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Commentary: You might be a bigot if …

The word bigot<.i> is defined by merriam-webster.com as follows:

“a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

Members of the Religious Right and many Republican politicians who are vocal about their stand against same-gender marriage don’t like to be called bigots.

Take, for example, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who stated at CPAC on March 14, 2013:

“I respect people who disagree with me on certain things, but that means they have to respect me too. Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot.”

I don’t agree with him, mainly because of his voting record in the Senate and his “on the record” remarks against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and his opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

It used to be a bad thing to call someone a bigot. Much to my dismay, I’ve become acquainted with people who take the word “bigot” and wear it as a badge of honor. They are proud of their hatred and intolerance of the people they love to call “perverts.” No argument, no matter how much sugar you throw on it, will ever break through this sort of hatred and intolerance.

But what of the people who are just wrestling with the idea of same-gender marriage because of their faith? The folk who are kind-hearted and have gay and lesbian friends and family, and are simply torn between what their faith tells them and what their heart is telling them? Are they bigots?

Then again, if you go to the ballot box and cast your vote in favor of a ballot initiative and support legislation that would deny an entire class of people equal protection under the law, then I would suggest that you might just be a bigot.

I don’t call everyone who opposes same-gender marriage simply because they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman a bigot. However, if you vote against gay marriage, demonize gays and advocate discrimination, then I will call you a bigot in writing … and to your face.

Marriage is not a religious event. It can be, but … one can be married anywhere, by anyone as long as you have a license issued to you by the state in which you live. It does not have to be ordained by God to be legal. God doesn’t make it legal! The state makes it legal, which should put an end to any and all religious opposition to same-gender marriage. It won’t -– but it should.

I’ve been told that my calling someone a bigot for being a bigot actually makes me a bigot. Well, if calling someone who calls me a pervert and rails against my life a bigot makes me a bigot, then I might just be a bigot.

SDGLN Contributor Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.