Friday, February 11, 2005

The inspirational

Throughout the whirlwind of controversy that I seem to have stirred with my column, I have been struck by the outpouring of kindness from friends and complete strangers. Almost from the very moment the newspaper was delivered to people's homes, my inbox began to swell with messages. Last night I shared the myopic views with you. Tonight I'm pleased to share the more supportive words from the people without whom I'd simply be writing to myself: readers.

Folks from all walks of life shared their very passionate views with me. Heterosexuals, homosexuals, and immediate relatives of homosexuals all took the time to share some very poignant, well-thought-out words. I felt very humbled as I read them, as if I somehow didn't deserve to be mixed into this debate. All I did was write: they live this every day.

So as I scan through the words below, the comments you have all left, and the messages you have sent me via e-mail, I can't help but feel that my 638 words changed the world just a little bit. I'll keep your words in mind when I pick up my pen to write my next article. Everything I publish should be an opportunity to challenge, teach, and ultimately enlighten. Thank you all for confirming that this is the path I should take. Here goes (and, again, apologies for the length):

---
Thanks for your thoughtfully composed article on same sex marriage. I'm always moved by your ability to string words together into a heartfelt piece about important issues in the world today. You say so much but the deep feeling I always come away with is "love one another." A simple admonishment that isn't easy to practice.
---

I just wanted to send you a note to thank you so much for today's article on gay marriage!! I am so heartily sick of people arguing over issues they know nothing about and who assume that because they are RIGHT, they can say whatever they like with little regard for "the other side's" opinions, convictions or personal feelings.

I can assure the RIGHTS group that there are very few families who do not have at least one gay family member (in or out of the closet) within their extended clan. Before they get even more offensive about something that is really none of their business, perhaps they should speak to their gay relatives to find out what type of discrimination they face every day!

---
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your column in today's Free Press. Your words are right on. I wish your column could be reprinted in newspapers all over the U.S. and Canada.
---
Wow - loved your column today! I couldn't of said it better. Religion in my opinion is for people who can't think for themselves. I live in an openly gay relationship. Most of our friends are straight married couples. Next year I will have been with my partner for 25 years. If we chose to marry - whose lives would be affected?
---
I saw your article in the London Free Press the other day. What an wonderful piece. You said it all. Amen. God Bless You and Your Family
---
Thanks so much for telling the truth, even when it's not the most popular viewpoint! How refreshing. It may seem obvious to most of us, that homosexuals have nothing to do with the downfall of marriage, but apparently, in this twilight zone that is our society, that's not the case.
---
Finally. Someone who has commom sense about this issue. Someone who also realizes that if straights could be put in jail for failing to keep their marriage vows, most of them would be inside rather than outside the bars.

Straights use the bible only as a convenience, only when it serves their purpose to pick and choose what they what to believe. Well let them throw their stones because there is a higher power that will pass judgement on their hate and discrimination.

Thanks Carmi. Well done.
---
Unfortunately you probably will not receive many positive comments to your column on same sex marriage, but here is one: "Well said ! Well written ! Good for you !"

I do not feel, nor does my wife, that our healthy, 42 year heterosexual marriage is in any way threatened by this legislation. Nor do we feel that our God supports the hypocrisy and strident whining from the closet homophobes who oppose it.

What you wrote needs to be said. Our thanks for a job well done.
---
Your argument involving religion and discrimination was very effectively written. I have never understood how happily married couples in a traditional marriage could ever feel threatened if their legal union was equal to a same-sex union. To drag religion into the equation is just poppy-cock!!

I appreciate your comment that building bridges rather than walls would bring us all closer together, and agree that is what God would ultimately want for us as a society. We finally accepted that the concept of unwed moms, legal common-law marriages with children, families not led by a mom or dad (children raised by other relatives) and married couples without children, by choice or infertility, are still considered families.
---
I find it impossible to swallow that some people can find a way to generalize an entire group of minorities and label them with falsified arguments. Ignorance is a tragedy that happens in many degrees and seems to be conditioned to human nature.
---
Carmi again: I suspect the debate doesn't end here. I invite you all to continue to use Comments, e-mail and any other tool you've got to share your thoughts, both with me and with each other. I'll be watching the paper in the days to come in case any additional letters to the editor are published. I'll share whatever else I come across in future postings.

In the meantime, I offer you all my heartfelt thanks for supporting me through this process. I am once again thanking my lucky stars that I decided to do this for a living. What an experience.

4 comments:

L said...

it's so nice to see that other people can be sensible about this issue :)

I have gay family members, and the far-right rhetoric I hear in my community can be disgusting ("God hates fags", etc.)

keep up the good work!

Linda said...

Carmi, I'm chiming in late here, but I wanted to thank you for writing such a terrific article. Almost everyday I read op/ed letters written out of fear and intolerance in my local paper, and it always leaves me with a heavy heart. The very fact that people are hiding behind their religion to discriminate against others is exactly why religion should be kept OUT of matters of state. Oh, and I'm a Christian, by the way.

Dean said...

It is good to see that the positive outweighs the negative. The 'ugly', posted below, are pretty weak, really, more general complaints than anything, while these positive ones are much stronger.

Just IMO, of course.

It must be a good feeling to have something you've written have an impact.

Carmi said...

L: The far-right diatribe scares me on a number of levels. But I'm not so afraid that I won't write about it.

Linda: I never understood the hiding-behind-religion thing either. It's almost as if small-minded bigots like to use religion as a convenient shield. How sad, for it taints faith-based thought for everyone else.

Dean: It feels very fulfilling to see this kind of response. I barely have the words to describe how I feel. I just want to do it again, and again, and...