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Who’s to say what you can’t do?

Remember when we taught our children, “there’s nothing you CAN’T do”. I don’t remember any asterisks to that statement.

My parents never said, “If you want to be an engineer, that’s a man’s job, you can’t do that”

My best friend’s parents never said, “If you grow up to be a lesbian, and love someone, you can’t have the same rights as other couples”

President Obama is now expressing his support for gay marriage. Yay!

I know he didn’t make a stand before- he left it up to the states to decide. I’m glad he is coming forward saying what most of his supporters have been waiting for him to say.

And so the firestorm ensues. The sanctity of marriage is being attacked. OH please, spare me. Is marriage only for Christians? Yeah, stupid question, so no, so let’s not continue to make everyone uphold the values of the Christian Church. These are civil rights, not religious rights.

In some jurisdictions if you ‘live in sin’ long enough, it’s called a ‘common law marriage’ and holds some rights as regular marriage. Hmm, how ironic.

Remember when women couldn’t do certain things? Remember when Black people in this country couldn’t do certain things?

Who decided that these groups of people couldn’t do these things? Nobody voted on it. It was men. White men. They just made it so. Now, just hold on here, I don’t want you to think I’m going all Malcolm X on you folks. I’m not trying to stir the pot. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around the fact that men, and in this country, white men, since that’s who came over on the Mayflower and those other boats…made the rules that everyone is expected to play by. Isn’t that weird?

I’m a rule follower. So much to the point that I will be called a goody-two-shoes. But I fight for what’s fair. If something doesn’t seem fair, then I speak up.

I listened to Bonnie Dunbar of NASA speak at a breakfast fundraiser for an organization in my community that raises money for our city’s public schools. She is an astronaut and flew several Space Shuttle missions. When she grew up and was going to school, she decided she wanted to be an astronaut. When people told her she couldn’t because she was a woman, she didn’t understand why they were telling her this. Growing up on her farm, listening to her father talk about the stars and the Milky Way Galaxy in the 60s inspired her to go to space. She didn’t sit there and think, “if men let me”. She had a dream that was her’s. Nothing could stand in her way.

To think black children were told they couldn’t be President. Girls were told they couldn’t be doctors.

Who makes these rules?

Men shouldn’t be nurses. Boys can’t be ballerinas. Women can’t be pilots.

Again, I think it’s weird that there were rules.

I don’t tell my children they can’t dream something. There’s children living in poverty in 3rd world countries who make it to this country, go to college and become engineers, doctors, teachers. If they can dream, so should anyone here in this country, and certainly my children.

Rosa Parks sat on the bus. Elizabeth Cady Stanton starved in prison so women today could vote. They broke the rules.

Children are beaten because they act ‘gay’. Sons are found in ditches, dead from hate crimes. They were gay. They were effeminate. Or maybe they were black.

Matthew Shepherd from Wyoming, comes to mind.  He was beaten and left for dead because he was gay. Brandon Teena dressed as a boy even though she was a girl,  and was beaten to death.

James Byrd, Jr. is chained to the back of a truck and dragged to his death in Oklahoma. Because he was black.

Women weren’t allowed in the military. Gay people weren’t allowed in the military.

I’m a religious person. I’m a Christian. I believe in love and respect. I believe that if you choose not to believe in God, I will love you anyway. If you want to love someone that has the same chromosomes as you, I will love you as well.

I will not stand in your way, or support legislation that stands in your way to your happiness.

Happy people are productive people. Oppressed people are angry people.

When you say that something is wrong or someone’s lifestyle is bad, that people are sinners who do something you aren’t comfortable with, you send a message to your children, to those around you that it’s okay to not support these people. That their lifestyle is wrong. And if you’re not supporting them, you’re against them. And then maybe being against them, you decide that it’s okay to punish them, or deny them, or restrict them. Which creates an interesting Catch 22 of loving your neighbor as yourself.

If you read all of Leviticus, you will realize that if you are to follow it all in it’s entirety, not just the gay part, you’re going to have to stock up on rams, oxes and pigeons. I had no idea on the 7th day after my period, I’m supposed to take a pigeon to my pastor for a burnt offering. My bad. Or that I’m not allowed to wear any cotton/poly blends. Darn it!

I appreciate the people before me that were the rule changers. I’m in this game now too. I plan to support the rule changers of the future.

“At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black.” ― George Clooney

This isn’t just about gay people getting married. It’s about being told you can’t be or do something, when, really, you have every right to.