Between the Confederate flag controversy, and marriage equality for gay people, I feel like I have to start every post lately with “I am from the Deep South.” The reason is because my views on these issues don’t exactly align with the folks who I grew up with, and around. But that’s ok. Their perspective is what drives me on these topics.

For example, most people I know who oppose gay marriage (or gay anything) cite that being gay is a “lifestyle choice” and because it’s a “lifestyle choice” that they shouldn’t have the same rights as people who have no control over whether they’re straight or gay. Which always made me wonder whether the person saying this was actually gay. Because being gay is definitely not a choice for me. I couldn’t change the fact that I’m a heterosexual if I tried.

No, I’m pretty sure we’re all born one way or another. Sure, some folks might experiment as a way to find themselves in life, but eventually the truth shines through and we are what we are.

Therefore, if someone who says that being gay is “a choice” can’t actually choose to be gay, and they’re also not actually gay, then they have to agree that it’s not a choice. And so if being gay is not a choice, then not allowing two human beings who love each other to marry is a form of discrimination. Now you can try to justify your discrimination with religious beliefs (so inclusive, religion–don’t even get me started), dogma, ignorance, or whatever–but it’s still discrimination.

Do people get to choose their skin color? Do people get to choose how old they are? Do people who are in wheelchairs choose to be handicapped (ok, bad example–because I’m pretty sure 50% of the people parking in handicap spots at Wal Mart choose)? No. No. No. And we have laws in this country that protect people from being discriminated against because of these things. You see, in the USA we believe in freedom for all types of people. Not just your type of people. And we don’t take kindly to discrimination.

So if you’re against gay marriage, then you’re actually un-American. But here’s the beauty – you do have a choice in where you live. Maybe find a country where it’s ok to discriminate against people and move there. Just avoid Canada.



Jim Mitchem

How To End Racism
The Day I Became an Old Man

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.