Categories: Michael Aaron

Balance and respect

Another victory in the courts for same-sex marriage brings another round of vitriol on all sides. Marriage equality hangs in the balance.

That is what I want to discuss here. Balance.

Like any victory, we want to run to the end zone and do a shuffle, pound a ball to the ground and turn to the other side and give them an “up yours” salute.

Some would say that is the least we deserve. Sometimes I count myself among them.

But if there is balance in this fight, that means the opposing team is bringing something to the game. So, let’s shed the raw emotion for a second and analyze this.

While we can paint this discussion in black and white, right and wrong, David and Goliath, victors and losers, the fact of the matter is that there are sincere points on each side.

Some Utahns are sincere in their notion that marriage is about children and parenting. Some have deeply held religious beliefs and rights they believe are being called into question.

Yes, there are those who use these arguments out of sheer bigotry. But not everyone.

Most who will read this will know that I believe that marriage is about much more than raising children. It’s about much more than exercising a couple’s religion. It is also about end-of-life issues, tax issues, hospitalization issues, child issues, divorce issues, and of course, fairness. But all of those things don’t necessarily negate what the “other side” is arguing.

As we celebrate another victory along our path, it is how we treat the “losing” side that we will be judged.

Will we stand across the street from the Church Office Building and mock, bare our buttocks and call names? Or will we recognize that others may have a differing view and offer them at least a modicum of respect which we would demand if we had ended up on the other side?

Remember — we fight for love.

“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to a child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.”
—Benjamin Franklin

“Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”
—Mahatma Gandhi

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them so much.”
—Oscar Wilde


Michael Aaron

Michael Aaron is the editor and publisher of QSaltLake. He has been active in Utah's gay and lesbian community since the early 80s and published two publications then and in the 90s.

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