February 14, 2007

Understand the Opposition

That is some very sage advice offered in a column in The Minnesota Daily, the student newspaper at the University of Minnesota (the U for those in the Twin Cities).

Progress cannot be made until people are willing to listen to each other. For this year's National Freedom to Marry Day you are all encouraged to divorce your emotions regarding this extraordinarily divisive issue in order to understand the perceived "opposition." For those who support marriage rights for all consenting individuals, try to understand the foundations of the convictions of those who disagree with you and learn how you might dispel those predispositions. For those who would seek to strictly define the legality and the validity of a couple in the name of God or for the sake of "family values," question your convictions and test your faith.

Your values as a spiritual person can only become stronger by testing what you believe. All you need to do is sit down and ask yourself how you can truly serve God and what in your life is truly at risk.

I believe it is a good thing to engage people in discussion who might not agree with your views. Many opponents of GLBT equality do all they can to stiffle such discussion. The only time I'm not comfortable discussing an issue with someone is if I'm not confident that my views will really hold up under scrutiny.

So what are many right-wingers afraid of? In my opinion, they fear being proven wrong, something the GLBT community and its allies are gradually accomplishing.

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