marriage equality

Love and Liberty for All: The United States of Gaymerica

 

This week I wanted to write about the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage. Many people predicted the decision would come Thursday morning. I, like the rest of gay America, waited with baited breath for the decision.

I also waited to write my weekly blog, anticipating the outcome. This morning the Supreme Court announced it ruled 5-4 that marriage is a right for all US citizens. It is a huge victory. Every state in the USA must allow and recognize all same-sex couples have the right to get married.

The news is still sinking in. Today is a historic day we will remember and talk about for the rest of our lives. There’s a line from a country song that comes to mind, “If you don’t love it, leave it.” That line takes on a new meaning today. I like the sound of it even more.

The fate of gay couples across America was in the hands of the 9 Supreme Court Justices. And today the court guaranteed them the right to marry.

The attitudes towards the LGBTQ community have changed enormously since the first state legalized marriage way back in 2004. And now 11 years later, every US citizen in every state has a right to marry, gay or straight.

Last night, The Paisley Fields played a set at the Queer Music Festival in the West Village. The West Village is considered one of the birthplaces of the gay rights movement. Just down the street from the show, the Stonewall Riots took place 46 years ago.

With Nick Deutsch last night, another performer at the Queer Music Festival. 

With Nick Deutsch last night, another performer at the Queer Music Festival. 

I awoke yesterday morning hoping our performance would also be a celebration of victory from the Supreme Court ruling. Still, we waited.

I spoke about the SCOTUS decision from the stage. When I announced the next song was dedicated to my husband, whom I married in NYC, cheers erupted from the audience. I was surprised and humbled by the outpouring of support.

I’ve spent most of my life feeling like an outsider. Last night, I was overwhelmed by the warmth we received from friends and new faces in the crowd. They cheered the band on and sang along with our songs. It was a phenomenal night and a great show.

It’s time for people in this country to realize LGBTQ people are human beings, who deserve to be treated as such. We deserve equality, and we deserve respect.

I am elated the court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Not because of any political bullshit, but simply because we deserve equality.

NYC Pride is this weekend. Let’s celebrate this victory, celebrate life and love each other. It’s been a long road, but today we took a huge step in the right direction, thanks to the decision handed down from our Supreme Court Justices. I want to wish all of you a happy and safe pride.

The Paisley Fields’ song “Windows Fogged Up In Your Pickup Truck” is the love song I wrote for my husband. Download it exclusively through bandcamp: https://thepaisleyfields.bandcamp.com and watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4Gy0q07fyA

God Bless Gaymerica!

It’s Time to End the Gays vs. Christians Mentality

Book of Samuel 

Book of Samuel 

The Catholic Church is not known as being very accepting of its LGBTQ members. However, Pope Francis has slowly cracked those church doors open to accept all of God’s people.  

I grew up in the Catholic Church. I served as an altar boy. My first job playing music was as the church pianist and assistant music director. My faith and my sexuality are integral parts of me. 

From when I was baptized until I graduated high school, I went to church every Sunday. My parents are devout Catholics. We also attended every holy day mass, Wednesday evening Catechism and attended church while on vacation.

There seems to be a lot of talk about gays vs. Christians in our culture. With all this talk, you would think I heard this pretty regularly in church. Funny enough, I can remember only one time homosexuality was mentioned. A visiting priest who nobody liked suggested that homosexuality was a sin during his homily. That was it.

I never felt unwelcomed or unaccepted at church. It was quite the opposite. As the church pianist, the whole congregation knew me and treated me with respect. I’m sure some people there had a problem with gay people, but I never encountered that there. Most of the homophobia I faced happened in school or socially.

So where does this gay vs. Christians mentality come from? Some argue judging gay people is “loving the sinner, hating the sin.” That is bullshit. By announcing to the world you love gay people, but don’t love their “lifestyle choices” you are missing the point. It is not a “lifestyle choice” for me. This is the way I was born. You are also suggesting you are a better Christian because you were born straight. And you seem to be stating you are a better human being. So because I am gay, I am not a good Christian or human being? As you can imagine, that is incredibly hurtful to hear.

"She's No Angel" is a song I wrote and recorded with my band. It's about a homophobic girl I went to school with who claimed to be a good Christian. Download the song here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/shes-no-angel-single/id905377774

"She's No Angel" is a song I wrote and recorded with my band. It's about a homophobic girl I went to school with who claimed to be a good Christian. Download the song here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/shes-no-angel-single/id905377774

Some people point to excerpts from the Bible to validate their homophobia. In a previous post, I said gay marriage is mentioned nowhere in the Bible. I appear to be wrong. There is a gay love story in the book of Samuel. I’ve included some excerpts from the story of King David and Jonathan, but I encourage you to read the entire thing. I’ve taken these direct quotes from the book of Samuel, Chapters 18-20:

“Jonathan had become fond of David as if his life depended on him.”

“Jonathan entered into a bond with David because he loved him as himself.”

“And in his love for David, Jonathan renewed his oath to him, because he loved him as himself.”

“They kissed each other and wept aloud together. At length Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, in keeping with what we two have sworn by the name of the Lord: ‘The Lord shall be between you and me, and between your posterity and mine forever.’ ”

This story sounds to me like a couple of dudes loved each other and got married. I’m not trying to use the Bible as a weapon. I am quoting these verses to illustrate a point. There are many interpretations of the Bible. I interpret it to say that we should love one another, whether you are a man loving another man, a man loving a woman, or a woman loving a woman. There are many permutations of love, as this passage clearly shows us.

So we need to end the idea that it is gays vs. Christians. One of the cornerstones of the Christian faith is Jesus. One of Jesus’ main teachings was to love one another. When you treat people with love, you don’t judge them because they love someone of the same sex. If you do, you are the one who isn’t acting like a Christian. 

Expressing your opposition to marriage equality is upsetting to members of the LGBTQ community. If you believe it’s ok to hurt other people, then again it is you who is acting in opposition of Jesus’ teachings. If a core belief opposes the religion you claim to be affiliated with, you need to make a choice. Either you’re a Christian, or you’re anti-gay. You can’t have it both ways.

By making anti-gay comments, you are committing a sin. You are simultaneously breaking two of the 10 commandments: don’t judge and love your neighbor. 

The gay community needs to realize these people attacking us are not truly Christians. They may say they are, but talk is cheap.

We are not opposed to Christians. A true Christian loves and accepts us. Accepts, not tolerates. A true Christian would not judge us or say hurtful things.

These homophobes aren’t Christians. They’re just bigots, who are grasping at straws to try and justify their hatred.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the subject. Share your views in the comment section below, email me at jameswilsonmusic @ gmail . com (no spaces), or get the conversation going with family and friends.