complex simplicity

We are always living through something historic, aren’t we?  Every decade, every generation is marked by something that will make the history books be it economical, political, cultural, technological, whatever.

I wish I had first-hand accounts of what my grandparents were thinking as the Civil Rights movement blasted through the nation.  Or my what my parents were thinking during the race riots of the 90’s sparked by the Rodney King verdict.

What went through my grandmothers’ thoughts as my grandfathers were off in other countries fight wars.  What did they think of those wars? What did my parents think of the Vietnam conflict and how my dad ended up not getting drafted?

What about the Regan administration and the War on Drugs and Women’s Suffrage movement and…and…and…

What if my family, my ancestors were story-tellers?

They weren’t.  But I am.  And I am constantly living through history too, and while I have no way of knowing what my boys will wish they knew, I can do my best to give my thoughts and feelings about certain things that are important to me.

I’ve got thoughts on loads of things, which is why I write over at Borderless News and Views. But there are some things that feel personal.  And this is my personal space for personal things.


So…gay marriage.  That’s a thing right now.  (I suck at transitions sometimes, #SorryNotSorry.)

I’ve been turning it over quite a bit in my head and read some really eloquent posts and wondered if I should even bother with the topic because others have said it so much better.  Some had statistics and a political feel, some had a beautiful, human feel.  Why should I even try?

Because it’s important.

I feel in my heart it’s not “if” but “when”.  I just know that when my boys are teenagers they will hear about this time and ask, “what was the big deal?  How is it not obvious?”

And to that I can only say I don’t know either.

To me, it’s not a question.  We are talking about human beings and giving them civil rights.

We aren’t talking about taking rights from straight people or “traditionally” married people.  We aren’t talking about what is a sin and what isn’t.  We aren’t telling anyone how to live their life.

It’s a simple matter of letting people who have been discriminated against NOT be discriminated against.

Or at least it should be that simple.

But it is not that simple, is it?  People muck it up with complications.  Complications that are, in their hearts, legitimate.  Complications that come from fear.

This entire thing is about fear.

Some people say it will threaten “traditional marriage”.  If “traditional marriage” is the marriage between one man and one woman, I think “traditional marriage” is threatening itself enough, Gay marriage doesn’t need to help with that.  “The Gays” are not making straight people cheat on each other or get divorced after less than 48 hours of marriage or put their kids through crap while they bad-mouth each other in the process of shitty divorces or…well..yeah.  You get it. “Traditional Marriage” and “Gay Marriage” really have nothing to do with each other.

Some people say being gay is a “sin”.  I really don’t know about this.  I don’t believe God originally intended for their to be “homosexual,” but maybe he did.  I mean, I do believe people are born how they are and that we are all born without sin.  So there you go.  But that is just my belief.  It doesn’t matter what my belief is. I could think being gay was a worse sin than murdering all the puppies in Idaho and I would still think they should be allowed to get married.  I mean, I believe jealousy and lying are sins and I fall under both of those categories, yet I was allowed to marry another jealous liar.  So this point seems to be moot to me.

(and don’t get me started on how The Gays shouldn’t be allowed to be parents.  That is both of the above arguments folded into each other with a side of this look: O_o )

Some people are afraid that letting The Gays marry will mean people will want to marry a horse next.  I don’t even know where to go with that.  How do you take two consenting adult males pledging to spend the rest of their lives together and turn it into the lady next door marrying her cat?  I mean really.

Some people are afraid this means we are making churches be Okay with The Gay.  But churches don’t have to perform these marriages.  There is nothing that says, for instance, that the Reformed Church of America has to suddenly make all their ministers perform gay marriages.  Nope.  It means if churches want to do them, they can, but that my friends Mark and Fred can go to the courthouse and get a legit marriage.  No church necessary.

Really I just needed to stop at”some people are afraid.”

That is really what this is about.

I have both gay and lesbian friends.  Spending time with them did not rub “gay” onto me.  I’m still as hetero as they come (which Cort is thankful for, I am sure).

