Thoughts on Marriage Equality From a Bible Thumper in the Deep South

Robin O’Bryant is an award-winning humor columnist and stay-at-home-mom to three daughters born within four years. She finally figured out where babies come from and got herself under control. Robin survives the hilarity of motherhood by making fun of herself in her weekly column, Robin’s Chicks and on her blog by the same name. Visit to learn helpful tips such as: how to breastfeed behind your back (only applies to lactating women with a DD cup or larger), how to talk to your daughters about man parts, and how to write a proper gold fish obituary.  She tweets compulsively as @robinobryant.
The following article was posted on her blog Robin’s Chicks and I wanted to share it with you guys.  With people like Robin, I think the South will eventually change, though change will be slow.  Tell me what you guys think.

Marriage Equality: I Can’t Be Switzerland Anymore

My Facebook feed is worse than it is during football season right now. Lots of indignation and passion and red signs for equality, lots of red crosses– which oddly confuses me because I don’t know if those people are against same sex marriage or just pro-Jesus or what? 
I don’t want to write this post. I want to be Switzerland. I want to keep my mouth shut. But I made myself a promise– I promised that I wasn’t going to hold back anymore. That I wouldn’t let fear of what other people think of me, keep me from speaking my truth.
I don’t WANT to be controversial, but here is the thing: I have gay friends. Good friends. People I love.  And if I was sitting at a table eating lunch with one of them and you walked up to them and started saying things like, “You are disgusting. God is disgusted by you. You shouldn’t be able to be next of kin for your partner. You don’t deserve to be a parent. A child would be better off in foster care than being raised by you.” 
If you were saying these things, to one of my friends? To their face?? I daresay that I would STAND up from the table, take my earrings off and tell you where to step off.
Maybe you don’t have any gay friends. Maybe you don’t know anyone who lives a lifestyle a little different from yours. That lifestyle might not be the same as yours in one significant way, but I’m willing to bet my bootie and the booties of all the booties that MUCH of that person’s life IS the same as yours. Because, you know, it’s a human life. They have a story and a family and struggles just like you.  And maybe, just maybe, if you got to know someone who is a little different from you, instead of labeling them, you’d start to see how beautiful, vulnerable and human they are, too. 
So here’s the thing. I know this isn’t going to win me any cool points– especially in the South– but I’m not going to sit at the table while people yell stuff at my friends and not say anything. Lately, I’ve found that I’m having a hard time making eye contact with them because I’ve been sitting on my hands saying nothing. 
I don’t believe same-sex marriages are a threat to my marriage. I believe same-sex couples can and do raise healthy, happy and beautiful children. Sometimes even better than heterosexual couples and INFINITELY better than the foster care system can.
And y’all know I am a Bible thumper, right? I sort of came out of the Jesus closet here in the last few months and promised you and myself that I wouldn’t hold back anymore– so here’s the thing– WHO CARES!? I get it. I know what the Bible says, and even if that’s what you believe WHY would you spend so much time fighting against something you disagree with instead of fighting FOR something you are passionate about? 
Last time I checked there were still a ton of kids in this country and all over the world who are starving and orphaned. People are still homeless. There are people hurting in our communities, people who need to be loved unconditionally, who need a friend. And sadly, for the church, a lot of those people are in the gay community because the church as a whole has made it CLEAR that they aren’t welcome or wanted here unless they repent. 
And all I’m saying is, I’m really glad that’s not how Jesus loves me.  
We need to remind ourselves that this issue isn’t being put before the church. It’s being put before the Supreme Court and I, for one, am thankful that our country was founded in a way that how someone else feels or believes, doesn’t affect my right to live my life the way I choose. 
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” In my Bible that’s in red print ’cause Jesus said it and I want to be like Him.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

4 responses to “Thoughts on Marriage Equality From a Bible Thumper in the Deep South

Thank you for commenting. I always want to know what you have to say. However, I have a few rules: 1. Always be kind and considerate to others. 2. Do not degrade other people's way of thinking. 3. I have the right to refuse or remove any comment I deem inappropriate. 4. If you comment on a post that was published over 14 days ago, it will not post immediately. Those comments are set for moderation. If it doesn't break the above rules, it will post.

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