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“Gay marriage” a hateful term

Column

The Parthenon

Published: Friday, February 15, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 00:02

There is no room in my heart for hate, and there is no room in my mouth for hateful words.

“Gay marriage” is a hateful word. “Same-sex marriage” is another hateful word. Both words bear the scars of bigotry, separation and inequality, and my Valentine’s Day resolution is to never use either of these words again.

The words I use are personal to me, and define me. There is no scripture or holy book that can be the singular dictionary for the words that define me, and there is no shelf of books that can accurately replicate the experiences that have shaped me as a person.

My words, however, will not redefine your beliefs or your faith, and as someone who believes in our constitutional liberties, they will also not redefine your freedom.

That is why, in my own personal dictionary, I have removed the separate but equal definition for “gay marriage,” and the separate entry for “same-sex marriage.” Instead, there is only an entry for marriage — the union of people who choose to stay together despite what the world throws at them.

We should respect and revere that institution and the people who are brave enough to be a part of something bigger than they are.

Trust me, your faith is free from my freedom of speech. You are free to feel however you feel in your heart, and believe however you believe in your mind. If you feel compelled, you can fill your mouth with hateful words. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, especially speech you do not agree with.

So feel free to not agree with me; it will not change me. We may have different vocabularies, but there is something we can both agree on: the world is changing, and I believe it is a beautiful and exciting time to be alive and bear witness to these times.

I never imagined myself thinking the words, “I do not agree with the idea of ‘gay marriage.’ It disgusts me.”

But it does. Thursday — Valentine’s Day — I spent hours thinking about what “gay marriage” means to me. Does it imply a patriarchal male dominant institution?
Maybe.

We often equate “gay” to homosexual men, yet apply this blanketing term to all homosexuals, regardless of gender. That does not feel right.

“Same-sex marriage” feels wrong too, and inherently discriminates against those outside the boundaries of the societal gender construct. There has to be a better word, and I believe there is.

Love.

There are families with children, white-picket fences and hearts filled with love that cannot marry. It breaks my heart.

I think we can all agree that there is nothing more beautiful in life than love. Love is what should define us. Not the words we use, but the love we feel.

Love is the most powerful word I know. Love is a word so big it sometimes fills us with anxiety and unease.

But do not be afraid of love, do not live in fear of people who are in love and never fear an open heart.

It’s the strongest muscle.

Happy (Late) Valentine’s Day.

Chris Hodge can be contacted at chris.hodge@marshall.edu.
 

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