I feel like this is leading to a very cheesy “They’re Just Like You and Me” type message.  Sorry.

My point is I have gay friends. I have gay family.  I have gay students.  I have kids who might be gay (or not) or have gay friends or  inherit more gay family or…or…the point is: gay is here to stay.

Treating them like they are somehow not the same as us is, well, it’s ridiculous. It’s out of style. Seriously.  It went out decades ago when the United States had to tell people that black people (or other races) were not less than anyone else.

These should not even be laws we need to pass (like “allowing” interracial marriage. I mean really? That had to be “allowed”?)   These are not things we should have to say.

People are people.

If you give civil human rights to some, you have to give those same civil human rights to all.

It’s really quite simple.

Wearing read for #MarriageEquality.

Wearing read for #MarriageEquality.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Amen! Exactly. I don’t understand what they big hullabaloo is about either. I never have. I remember writing my first letter to the editor when I was 15 because Oregon was trying to pass a constitutional amendment against gay married. I was pissed & I couldn’t vote yet. Sadly, it passed. I still don’t know how. Hopefully it will change.

  2. Yep. I want to write about it, too, I just keep thinking, what the heck? Why do I have to? And I don’t, but I will. Because I should. I guess.

    Anyway – thanks for sharing. It’s personal and raw and real. And it’s you, my friend. ;>

  3. I think this is a great post. And I think you hit the nail on the head with “Complications that come from fear.” That is all this is really about. People are afraid.

    I too have friends that are gay, and I have watched them be turned down for insurance, turned away at emergency rooms (the police we nearly needed that night) and outcast from their friends and family… in this country we call “free.”

    My God told me not to judge, and to “Love Thy Neighbor”… who am I to tell someone who they can and can not love? That is not for me to decide.

  4. You said everything I think, so yeah, what you said.

  5. Well said! My brother is gay. He came out his freshman year of high school. He is 41 right now. He has had a few serious relationships but none recently. If and when he finds the right man to love forever and if he wants to marry, I hope he is allowed to. It’s the live in our hearts that matter not the gender of the couple. I honestly can not be friends with people who do not share my beliefs on gay marriage and equality. I hope that doesn’t come off as me being closed minded but it means that muh to me. Thank you my friend for believing in the love that any gay, lesbian or straight coupe has for each other!

  6. Great post, Katie. I agree with you and hope that there will be an end in sight and that EVERYONE will be able to marry who they want!

  7. you always say it so well, with heart, with intellect, with a no *B**llsh**t attitude. I admire that about you very much.
    this was incredibly thoughtful and true.

  8. I hate to say it, but, ultimately, I think it’s that people are eeeked out by buttsex. Or something like that.

    In the early part of the 20th century, there were pillars of the community who argued that society would melt if women were allowed to vote. George Wallace built a political career on a tenet that people of a different color are, somehow, inferior to people of another color.

    Society changes, people see that many of the norms that were established were established with a specific agenda in mind, and those norms change. Homosexuality will be seen, in time, as no different than race or sex — something individual to a single person, that the person can do nothing to change, and should not attribute to how society treats that person.

    It’s as simple as that – it just sucks that there’s so much hate preventing others from seeing that this change is not only happening, but that it needs to happen.

  9. Fear and a lack of understanding are powerful deterrents to acceptance and love. Well posted, my friend.

  10. i love how you framed this post: you’re not writing about it because it’s trendy, but because you want to fill in missing pieces your kids will have someday. I just think that is awesome.So there’s that.

    Second, I just loved the post. Probably because I just agree with everything you said. Complications are based on fear. And they’re mucking things up.How and why do we care about other people’s private business so much? Is it not enough to just say: they are human, too.


  11. Yes ma’am. It is totally about fear and it is quite ridiculous.

  12. I thought you said it beautifully. Better than I could have said it. My mom and I were just having this conversation the other day and she totally went into the “Well, what’s next? Are we going to be fighting to marry dogs?” I don’t get that. Like, at all. I had to remind her that one day the two grandsons she loves more than life itself could come to her and tell her they are gay… She didn’t have words for that one…