Recalling sometime in June 2011, President Obama appeared before a New York City fundraiser with LGTBQ supporters as the NY State Senate in Albany was gearing closer to a vote on same-sex marriage.
Hearing the President state his views on gay marriage was “evolving” was a familiar line, but the statement hadn’t truly registered in mind. In particular the word “evolving” stuck with me.
In hindsight the statement stuck because I was developing and struggling with that issue (and many more) having come to terms that I’m gay sometime in September of 2010.
Since never giving the matter of “marriage equality” (then more known as gay marriage) real thought, I (‘Pre Gay’ Rick) concluded that marriage equality was a states rights issue: each governance reviewing State Constitutions respectfully against the will, attitude, and culture, bound by state boundaries and jurisdictions.
Whether a situation posed, or alone with just my thoughts, approaching the issue as being a universal human right or as a civil right issue was a struggled that I never reached.
To me the baseline was in a strong belief in civil unions and a stronger hope that my fellow New Yorkers continue to preserve the protection of civil unions and the legal rights therein.
In December 2010, Mr. Obama said his feelings on same-sex marriage were “evolving” and that he “struggles with this.” He promised to continue to wrestle with the issue.
I read that account. I reviewed each position. And I did this again and again with feelings of frustration growing. I had and continue to compare the statement against any dusted, infrequent visited, ideology… wondering if I changed my position or even my understanding of what it was the LGTBQ community was fighting for since announcing (but not acted out) that I was gay just two months prior.
Under a new perspective and with the longest weight lifted off my shoulders (but with other internal conflicts to contend with) I really struggled to reach the same general attitude shared among the LGTBQ community.
I grew frustrated and resentful that I could only appreciate most of the ideas President Obama was now stating. I thought, “Rick, you’re freaking gay. Get over it. Pretend you really have gone past appreciation and do believe marriage equality is a civil right.”
The internal pressure to conform grew and I felt anger towards myself. I felt frustration with almost everyone holding a “religious right” or a “secular political left” point of view.
Under contrasted mentalities, the religious figurehead; my aunt representing the “religious right”, President Obama; the political figurehead representing the manifestation of the American attitude, and my therapist; an amassing individual whose “mother earth” attitude is far more forgiving, far less judgmental, and far more adept from my own, as being the three main idol perspectives against my own understanding.
Constantly self-examining I did what I normally tend to do, research.
I came across many articles and research papers, as well as a transcript of a 2004, (while running for U.S. Senate) of then Mr. Obama stating, “what I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman.” He cited his faith as a foundation for his position, but also cited support for civil unions, visitation rights and other “basic rights” for gay and lesbian couples. A clearly Centralist point of view, under the pretense a Centrist is an Independent …You don’t identify yourself to any political party, weather to the right or left of aisle.
Then, I came across this:
In the nineties a then rising Progressive Democrat by the name of Barack Obama filled out a questionnaire in which he stated his “support” for “gay marriage.” A clearly Progressive point of view, under the pretense a Progressive is a person advocating or implementing social reform, or new liberal ideas.
Having examined the periods and the attitudes of President Obama, I’ve come to realize President Obama had not evolve; rather President Obama had devolved.
President Obama’s political ideology went from fighting efforts to prohibit same-sex marriage – to then devolve into a Centrist point of view – only to shift direction back to a Progressive point of view. WTF?
And it was with that oddity in mind that I understood -without any wonder- parcel cause for having felt personal frustration to reconcile feelings of being gay while not coming to the stance held by Political Progressive ideology or Religious orthodoxy.
It’s why I sense my therapist feeling discouraged by my lack of awareness. (Which could be a total projection of mine, and not of her fault.)
So, as a placeholder, I’m going to state today’s attitude regarding this whole gay marriage thing.
- Sexuality is an aspect of the human condition that has slowly been reconstructed to narrow itself as a political tool.
- My understanding of the “human condition” means the characteristics, the key events, and the situations which compose the essentials of human existence; such as birth, growth, emotionally, aspiration, conflict, and mortality.
- My understanding of “Human nature” means nature without involving a perspective, or say a lens; such as definitive religious belief, philosophic postulate, or psychological theory.
- I have got to stop inflating the two concepts.
- I ought to keep challenging myself as a gay male, wanting but unable to believe just as most others within the LGTBQ community.
- That holding onto an inner conflict might make me okay, that it doesn’t make me a bad Roman Catholic or a self-hating homosexual.
- That holding some inner conflict is my natural state of being and that my responsibility to myself is to try to make sure it’s within balance (don’t abolish or ignore the underlining feelings while not conducting myself with sole logic).
- That my egalitarian dreams and hopes for this earth remains, and it does so without conforming to political or religious ideology.
- That ‘Pre Gay’ and ‘Post Gay’ Rick are on in the same, with continuum perceptibility respecting many systems of thought.
- That I continue to naturally gravitate to the conclusion I believe real constitutionalists and founding farmers held regarding freedom.
- With exception to the Bill of Right, the Constitution was not writing with the body stating what can’t be done. That the Constitution language was writing as what shall be done.
- That my understanding of freedom is as clear today as it was when I first began studies.
- That civil unions are in line with the concept of freedom.
- That the real right towards freedom of marriage is rather a real misguided fight for government benefits.
- And, that I can be an American, Republican, Catholic, Gay, male, whose spiritual upbringing will serve as my core foundation, correlating morals and values to public policies and earthly ideologies.