There are some within the Lesbian and Gay Community who have their panties in a bunch over a statement by President Obama, and they are playing it off as if he should or shouldn’t “be given a free pass” over what they perceive as a gaffe and improper word choice. Here is what the President said:

 “I’m hopeful the Supreme Court comes to the right decision, but I will tell you, people’s hearts have opened up on this issue,” Obama said. “I think people know that treating folks unfairly, even if you disagree with their lifestyle choice, the fact of the matter is, they’re not bothering you. Let them live their lives, and under the law, they should be treated equally.”

But these critics are utterly nuts and expressing both their stupidity and the ease at which they have a knee jerk reaction. Fortunately, there are some level heads out there. Not everyone is getting up in arms about it. They are not however, giving Obama a pass, as they are simply not over reacting to something. But those making a big deal over this need to stop and think about how foolish they look. They just need to pay attention to what the President has said and put it in the context in which it was made.

Those who oppose LGBTQ Rights have always painted sexual orientation as a lifestyle choice, which is why the phrase evokes such a quick and powerful gut response. We have been conditioned to fight back each and every time we hear that phrase. And so it doesn’t seem crazy on the one hand to wonder how or why any thinking person would use such archaic language. But think people: what did the President really say?

Personally,  I’ve always found the ‘gay is a lifestyle choice’ humorous in that there are as many lifestyles within the Gay and Lesbian community as there are within the Straight community. For example, my partner and I have been together for 17 years. Our lifestyle revolves around having jobs, living in the city, caring for our dogs, going to the gym, and being engaged in a variety of civic issues like public safety, and environmental advocacy. While some in the gay community are out dancing on a Saturday night, we are most likely at home watching a movie or out to dinner with friends. That’s a lifestyle choice– not the fact that we are gay.

Getting married and making a decision to spend the rest of your life with someone– that is a lifestyle choice. As people, we can choose to be in all sorts of relationships. We can choose to be single and date, or not date, or simply live together, or some combination. People who are attracted the other opposite sex make these types of lifestyle choices all the time and so do people who are attracted to the same-sex. And making choices around this is not a bad thing.

Some are jumping on the President’s words, because they don’t want the notion of ‘choice’ to be anywhere near the notion of ‘Gay’ or ‘Lesbian,’ and most especially when we are talking about ‘Marriage.’ The only word they want to be mentioned in the same breath as marriage is ‘right.’ Yes! Marriage is a Right! That’s the appropriate sound bite and don’t you forget it!

But as he often is, the President is correct, and his language positions the issue where it rightfully belongs. Everyone regardless of their sexual orientation ought to be afforded access to Marriage, and he is expressing that to the US Supreme Court. We (Gay and Lesbians) are just like everyone else, and many of us choose to get married and solidify our relationships and have families. We are not asking for special rights, nor does the Supreme Court have to create any, as I know they will be accused when they grant same sex couples equal access to Marriage. The Supreme Court simply has to see how we are like everyone else and to do the right thing.

Actually, I’ll give a pass to those who are up in arms over this. Those who oppose same-sex marriage do so because they are opposed to accepting the fluidity and breadth of sexual orientation. They want you to believe that everyone should be straight and if they aren’t, then they are doing it wrong. This is the bias and the irrational lunacy at the heart of the battle against same-sex marriage. So in some ways the battle for same-sex marriage is a battle for the full acceptance of gay and lesbian as real sexual orientations which are as valid and as naturally occurring as heterosexuality.

Being gay or lesbian isn’t a choice. What gays and lesbians do choose is to accept themselves and embrace being who they are. And some of us choose to marry. We should have every right to expect our marriages to have the same civil and legal rights as any other marriage.

Via Washington Blade

Comments are closed.