THE BLOG
04/03/2013 11:25 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Dear Opponents of Marriage Equality: Here's Why I Call You a Bigot

Dear typical opponent of marriage equality,

I can understand why you don't like being called a bigot. Nobody likes being called names. Because this seems to be a point of some confusion, I'd like to help you understand why I call you a bigot.

I'm not calling you a bigot for disagreeing with me (although that's one of your favorite arguments). I disagree with lots of people and don't think they are bigots. For example, I hate lasagna. I think it's one of the most disgusting foods known to man. My best friend loves lasagna. We can agree to disagree about lasagna, and it doesn't make either of us bigots. I'm not trying to prevent her from eating lasagna, and she's not trying to force me to eat it. We disagree, but we don't think that either of us should be subject to the other one's opinions.

I'm not calling you a bigot for being strong in your faith, or because you're Christian and I am not (although that's another one of your favorite arguments). I'm glad that you feel strongly about your religion; I know that I'm very proud of (and invested in) my Jewish heritage. That same Jewish heritage tells me that it's wrong to eat pork or shellfish, but I recognize that because we have separation of church and state in this country, I shouldn't try to make laws preventing you from eating bacon or lobster, because you don't necessarily believe the same things that I do.

Those are not the reasons I'm calling you a bigot. It's not that you disagree with me, and it's not that you're a proud Christian. The reason I call you a bigot, and the reason that we cannot politely agree to disagree, is that you are trying to make me, my life and my family subject to your opinion and/or religious belief.

What makes you a bigot is that you are trying to deny my family the legal protections that you claim for your own. Period. It really is that simple. You don't have to agree with homosexuality. You don't have to like it. I don't like lasagna, and I don't agree with eating pork and shellfish. But I don't try to outlaw lasagna, or pork or shellfish. See how this works?

If marriage equality becomes the law of the land, you still get to go home to your wife/husband and children, just the same way you could the previous day. Your life will not be negatively affected in any way. But if the reverse happens, I don't get to go home to a legally protected family. The outcome of this battle affects me in a personal, immediate and lasting way. You have no real skin in this game. Marriage equality will not harm you. Marriage inequality does harm me. You fight against something that has no direct effect on your life and has considerable effect upon mine. That too makes you a bigot.

One last thing: If being called a bigot bothers you so much, you are always free to stop being one. Otherwise, I'm going to continue to call you what you are. And what you are is a bigot.

Love,
Jess

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