As a matter of fact, you most likely do know me personally. You and I have worked together. We have been bound together in family ties and we’ve worshiped together. We went to school together, grew up and played sports together. I won’t have to explain to you what it means to live and to struggle with the disease of alcoholism because you and I struggle together through recovery. And if we’ve never met face to face, you read my Facebook and blog posts. You know about my successful days and the days I’m relieved to leave behind. We’ve lived together.
North Carolina is voting today on a constitutional amendment designed to keep me and folks like me from making a legal, loving commitment to another person of same sex and calling it marriage. Minnesota is waiting in the wings.
I can recount for you hours of stories about the low heterosexual regard for marriage that I have sometimes witnessed as a pastor. We can debate various interpretations of scripture. We could together try to face our mutual fear of change, fear of life that seems to move too fast. None of that matters until you and I together confess that we do know each other.
Nobody can vote on this issue anymore without it getting personal because we do literally know each other. We all know people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and, if you know me, a trans woman. Forces that want to deny me this basic human right want to keep this argument on some larger cosmic scale. But when you pull the lever, when you mark the vote, I sincerely doubt you’ll be able to exercise your democratic responsibility without seeing my face or your child’s face or somebody else you would sacrifice for. The question is not some larger societal issue that feeds political bias and talking heads. It’s about you and me.