I remember in my early years of school learning about absolute numbers: where positive three and negative three have the same value on the number line. While the numbers are in opposite directions, they both have the same value, carry the same weight and are of equal importance. In fact, there can be no true balance and equality on the number line if both numbers, positive and negative three, are not recognized.
Love is this way for me. Love is an absolute number. While different loves are different, as negative three is different than positive, they are indeed of equal value, equal weight and equal importance. This strikes me as logical. The one who said it best, of course, is Lou Reed. "... And no kinds of love are better than others." Amen.
As a heterosexual woman raised in a Roman Catholic family and holding a penchant for most things libertarian, I believe this fully and it is one of the tenets by which I run my life. The reason for my belief is that love is one of the most, if not THE most, powerful tools to build the human race and aid in sustaining our planet. Nothing will destroy both faster than hate. Thus, I want to foster and empower love in any way I can. When I see kindness, love and giving to animals, I say, " Yes, and thank you" to those caring for part of life on earth. When I experience my family supporting each other I say, "Yes, and thank you" for making the ties that bind stronger and for building generations to come. When I have the chance to help friends, I say, "Yes, and thank you" for the chance to be a part of their lives and strengthen our connection. When I see heterosexual couples coming together in marriage to solidify what they already know and move forward as a positive force, I say, "Yes, and thank you" for being an example of love for others. And when I see same-sex couples in Illinois coming together in union and not being recognized and allowed the same legal rights, I say, "What the?!?"
As a society, do we really want to work against ourselves like that? Do we really want to bring down the potential for building our most powerful tool? Do we really want to insult what we all believe in, regardless of sexual orientation or religion, that the United States is a place of freedom and equality? If restraining love's full potential is seen by some as a strategy for strength, that logic seems flawed to me. To quote another gem, this one sung by Solomon Burke, "One of us is chained, none of us is free."
If you think as I do, that equal rights and protection is what we do here for our citizens in the United States -- or strive to at any rate -- then you will be interested in the Oct. 22 March on Springfield for Marriage Equality. The march is a key part of the statewide strategy to win marriage equality in Illinois by showing support for SB10, the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act" and calling upon the Illinois House to vote "yes" to marriage equality. Tuesday, Oct. 22 is the beginning of the fall veto session, a keen and strategic time for a March, which needs all the participants of any orientation it can get to show support.
"We are making exponential strides towards Marriage Equality in Illinois. However, to be a truly effective and lasting social movement, the LGBT community and their supporters must absolutely reach out to and include all communities across Illinois so they feel ownership for Marriage Equality also," Raymond A. López, Democratic Committeeman, stated to me by email.
The rally is mid-day so people from all corners of the state can get to Springfield, rally, and get home in just one day. If you can't drive, travel information is available on the website. March Captains all over the state are organizing carpools and buses. Churches, community groups, schools and businesses are coordinating travel.
"We must rise up, not waiver but show Springfield that the IL LGBT Community must have marriage equality. I think it's very embarrassing in the Land of Lincoln and Obama we still don't have equality. Let my people be and have the freedom to love and marry who they wish," argued famed Chef to the stars, Art Smith.
In agreement, Tracy Baim, publisher of Windy City Times, also commented by email. "Love is Love, and in Illinois everyone should be treated equally."
If that doesn't sound like the most logical statement for Illinois and all the other States that haven't yet legalized marriage equality, I don't know what does. I hope you will join us.
March on Springfield for Marriage Equality
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013
12 - 1 p.m.: Entertainment
1 - 2:30 p.m.: Rally
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.: March around Capitol
To learn more, visit www.marchonspringfield.org.