A Study in Hatred

My home state of Maine yesterday made a tremendous step in the furtherance of equality for all.  It was not as big a step as manyof us might have hoped for, but it was significant none the less.

Imagine my dismay when I logged into my Facebook account to find the following message in my inbox:

Subject: Gay Marriage is stupid

November 4 at 9:12pm Report
It is a can of worms we dont even want to open eg Health insurance!! I resent you dikes and faggots parading yourselves in front of our children! We tried tyo be nice to you but you just wont shut the fuck UP!

I responded, I think, calmly:

Shannara Gillman November 4 at 9:22pm
While I admire firmly held beliefs I have no patience for hateful attacks. You will be reported to facebook for your inappropriate use of this forum. And on a side note, when leaping into the intellectual fray it pays to have your facts straight. I am neither a dyke nor a faggot, although I count many of both among my friends. I am a straight mother who is committed to teaching her children love and acceptance are family values, not hatred and ignorance.

I have removed the individuals name as I have no desire to perpetuate a cycle of hatred. I do not know this person. We have no friends in common. This was a hate based attack by someone from another state who has no idea who I am or what life I lead. I am unsure how this person came to find me or how they determined my stance on gay marriage. I’m not sure that matters.

But this attack is nothing compared to the attacks our gay family,friends and neighbors face on a daily basis. There was no threat of violence here. It will not impact my life beyond the minor irritation and frustration. I have gotten off easy.

But my friends and family wo are gay do not often get off so easy. And this is why it is so vitally important to continue to talk about, think about and fight for equality for all people. It is not just a concept, not just an idea. It has an impact on people’s lives. On all of our lives. Because until we are all free to live and love how we choose, none of us are free.

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