Saturday, June 27, 2015

Marriage Equality: Hear My Take

The issue of marriage equality is something I’m especially passionate about, and I invite you to read my opinion. As many of you know, I grew up in the bridal industry. Like the fashion industry overall, the bridal industry is a wonderful melting pot of diversity- different races, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations. While I was raised in a conservative Christian family with traditional values, the people that surrounded me within the bridal industry taught me to love everyone just as they are with no judgment. I am blind to differences, and I love that about my upbringing.

As I’ve scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, I’ve seen so many people post comments against gay marriage that come across as brash, hateful, judgmental and condemning. I invite those of you who may not know many gay people (or any gay people) to think about the subject differently. Please contemplate this simple question… in high school, remember dying to have the latest fashions so that you could fit in? It is human nature to desire to belong and fit in.

Gay people don’t just wake up and decide that they want to be different- that they want to go against the societal norm. Until now, the gay population had to accept the fact that if they “came out”, that friends and family who they loved might be shocked or disappointed. They might not be blessed with children. Finding a “normal” executive job might be difficult. And, most of all, they would never be able to legally get married. Being gay meant living with a sense of rejection. And who would voluntarily jump up and down with his or her hand raised for that kind of life and treatment? It’s who they are.

Throughout history, various cultures have tried methods of teaching, medications, counseling and even hypnosis to reverse the desires of a gay person. Do these methods work? No. You cannot pray away the gay. Randy Fenoli from Say Yes to the Dress New York explained to me one evening at dinner, “Mollie, I was weaving together colorful pot holders with my mom, while my brothers were outside wrangling horses on the farm. I was always different.” This resonated with me then at age 10- and now.

So many of you desire to have a fun “gay guy friend.” You want a gay man to dress you, to help select fabulous shoes and to laugh at during your favorite television shows. You’ve had a gay man beautifully style your hair or apply make up for a special occasion. Has it ever occurred to you that this gay person, hidden underneath layers of humor and humility, wants and deserves a life that is secure and validated?

I have countless gay people in my life. And not to generalize, but my gay friends are sincere, witty, kind and understanding. Why? Because they’ve known a lifetime of adversity. My daughters have legally married gay Godfathers, because I couldn't ask for better people and servant-minded role models for my girls. 

One day, when I get to Heaven, all of God’s word and the manipulation of His word will be made clear. I do know that His greatest commandment is love. I choose love. The Supreme Court chose love. And guess what? #LoveWins today and always.