A Statement About Respect and Marriage Rights
In the US right now, there’s a big debate about civil rights for gay people, and especially the right to legally marry the person you love and want to partner with. I’ve often felt there isn’t much I can do to help except be supportive and vote with respect for others. I’ve been thinking for a long time, though, that I should probably be more vocal. With that in mind, I want to say out loud (“type out loud”?) that I not only support legal marriage for same-sex couples but I also personally recognize any couple that has undergone a marriage ceremony as spouses, even if the state of Oregon doesn’t.
It may seem odd for me to post this on my counseling practice blog. However, the tagline for my practice is “Respect and Care-Oriented Counseling,” and that has meaning to me. To me, respect means recognizing and appreciating everyone for who they are. Sometimes that’s a challenge, because it requires learning about things I don’t understand and am nervous to approach. I believe it’s always fruitful to step up to that challenge, though.
I should say that I don’t have any special training or experience working with same-sex couples. The point of this post is to show my support for a discrimination-free society and to talk about what I’m about. We all better our community in our own small ways, and I’m sure that every person who speaks out in support of equal rights for all people helps our society and culture improve.
Many years ago when my state, Oregon, voted to ban same-sex marriages, I saw real couples who love each other lose a lot of faith in their culture. I thought to make a website gathering signatures from people who personally recognize those marriages. For whatever reason, I didn’t actually do it.
Recently I was inspired by the plight of Henry Valendia and his husband Josh (legally married in Connecticut) fighting to keep Henry in the US, and also George Takei’s wonderful It’s Okay to be Takei campaign. Those were finally enough for me to at least do something, and write this blog post.
So once again, I’ll say that I recognize same-sex marriages, even if the state won’t. In my office I welcome pairs of husbands and pairs of wives. I’m sure many of my colleagues and fellow Allies feel similarly, too. Thanks for reading.