This is huge. Huuuge. The United States of America has finally legalised same-sex marriage unilaterally. It’s been met with some opposition, but mainly celebration as all Americans are now able to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation. This is probably the only time I’ll say this on my blog: for once, South Africa was way ahead of the States, legalising same-sex marriage back in 2006.
The thing is that America is a superpower and the world at large tends to significantly take notice of what they do. Being South African, it seems we have a higher tolerance for diversity, having so many vastly different and recognised religions, races, languages, you name it. I know what it’s like to be in a minority group. Here, in my beautiful country, I am part of one because of the colour of my skin. However, I can gladly say that I don’t know what it’s like to not be accepted just because this is how I was born. You see, it’s not your fault that you’re different and don’t fit into the neat mould of what’s commonly accepted as ‘normal’. No one wants to be different, to the extent where there are laws preventing them from fulfilling their basic human rights. It’s not the same as having multiple piercings and dying your hair every colour of the rainbow. Sure, that’s different in relation to the norm, but there are no laws against what colour your hair should be, how you dress, the music you listen to. Perhaps if this fits you, you’re considered quirky but certainly not abominable.
I can’t imagine someone telling me that my desire to commit to the person I love is wrong. That I can’t achieve that because, shudder, what will people think and the Bible says such and such about it. What exactly is the issue with same-sex marriage that freaks people out so badly? Here’s my confusion – if it’s immoral for two people in a relationship to live together in the carnal way because that’s living in sin, but they’re not allowed to get married because that’s also sinful, then what are they supposed to do? How exactly do they solve their dilemma? If it’s so wrong, so morally repugnant, and the reasoning is because in Leviticus verse whatever, it says so, then why isn’t divorce illegal? There is such hypocrisy about it. Whether it’s a dude marrying another dude, or two women, or two heterosexual people, live and let live.
I am deeply appreciative of the tolerance we South Africans have for people who are different to us. We can’t escape it, it’s all around us, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tata Madiba was all about acceptance, tolerance and forgiveness. He was the living embodiment of what he preached. He led by example and actioned his words – no empty promises, no hot air because it sounded good. We would all do well to learn from a man who was punished and tortured for what he believed in, that he dared to take a stand against those persecuting him for the colour of his skin and because he wanted equal rights for all. That brings me to this week’s Words Crush Wednesday. One love, people, one love.