I, like many here in Israel, have lots of friends who, for a variety of reasons (mostly religious) are having a difficult time dealing with the fact that the Supreme Court of the US has legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.
I addressed the issue this week on my radio show.
Here is my advice.
Get over it. Get over it for a couple of reasons.
One: It is a done deal. Western society or, as I like to call it from here in the Middle East, civilized society, has accepted homosexuality as a ‘normal’ sexual orientation.
It is not that I don’t have questions about that. Questioning something you do not have personal experience with is perfectly acceptable. Was I born straight? I think so. I never consciously chose my sexual orientation.
Two: It is none of your business. If you are a dude, and don’t think dudes should be allowed to marry other dudes, don’t marry a dude. PERIOD.
No one is forcing anyone into gay marriage. These people are born with or grow up with this same sex attraction.
This is so much bigger than the mechanics of sex, meaning what part is inserted where. If that is all your sexuality is to you, you have issues.
I had ‘crushes’ on girls all the time as a kid. My earliest remembrance of a crush is from kindergarten. They weren’t sexual, but they were always for girls. As I grew older, it continued, and you know what? I married a girl. I am happy about that. It has helped me to actualize myself as a human being more than anything else in my life.
Which leads me to…
Three: Having a family teaches you to put others first, to prioritize someone else’s needs over your own.
Don’t you think the world would be a better place if more people learned how to do that? I don’t know the dynamics of gay relationships and how they translate into a marriage environment, but I bet anything it has the potential to provide many moments of self growth. Shouldn’t everyone have that opportunity?
Four: For those of you offering up the ‘biblical’ argument, ‘Hey man, the Bible says Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!’
It does indeed say in Leviticus 20:13, ‘If a man lieth with man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.’
It also says that we should stone to death a woman who isn’t a virgin on her wedding night. It says that we should stone adulterers, Sabbath desecrators, blasphemers, and witches.
We as Jews have evolved passed this. If a YouTube video went up tomorrow of a group of super-frum Jews stoning a witch, there is no Jew in the world that would support it.
There was a time though I am sure that the ancient Israelites stoned women accused of being witches. Let me just say, unequivocally, that that was wrong.
‘But there used to be real witches!!!’ No, there weren’t. We were just more primitive then, and believed stuff like that. You know, in the BRONZE AGE!!!
If your answer is well, ‘we no longer have a Sanhedrin, but if we diiiiid…’ or, ‘when we have one again, somehow it would be okay to stone Sabbath desecrators,’ you have some evolving to do.
Five: This is a civil law. This is not here to kill God or religion. This does not change the Jewish concept of Erusin and Kiddushin in anyway. It is not the Erusin/Kiddushin Equality Act.
It is simply saying that if you are a gay man or a gay woman and you want to have some sort of deeper commitment to a partner, you want to build something meaningful in your life with another person that you feel affection and love for. Gai gezunterhait! No offense.
You may share inheritance, you may share insurance, you may visit each other in the hospital. You may list your partner as your next of kin. You want to deny people of that? What the hell’s the matter with you?
Six: Maybe most importantly, we have bigger problems than this. Uh, climate change?!! When Manhattan is underwater, you are not gonna care about the sexual orientation of the person paddling the life raft.
Hey how about this one? ISIS! Check out any of those beheading videos lately?
And by the way, as I am dishing out some criticism to my religious fundamentalist friends, here is a little bit for you, my LGBT brothers and sisters. First of all mazal tov, mazal tov. It is about time. I am truly happy for you. You guys earned this.
I want you to remember this though, when you are criticizing Israel for standing up for ourselves against those trying to annihilate us.
I am not saying that all of you are anti-Israel, but an absurdly disproportionate number of you are. You know who I am talking to. So while you are celebrating your SCOTUS victory to get a marriage license and hire a florist and have a cake with two men or two women on top of it, fundamentalist Muslims are tossing gays off of buildings and hanging them from cranes to please God.
We in Israel are your friends; they HAAAAATE you. Hang out all you want in Tel Aviv, you will feel welcome and at home. If you want to go ‘gay it up‘ in Gaza though, that is just not going to work out. They WILL kill you. They will kill you because you are gay. Do you know how anti-Gay an Islamic state of Palestine would be? Do you really want that?
You should go ahead and celebrate this victory, you earned it, but right after you are done, you should be writing love letters to Israel for being the ONLY place in the entire Middle East were you can actually be gay. Lets stop caring about who we are attracted to, and focus our light, love, and help to those trying to make the world a better place.
LISTEN to the show excerpt here.