Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performing “Same Love” with special guests Tegan and Sara at Osheaga Music Festival in Montreal. (Image from http://www.instinctmagazine.com)
Since we are in the talking of love this month, I’ve thought about the different kinds of love – love between married couples, puppy love, love or passion for the things you want to do, love in a religious standpoint, and lastly love for the same sex. I was hesitant at first to tackle such a complex and sensitive issue of love for the same sex but a big part of me wants to know and understand this kind of love.
Same sex relationships are still frowned upon for the most part of the world. In recent years, laws have been made to legalize gay marriages particularly in the United States, but there are still a number of locations where it is prohibited. In most countries like the Philippines, there are no specific laws with regards to boys marrying boys or girls marrying girls. There is however, the stand of the Church passionately rising up against the cultural wave of marrying the same gender. As the debate continues between accepting this kind of relationship or not, lines have been drawn whether or not people should support it. It’s such a sensitive issue because choosing either one will raise eyebrows and people will automatically judge you. Gender has become an important sociological issue together with racism.
I’ve been trying to be a Christian for most of my life and Church has told me different things with regards how to react to this social phenomenon. It was until I read the Bible for myself when I saw God’s own response. It’s in my understanding that He doesn’t approve it. That being said, He also stresses to love another despite the differences. What my issue is that a lot of people focus on the negative side versus homosexuals that they breed so much hate towards them. Even though it is supposedly against the law of nature of loving your own gender, the universal law of love should play a bigger role. How can you say you’re a loving person if you hate a person who just happens to love somebody else with the same gender?
On a personal note, I have really close friends who happen to be gay and lesbians. I’ve never taken it against them for being who they are but I was always curious what led them to be who they are and what will they do in the future. How do their parents react? Do other people scorn them? What’s next, do they get married? And even, what’s the sex like? The questions seem intrusive, I know, but I mean it in all curiosity and I really genuinely care for them. I don’t have anything against them because in world where the world “love” is thrown around like it doesn’t mean anything, somehow this kind of love tries hard to push down barriers. I’m not saying it’s a perfect kind of love but it is love in all sense of the word. Gay couples still argue, fight, hold hands, watch movies, spend time together, etc. As comedian Chris Rock puts it: “What’s wrong with gay marriage? Gay people have the right to be miserable as much as we are!”
Is being gay a choice? Is it something biological? Is it brought about by circumstance? Is it from sexual abuse at a young age? I have no idea honestly but what about lack of options? I mean what if a guy ends up being with another guy because no other girl would love him? If no girl loves him, is it so wrong to be with a guy who does love him? I mean, aren’t we all looking for love? I have a friend who’s a lesbian who told me, “What can I do? I’ve been praying for a man to come into my life for the last 20 years of my life but all I can find is girls. And you know what, they love me back.” How can I argue that? In some way I’m happy for my friend because at least she’s not lonely. On the other hand I’m concerned with her. We essentially grew up together as teenagers and as young adults. I’m afraid if her parents find out or worse what if something happens with her sexual relations with the same sex? Random fact: HIV and AIDS grew more than 10% the past year in the Philippines because of same sex relations and multiple sex partners. You see even though I understand people in their preference of gender, I still fear for them because of society’s perception and of course, their health.
When it comes down to it, you could say that I don’t support gay relationships although I don’t forcefully oppose it either. What I can say is that I understand it. At the end of the day we should love anyone and from all walks of life. If you even want to go Biblical in this issue, let’s take a quick look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Everyone knows that God was displeased with their behavior and the cities were punished. The age-old story has been told countless times and even used in our language today as in the English world sodomy. Religious scholars quickly point out that homosexuality was the main reason God destroyed the cities, but among all the wrong things they committed, did you also know that another thing was pointed out? In Ezekiel 16:49-50 it says “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…” Did God like the homosexual activities by the people? Of course not! But he still didn’t like how the people were living for themselves. They did not care about other people but only cared about themselves. (Much like what’s going on with society today) They were arrogant, unconcerned, and they didn’t help the poor! They didn’t care about anyone else but more concerned about solving their own issues because of their arrogance. It goes back to His commandment of loving people. People can oppose gays and lesbians but to hate them? To show contempt and not compassion? To show arrogance and not understanding? I can tell you right now that if Jesus were alive today, he’d be hanging out with gays and lesbians because He loves them too.
At the end, we’re all fighting for that same love.