Choosing to be gay

“These consolidated cases challenge the constitutionality of Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage and its choice not to recognize same-sex marriages that are lawful in other states.”

 

It is saddening to report that Louisiana has decided, or chosen, to uphold a ban same-sex marriage.  Although, I no longer live in Louisiana, I still consider it my home.  To be honest, decisions like these are some of the reasons why I moved from Louisiana.

Last summer, while on the way home (to Louisiana) from Florida, my then boyfriend and I read the news report of the arrest of local gay men.  If you do not remember it, this is it. Basically, the local sheriff’s office was under fire, secondary to enforcing decade old anti-sodomy laws. However, they were STILL on the “books” and STILL being enforced.

I could easily discuss, at length, the injustice of the situation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. However, I want to focus on the personal impact it made on me, and the message it sends to Louisiana residents— both gay and straight.

My first thought was, I grew up in this place. I got my undergraduate and graduate degree from Louisiana State University, and I am unwanted. I have given this state, what some would consider, my best years, and they are clearly CHOOSING to send a message of hate, injustice, and discrimination.

My next thought was,” How does this affect the children of Louisiana?” What subconscious message is received by the future leaders? How can a state I so dearly admire, and so adequately served, forsake me?

I do not know the answer to that question, nor ever will. But I do know, one that hot July day in Florida, I did not want to cross the Louisiana state line. I also realized what it felt like to be discarded by way of a governmental policy, which so many people face daily. Messaged received, Baton Rouge. I was unwanted.

To react to the current court decision, the above quote is what is disturbing to me. There are many levels of discrimination at play, but a major one is the Louisiana government dictating my choices. A proponent of this decision may say, “You choose to be gay,” which is simply untrue. I had no choice in the matter. Believe me, I tried not to be.

I may choose to be married; but yet again, if I was in Louisiana that would not be an option.

However, Louisiana is choosing to be discriminatory. They are choosing to perpetuate and amplify hate among its citizens. Poor form, Louisiana. You are losing educated members of your community…by choice.

Therefore, I decided to leave the city I love, and the family members that are dear to me. I had to choose between a life spent fighting, and a life where I can have the choices to be with whomever I decide. I choose to be happy, yet I am saddened by having to make a choice. A losing day in Louisiana, it is my hope that your future is ever so bright, as you will always be my home.

 

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3 thoughts on “Choosing to be gay

  1. Well said Garrett! What is even more disturbing is that this latest decision was the FEDERAL district court siding with the discriminatory law in Louisiana. My first reaction upon reading the news this morning was of anger….as it seems yours was. But I quickly decided to be hopeful…as in, full of hope… not discouraged & not pessimistic… I am not only hopeful but I have FAITH….(def: belief in things unseen but believed to be true) so I ask you to remember 2 things…firstly, a Louisiana law does NOT define all of it’s citizens any more than one gay person defines EVERY gay person. We both know that there are many folks in this state who are not backwards thinking & many of us disagree with this law & secondly, any good fight is worth the struggle. The proponents of gay marriage have known that the bible belt will be a particularly difficult place to pass PRO gay marriage laws. Much of it is ignorance. Many people don’t understand gay people. As I’ve said before, what a difference a generation makes in forward thinking. My generation is an example when it comes to race…. your generation will be the difference maker with regard to marriage equality. You are LOVED and you are WANTED in Louisiana..don’t even think otherwise… the government is a non-feeling entity..it is a machine.. without a heart and most of the time without a brain. But I know that THIS TOO SHALL PASS & a time will come when you & your children & husband will be welcomed here & happy here. Love you! A citizen of Louisiana!

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