Doesn’t everyone have an opinion on this subject these days? Here are the stages I went through
Grew up unaware that homosexuality existed. One family I knew of had a son who sold antiques who only visited, I was told, on rare occasions, but was known for wearing flamboyant clothes and was, said my mother (with a suggesting winkish of her eye) “an antique dealer.”
Even living in Greenwich Village from 1960-1965 I wasn’t aware of the presence of homosexuals, except for some burly ladies who would pop out of a suspicious bar and the occasional prancer and dancer. Stonewall was another world.
In Greece, in 1970 or so, a friend had an appendectomy and I visited her in the clinic. Her boyfriend also visited, with his father, who was as swishy a homosexual as one could find. He remained en famille, and the staff and the boyfriend hardly seemed to notice his dress and behavior. I was astonished. Also in Greece, I asked a Greek woman friend why the Greek men were so interested in anal sex, and she answered, “How do you think we keep from getting pregnant.” The Greeks disdained only the “female” part of the homosexual couple, so the rest of the men might have been having a grand time.
My first cousin twice removed came out to his family in the 1990s after years of therapy and suffering and his parents shrugged and said, “We’ve known this for years.”
My boss’s wife’s first husband left her for a man. A doctor friend killed himself after his wife left him for a woman.
I had two gay bosses in the New York law firms where I worked in the 1980s and 90s. The female one called me into her office one day and told me she was pregnant. For a moment I was taken aback. I had always thought she was a lesbian so didn’t know what to say, and did what so many people do when they don’t know what to say — said something stupid. “Who is the father of this baby?” “The father will not play a role in this,” she replied. So I planned her baby shower. All the rest of the lawyers and staff in the firm were supportive, except one who refused to contribute money for the shower. The other gay boss was a man who traveled to the gay pride events in Montreal, Canada one year. He was from Atlanta.
My first-cousin-once-removed-in-law told me around 2005 that where she came from in Kansas there were no gay people. “Right,” I answered. “They all moved to New York.”
I admit to being repulsed by the idea of people of the same sex kissing, or more, but after teaching a sex education course in my church, I changed my mind. We had a panel of gay people come and they were fascinating. None of them had had sex until their mid-30s — they had been so isolated from the real world.
Now I teach 18-year-old college freshmen and all of them, conservative and liberal and everything in between, are for gay marriage rights. They have friends or family members who are gay and cannot bear the thought of them being hurt. I’m with them.
When I started dating again at 60 I was aware that this particular situation had not existed since the beginning of the world. In the beginning, women didn’t usually survive until 60, and after that, they were strangled culturally. The validation of a same sex marriage as equal to a heterosexual one is also brand new, but I’m on board.
The Supreme Court justices disappointed me with their questions. One was saying “The purpose of marriage is procreation,” and the other remarked that 40,000 California children were being raised in same sex families. You can’t have it both ways, but more importantly, “procreation” has changed. They didn’t even mention the miracles of modern science which make it possible for homosexuals to have children within marriage. And, legally speaking, what about a child who is born to a heterosexual couple through surrogacy? What about sperm donation? And the borrowing of ova? A friend gave birth to twins a few years ago. She was over 40 so she borrowed ova and sperm, but carried the babies and gave birth to them. On a visit after they were born, a mutual friend who didn’t know the provenance of these babies said, “Oh! They have your eyes!” to my friend. My friend and I winked at each other. Her natural born children are not even related to her. It seemed incredible that none of these issues were raised, that arguments before the Supreme Court ignored the fact that marriage itself, heterosexual or otherwise, moved on from the Bible a long time ago.