Why interracial (and intercultural) marriage is WAY different than gay rights

I was on facebook the other day and saw these pictures used as a defense for gay marriage:

“In 40 years those who oppose(d) gay marriage will just look silly.” (paraphrased)

This post is not designed to defend or deny gay marriage, but this one was and I wholly agreed with it.  No, this post is to make the previous photo comparison look silly.

Note, before we begin, there are a few foundational basics you should know about me.  1. I’m Catholic.  2. I’m the second half of a very stable and loving biracial marriage. 3. I have gay extended family members and friends that I love very much. 4. I have biracial children who I also love very much and 5. I like to write in lists:

1. Gay marriage cannot produce children

Biracial babies are awesome.  Not only do they blend colors, factions, body types and sizes, but as all parents know they create inside of mom and dad a love that intesifies the husband wife relationship.  Yes, my wife taught me how to give myself entirely, mimicking God’s sacrifice to His wife, the Church, but the fruition of our love in our kids magnified our dependence on each other.  This love in its most natural, creative essence, has bonded us to God (since God is love) in a much more profound way than our sacramental union.

Gay marriage cannot produce this phenomenon.  Only a portion can be had through adoption or artificial insemination.  In each case, a biological parent is absent which as studies show isn’t the healthiest way for children to grow up. Granted, I know of many cases where having an absent parent is necessary for the well-being of the children, but even then the problems incurred by such an absence are undeniably present.

2. Interracial marriages make for good listeners (this one is more of a similarity than a difference)

I’ve told many people over the course of my married life to my Spanish speaking wife that falling in love with someone who speaks a different language is a great starting block for love longevity.  Why? Because when your significant other speaks (accent and all) you truly have to listen.  There is no ignoring in a bilingual relationship, just a lot of poor translations.  That means both need to interpret not only each other’s words, but what the other thinks their meaning is.

Beyond language, the acceptance (or sometimes the lack of it) of the minority race in the couple’s community can be just as important to the relationship.  A lot of time, the minority in the relationship receives the poorest treatment and the other must learn to accept the racism that surrounds them.  It then becomes the job of the majority to comfort the minority.  It also becomes the job of both to educate their children to love their enemies, which can be quite difficult.

Gay couples have a lot in common here.  While I am sure they turn into great listeners because of the amount of prejudice against them, they are fighting an endless battle with a loss of comfort on both sides.  When one member of an interracial couple suffers, the other is there to comfort as a distinct member of the opposite culture.  They are then able to educate their children in a bicultural environment by blending the best of both. Gay couples, on the other hand, both suffer because both parties are segregated against.  Children of gay couples then have a difficult education, one even more subject to spite than that of interracial children.

I’m not saying this is impossible  In fact, diamonds are created by great pressure. Take this video, for example.  To add, my second cousins who were raised by two mothers are also stand up individuals who I love very much.  Remember, my goal in this post is to make the distinction between gay and interracial relationships and not to prove or disprove the morality of either.

3. Gay rights are taboo in more lands than interracial mixing

The amount of people that are against gay marriage amount to more than those who are racist.  This is where the pictures come in.  The main reason why people oppose interracial marriage is because of ignorance and fear of a culture that is different from their own. The main reasons why people oppose gay marriage is because of ignorance and fear of a culture that is different from their own AND it goes against the natural order of procreation.  While racism still exists (and it has been institutionalized for a while now), keeping marriage defined as the sacred union between man and woman exists on a much larger scale.  Globally, people have learned to accept, even love people from other cultures because it is natural to do so.  However, people continue to refuse gay marriage and as a result, they also refuse to love gay people all together, which is the biggest disappointment of all.

4. Love is not defined by sexual attraction

I love my mexican soulmate and my tan-tinted kin more than life itself, but I don’t love them because of anything that I have done to deserve them.  No, I love them because I loved God first.  It wasn’t until I became “besties” with Jesus that He introduced me to my soulmate.  Sadly, I believe that most people, gay and straight, search for love without God in the same way our governments search for peace and justice without Him.  We are slaves to our passions until we become slaves for God and, until we make that distinction, we call love what it is not. We define it with our own definitions as opposed to His.

5. The Catholic Church is cool with interracial marriage and gay people, just not gay marriage

“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

~Catechism of the Catholic Church p. 2358

6. One Final Note

In any relationship, the sacrifice of  personal desires is the fuel that fires the marriage machine.  As a spouse in an interracial marriage celebrated by the Catholic Church, I feel blessed to have been placed into this particular vocation.  Granted, it has its share of crosses to bear, but through this lesson of love I’ve come to understand the meaning of The Teacher’s words:

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11: 29-30

To gay people in the world, while I surely will never be able to understand your tendencies, I know that our struggles are similar and yet very different at the same time.  If the Church that was founded by Christ told me that I was unable to marry my wife because she was of a different race, I question whether or not I would be obedient.  But that is what makes interracial marriage and gay rights so different; I need not question my relationship.  My cross, although it is similar in size to those of gay people, is much lighter.  This means that gay people have a much better opportunity of becoming Saints than I do, for they have a lot more sacrifice to make.

The answer to both situations is God, the author of love, who has a specific chapter written for each of us in regard to how we should bear our crosses. At the end of the story, we can all be found crossing the finish line in perfection together, but only if we are able to leave behind that what keeps us from coming closer to Him.  His is true union.  His is true love.  Everything else is His icing on the celestial cake which we get to spend an eternity eating and a mere lifetime longing for.

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