportunities to know, and work with people, who happened to be gay.

Since my 20’s, it has been quite obvious to me that people do not choose to be gay or lesbian. It is a matter of biology, not a lifestyle choice. The notion that significant segments of the population still believe the contrarian view, in their bubble, is both amazing and disturbing to me.

It’s hard enough to be a teenager in any fashion. To understand one’s homosexuality and deal with feeling, and being perceived, as different, must be an incredible burden and pressure… to say the least.

The Wheels of Acceptance Move Slowly

And that brings me to the current climate. It seems, as a country, we talk individual liberty, reasonably well. However, we tend to try to legislate the behavior, and limit the rights of other people.

In related matters, Jessica and I have lived together for about eight years, but because we are not married, we cannot buy health insurance as a couple. Nevada (as opposed to some others) grants different rights to people who cohabit, rather than marry. Why this should vary from state to state is baffling.

And leaves us with the legality of same-sex marriage and the incredible variance in law, from state to state.

Over decades, and reinforced, this week, I have come to a very simple view:

“If two people want to get married, in the eyes of the world and the law, there appears to be no rational reason, to me, why they shouldn’t be allowed to wed. The world will not crumble, anymore than it has from a high divorce rate among heterosexuals. People should be able to choose their acquaintances, relationships, and life-partners. I suppose, as a straight man, it would be easy to ignore the issue as ‘not my problem.’ However, I think the kind of shortsightedness on this issue disturbs me no end and I refuse to remain silent.”

Lest there be any confusion, since this is a wedding marketing blog, my key point has nothing to do with commerce. The notion of ‘this would be good for business’ may be other people’s point. It’s not my point.

My point is:

“Enabling two human beings to become legally married is the right thing to do. Nothing more, nothing less.”

I have seen many improvements in equality and personal liberty during my lifetime. In some cases, though, the progress has been painfully slow.

It would please me if issues of equality and individual rights would be seen by more people, using an open mind, rather than projecting and pushing their personal preferences onto others, via legislation.

As the button says: If you don’t support gay marriage, don’t get one.

Or as I like to describe Libertarianism, in its simplest form:

“Everyone should be able to swing their fist in any direction, as long as they don’t connect with another person’s nose.”

When you boil the fat out of it, I believe that’s what we have here.

It’s will a long, political season, this year. Think things through, be rational, take a stand, and have civil discussions.

With every best wish,

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “An Essay on Same-Sex Marriage and other United States Liberties

  1. Thank you, Andy, for your insightful comments. You hit the nail squarely on the head. It is sad that so much of the world is so slow to catch up.

  2. Well said. Re “Not my problem,” Pastor Donne said it best: “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”

  3. I couldn’t agree more! Recently a close family member came out to me explaining they were gay. Which wasn’t a complete surprise, nor does it change one bit my love for my family member!

    I never had a problem with anyone LGBT before, just didn’t consider it my problem. It’s everyone’s issue… Now I have a new sense of awareness, I pay attention more to what’s going on in the LGBT community and I’m getting more involved. I’m disgusted on how recent events have transpired.

    I will continue to teach our children to LOVE all people and use intelligence, humility, and common sense in there lives. To turn away from HATE and never treat anyone any different than they would want to be treated.

    Eventually we will squeeze the LIFE out of this bigotry and it will become a part of the history books as is slavery, our treatment of American Indians and the countless wars brought about by greed. Like the man said “We Shall Overcome”

    Peace -CJ

    • You are very thoughtful to post your comment. I was pleased to see several comments this afternoon and very taken by the feedback.

      Thanks for sharing the post with your LinkedIn Group.

      Much love,

      Andy