Friday, January 14, 2011

But I'm Not the Only One

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I could get along better with people who I really disagree with. I'm trying to temper myself a bit and stop seeing things in left/right, right/wrong, us/them terms. I read a column today over at that really touched me and seemed to fit in with those thoughts. I thought I'd share.

When my Grandfather Learned I was 'Queer'
by John Corvino

A diversity speaker I know (who also happens to be a dear friend) is fond of saying, “People do the best they can with what they have.”

When I first heard her say this, my immediate reaction was, “Well, that’s obviously false.”

In fact, I still think it’s false. Some people make more of the hand they’re dealt than others; some put in considerable effort, others very little. Some, frankly, are just lazy callous bastards.

But I’ve come to understand that her aphorism isn’t best read as a description. It’s a guideline. When interpreting others’ actions—especially hurtful ones—adopt a principle of charity. They’re not trying to hurt you: they’re doing the best they can with what they have.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Think I Want to Marry You

If individuals have the right to choose their spouse, and if spouses are equal partners without different gender-defined roles, then gay couples have the right to marry. Many today -- including the Mormons -- do believe men and women have distinct roles in marriage, and therefore don't believe gay couples can marry, but as far as our society is concerned, these changes have already happened. Gender equality is a legal and social reality now, and so, therefore, is gay marriage.

There's a great editorial today making this point in the Washington Post:
Gay marriage isn't revolutionary. It's just next.