Rainbows Over Arkansas
My name is Ethan Hayes, I am 17 years old, and I am originally from Rogers, AR. I have moved around northwest Arkansas a few times here and there, but for the most part, I spent my time growing up in Rogers. I spent my whole school career in Rogers Public Schools, and ended up graduating this year from Rogers High School. I am now attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR studying business administration.
I spent most of my time growing up with divorced parents, switching back and forth between parents on a weekly basis. On one end is my adopted father, with his conservative outlook on life and his firm conservative beliefs. On the other is my biological mother, with her liberal outlook on life and her firm liberal beliefs. If you haven't found the hilarity in that these two people were once married, maybe it's my dark sense of humor - or you just had to have been there.
Although this situation was incredibly difficult to grow up in, it did allow me to see both sides of many arguments, including the same-sex marriage debate, and I believe it helped me establish some credibility in accurately discussing that particular subject matter.
Anyway, my mother is married to a woman I am happy to call "My Second Mother" named Michelle. Unfortunately, they had to flee to Iowa to get married, although they said they enjoyed their visit due to getting to experience a new atmosphere and getting a vacation out of it. I still remember the separate ring exchanges including the one at our home.
Their genuine enthusiasm and joy still brings a smile to my face when I think about those memories. As far as day-to-day life went from that point on, nothing significantly changed. Everything operated like it should have, and everyone was as happy as they had been any other day. This is a point I emphasize to people who oppose legalizing same-sex marriage. People, for some reason, think that if a piece of paper showing that a marriage is legally binding is given to a same-sex couple, it is somehow going to radicalize the lives of those who are not involved with any part of it. See the logic in that? Me neither. It's the same thing when it comes to same-sex couples and children. How for some reason, it's somehow going to brainwash those children into being "gay"?
The fact that this is both a political and a social issue, even an issue at all, is nonsense. It's simple. It only affects the people who choose to involve themselves. I know many people with gay parents and not only are they normal, smart, creative, and well-spoken individuals, but they are firm in their sexualities and that part of they're lives are not influenced by their parents (which typically are supportive of whoever they are or choose to be). I wish that people could just be more open-minded about the idea of same-sex marriage. It doesn't even matter what you believe in religiously or socially in this aspect. You are your own person. You choose your own actions. If you don't agree to take part in something, then you can choose not to take part in it. It doesn't mean you should stop someone else from doing what he or she wants to do with his or her life (so long as it doesn't affect the people who don't want to be involved).
In the case of same-sex marriage, only the people who consent are those who are involved. In the case of the children, as long as they are being raised up to their potential and supported indefinitely with whatever progressive decisions they should make, then it shouldn't be an issue. Plus, it just doesn't make sense that people who just want to be happy together can't be, due to preconceived notions and close-mindedness. It makes just as much sense as your favorite music genre being made illegal to listen to in private just because someone else doesn't like that genre of music. Specifically, I wish that Arkansas could stop being the unnecessarily precautious state and just go with the times and ride with the changes in society. I wish my parents could be happy and be proud to live in Arkansas and not ashamed of its close-minded backwardness. After all, isn't it better to work with each other than it is to work against?
As for the younger generations (including myself), I see promise in their changing beliefs and with them I believe change will come. However, it seems to be an issue with the older generations who just don't understand the logical solution in front of them. Now, let's make this a bit easier to understand for them old southern folk who "can't imagine two of the gays fornicating together". (No joke, I heard a man say that as he came out of a store in my own hometown.) If it ain't your crap, don't mess with it. If it ain't your gun, don't shoot. And certainly, if it ain't your truck, don't touch it (or you might pull back a bloody stump). I think those should be good translations, but I might need someone to double check, as my southern is a little rough. In simple, if it's not your life, don't live it for someone else. Enough said? I think so.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my viewpoint on this subject, and I hope that this can come of some use in your fight towards progress.