This one has been rolling around in my head for the last week. The kids’ Spring Break kind of took up all my writing time…but they are back to school now, so here we go…
Last week, the world watched as Facebook lit up with red equal signs, a sign of support for marriage equality. My profile picture was changed; I was proud to do it. I firmly believe in equal rights for all people. Period. No exceptions. Beyond the fact that I feel like it’s a no-brainer (haven’t we watched other minority groups fight for equality in the past? Why make group after group prove their worth??), I just don’t feel like it’s right for me to advocate for equal opportunities for my son with Down syndrome and his peers, and then sit back and say nothing when another group is being so blatantly discriminated against. It makes no sense. Who are we to decide who is worthy enough to enjoy the same rights, in this example, as heterosexuals in this country? We’ve seen in the past that narrow-mindedness loses. I strongly hope that it loses again.
One lovely feature of Facebook is the “stalker bar” where you can see what your friends are “liking”. You know what I’m referring to, and you’ve clicked on it; don’t pretend you haven’t. I found myself being a busy-body last week, clicking from one entry to the next, to see what my friends were up to that morning. I noticed that a friend “liked” a status from a conservative group, which was accusing everyone who changed their profile picture to the red symbol of the Human Rights Campaign of being a sheep. A sheep?!? Really? From a conservative group? The same group of people who banded together to eat at Chik-Fil-A on the same day last summer? The same group of people who went sideways on the Starbucks Facebook page last week when the CEO allegedly told everyone that if they don’t believe in same-sex marriages to take their business elsewhere? Puh-lease. They are hardly in a position to call anyone a sheep for following suit with their like-minded peers. It was a classic bully move, pure and simple.
I was irritated…I am irritated…by that comment. Apparently, as with everything else, it’s ok when your political group does something but completely unacceptable when the other party does the same thing. I should know better; it’s always been that way, and will continue to be that way. Politics. Ugh.
It’s more than that this time, I think. For a reason I can’t wrap my head around, those who are against marriage equality are not only making it their job to fight against the issue, but also to drag down anyone who supports it. Why? Why do they care?? Religion is typically the reason thrown out to defend the objections, but we must remember that to be a citizen of this country, one needn’t be a Christian. It’s ok to have those beliefs, and I absolutely respect that. However, it is not ok to expect everyone in this country to abide by your personal beliefs. End. Of. Story.
This issue will not soon go away, I fear. Some people would rather watch others suffer and be treated as second-class citizens than support their equal rights as peers in our society. I will never understand why. I won’t try to understand it. Instead, I’ll continue to participate in this grassroots equality movement, even if it’s just a small gesture of changing my Facebook profile picture to help spread awareness of the issue. If that makes me a sheep, so be it. Baa.