Five states will now allow same-sex marriage. Appeals will stand as they are, as the Supreme Court ignored appeals to court rulings in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
That’s right—in Indiana. On June 25, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young declared that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling by denying a hearing of the appeals by Indiana and the four other states.
What’s on most people’s mind is probably that, though we are a private school, Goshen College resides within the state of Indiana and is affected by its decisions. What does this decision mean for us? But, I believe there is something equally important to examine: what are the comment sections saying?
On news articles, opinions articles and news briefs comments are saying that there is a wrong and a right way to live, there is only enough love for people on one side of this issue, there is clear-cut way to examine this issue and there is absolutely no way to coexist. These comments make this issue much larger than only the issue of same-sex marriage.
What’s worse is that these comments manifest themselves in actions. The bitter acts of ignoring those who we know are on opposing sides or speaking ill of those we disagree with create a community of distaste and distrust. Perhaps it hasn’t yet fully penetrated GC’s campus, but when the question is asked as to what this decision means for GC, animosity will begin to show.
Calling for dialogue is not the answer and neither is rehashing old discussions. But, the idea of treating others the way we want to be treated (or, more simply, the way that they, themselves want to be treated) does come to mind. At a school where one of our core values is compassionate peacemaking, we would do well to show some compassion and love to those on either side of the issue.
There is hurt and anger and resentment present. We see this through the yellow shirts made that spoke to bitterness and the perspectives articles last semester that spoke about fear. But, pushing that aside, there is also the common bond of not only being human beings, but of being GC students, faculty, staff and alumni.
What we have that the comment sections don’t have are personal connections to those we oppose. We live together, work together, study together and learn together, and therefore must be in community together.
Ultimately, the question we should be asking is how we can move forward with grace and love. This decision will affect us on some level, but we should be proactive in not letting it harm our relationships.