For those of us standing on the side of equality on the gay marriage debate, it has been an exciting few days. From the Vice President Joe Biden voicing his support to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to finally President Barack Obama himself, fully evolving on the issue and announcing his support for marriage equality. While this issue is not as divisive among my generation, the Millennial generation, as it among my parent’s generation or their parent’s generation, it has been disheartening to see the response from our so-called elders. Take Sen. Rand Paul for instance:
“The president recently weighed in on marriage and you know he said his views were evolving on marriage,” the Kentucky Republican said at Iowa’s Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting. ”Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.”
This type of immature remark struck me as the kind of taunting I heard on the playground and in the hallways of my schools growing up. I’ve always been different and to many of my peers that translated to “gay”. Whether it was my sensitivity, willingness to listen and share my feelings or my proclivity for picking up a book before tossing around a football, I’ve never fit into the box of stereotypical masculinity. After I heard Sen. Paul’s comments and got transported back to those dark days of bullying and torment, I started to wondered how the fact that gay has so long meant weak and less than would affect the views of men trying to hold tightly to societal norms. The most recent polling data is not reassuring:
“Mirroring a wide gender gap in Obama’s support more generally, 54% of women respond favorably to his backing of gay marriage, compared with 37% of men.” (from ABC News)
What are we afraid of? What do we think is going to happen if we allow equal rights to win the day?