Commentary: Put aside bias since 'we all bleed red'Much has been said about the proposed constitutional amendment limiting a person’s right to marry whomever they choose. I could re-trace some of the more popular arguments regarding freedom, privacy or the virtuousness that a committed relationship represents.
By: Steve Murphy, The Republican Eagle
Much has been said about the proposed constitutional amendment limiting a person’s right to marry whomever they choose. I could re-trace some of the more popular arguments regarding freedom, privacy or the virtuousness that a committed relationship represents.
Instead, I would like to confess that when I voted for the law establishing the “one-man/ one-woman” marriage law back in the ‘90s, I did it simply for political expediency. I did it to save my own hide, even though I knew it was wrong. I have regretted that vote ever since.
I, like many folks past 50, grew up in very tumultuous times. Korea, Vietnam; the assassinations of the Rev. M.L. King, President Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy; race riots, school integration; the atom bomb, violent protests, Kent State. It was an endless tempest of discord.
Regrettably, out of this I formed many deep-rooted biases and prejudices.
It took a stint in the United States Marine Corps to show me how wrong these feelings of bias, prejudice and hate actually were. We had all colors of Marines, many different faiths and yes, gays and lesbians
too. None of that mattered.
As one lieutenant would drill into our heads, (strong language removed) “The only thing that matters is what is in the heart of the Marine next to you! We all bleed red!” Sound advice whether you are a Marine or a civilian.
Several years after my enlistment, I received word that a Marine that had served in our platoon gave his life for our country and for the Marine next to him. He was gay. Not many people knew that fact, it was
in the years before “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” In those years, if the brass was aware of someone being gay, it was a quick trip out of the Marine Corps and probably with a “Less Than Honorable Discharge.”
Turning the clock forward 40 years and looking at today’s Marine Corps, you would find that they, as all branches of service, gladly accept openly gay men and women; and not just because they have to.
They have come to actually live by the creed that all people bleed red and it only matters what is in the heart.
Please vote “no” on the anti-marriage amendment in November.
Steve Murphy, of St. Paul and formerly of Red Wing, represented the region as Minnesota District 29 and then District 28 senator from 193-2010.