• author
    • Carolyn Wyler

      Columnist and C.E.O.
    • July 15, 2013 in Columnists

    Gay Pride and Prejudice and a new ERA

    June 26th started out as most of my mornings do, frittering away several minutes on Facebook, before I had to get ready for work. That morning, though, instead of “stalking” people as I normally would do, I was fixated on Facebook for a different reason.

    Forget Yahoo, CNN or any local news stations.  Most of the news I hear first is on Facebook. I can always rely on Debra LoGuercio DeAngelo to have all the current news events and honestly believe she is capable of posting the news before it actually happens. It was a big day and I waited anxiously for the Supreme Court’s ruling to allow gay marriage in California.

    It wasn’t just that I felt same sex partners who loved each other and wanted to marry should be allowed the same rights as heterosexual partners. I did not see them as sick, twisted, immoral free lovers, whose sperm and ovaries should be locked up and the key thrown away to prevent their “future children from a life destined for crime.” I also believed that allowing gay people to marry was one more step towards treating everyone the same and erasing prejudices and discrimination against sex, race and nationality.

    Of course, the ruling would also mean that I would be able to ultimately (though it might take a couple more years) marry my five boyfriends, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtledoves and a partridge in a pear tree. (Well, except it wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine the most outrageous scenario as a result of the ruling and throw it out there just to frighten people.)

    Years ago when God was sitting at his desk, pen in hand, writing the Bible, He wrote about Abraham’s many wives and hand maidens  – and no one really cared or batted an eyelash (well, except for maybe all the women who must have thought Abraham was pretty hot). It was all perfectly acceptable then.

    In the 1800s, Mormons were probably best known for their practice of polygamy, although many Native American tribes, European mountain men, Scottish-Irish settlers and some Welsh emigrants also followed the practice of having multiple partners. Even Utopian and communal groups had group marriages and polygyny.

    But fear of the new, unknown or different often terrifies people and those who are considered different are often persecuted, brushed aside, restricted, hurt or even killed. Some of us seem to have forgotten God’s Part Two when he wrote about unconditional love, acceptance and not casting stones.

    I remember as a teenager having numerous discussions about men’s and women’s roles with my parents and church leaders. Those promoting equal rights for women were attempting at that time to ratify the ERA, but many religious leaders of various religions opposed it. The explanation I was given as to why it should not pass was that “women and men were equal in God’s eyes, but they had different roles. If the ERA were to be passed it would disrupt those roles, as well as cause many disturbing ramifications for women and for the family. It would result in an encouragement of those who seek a unisex society, an increase in the practice of homosexual and lesbian activities, and other concepts which could alter the natural, God-given relationship of men and women.”

    Holy Helicopters! So that’s how this “disturbing unisex society” snuck in and is now starting to take over – by passing the ERA? Uhmmmmmm, er, wait a minute. Last time I checked, the ERA never passed. Yup, nope, never did. So how did this all disturbing social change come about? What is our world heading to?

    Some people dream, some pray, some hope and some make wishes. Years ago, one night on a falling star, I made a wish. I wished that I could live in a world where we could treat each other with respect, love and equality.

    I believe the answer to where is our world heading to is this. Sometimes wishes, hopes, dreams, answers to prayers (whatever you want to call it) come true, but not always how we intended and sometimes just in baby steps. I think we are taking those steps toward a world that sets aside pride and prejudices. One that doesn’t care what race, nationality or sex you are, or are into. A world that is more tolerant, loving and accepting – a new ERA.

    • Unless you live in Florida or Texas and many other states.

    • Carolyn, thank you for going OUT on the scary limb or branch to say “let’s play fair.” I came out in 1977 when I was a freshman at Chico State and playing basketball, getting straight A’s, but no more suffocating by playing “straight.” You’ve worked plenty hard enough in your life to “get the whole picture.” Maybe people will read your column and become a little less homophobic-less is better than more. Write on Carolyn !

        • Carolyn Wyler

        • August 17, 2013 at 8:24 am
        • Reply

        Thanks Cathy!

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