I rushed over to Kevin's after work on Tuesday. I needed to make a quick change out of my work clothes and into something casual and comfortable for our trek to Anaheim. We were meeting up with two of Kevin's friends who live down in Orange County. Amazingly enough, thanks to the carpool lane, we arrived in Anaheim in record time.
The opening act was Butterfly Boucher. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed most all of her music even though I hadn't heard of her prior to that night. Although, after a while her music began to all sound the same to me. Her music is a bit more edgy. As such, she was a great warm up act for Sarah McLachlan.
I must confess that I was concerned that I would be bored at the concert because I really haven't listened to Sarah's music all that much. So I thought. I don't own any of her CD's and I rarely listen to the stations that play her. Yet, it seems I actually knew more of her songs than I realized. The concert was wonderful. It was a complete sensory experience. The music, lights, cinematography, and set created a magical, mystical environment which complemented Sarah's voice and body movements. She's an incredibly talented woman with a down-to-earth persona. There weren't a bunch of wardrobe changes. She wore the same top and pair of jeans throughout. She talked about her music and what had motivated her to write some of the lyrics. She talked about the challenges of being a new mother and about her love for her husband. She created an intimate setting in a large venue. And, you could feel her gratitude towards the audience. She doesn't take her fans for granted. Most artists will return to perform one or two more songs for the encore. Sarah sang an additional six or more. I lost count. She has won me over as a fan.
The funny part of the night was that I have never seen so many lesbians in one place in all of my life. And, that says a lot considering I was in the Army. Heck, Kevin's friends that we went with were even a lesbian couple who are expecting their first baby. It was heartwarming to see the love and concern the non-pregnant one had for her wife. It got me to thinking about how ridiculous and unfair this marriage ban that Bush is pushing really is. Here is a couple who are having a baby. They will both raise that baby as their own. Yet, what rights will the non-birth mother have towards that child. I was telling Kevin that I would be afraid and would want some kind of leverage if I wasn't the birth mother. After all, people do break up and sometimes break ups get ugly. Even in "traditional" marriages, the children are used as pawns sometimes. Those couples can turn to the court system to help resolve conflicts on visitation and child support. Being that gays and lesbians aren't recognized by the law as being legally united, does that mean they don't have those same rights?
There's been a lot of talk about the marriage ban in J-Land. Some of it has been quite heated. It saddens me to see the polarization. Personally, I think the Bush Administration has been pushing it so strongly right now in order to take heat off of them regarding the Iraq fiasco and the 9/11 investigation. I don't expect someone who has strong religious beliefs to change their mind all that easily. Honestly, I don't expect them to approve of it at all. It's their perogative and right to have likes, dislikes, and what-not. However, if we are a democracy then we must find a way to put our personal beliefs to the side when it comes to the rights of another individual. Bush says that activists are trying to redefine traditional marriage like it means that all people will have to become homosexual under laws that incorporate the ability for gays to marry. That to me is just absurd. And, is why I felt compelled to discuss this here.
I think a lot of fears are born out of ignorance. I am grateful that I have been exposed to people from all different backgrounds. Gay men, lesbians, blacks, hispanics, immigrants from various countries, etc. I've known Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, etc. When I say know, I mean that they have been a part of my life. They have entered my heart. Once you actually know someone and they are part of your life, it's hard to fear them because they are no longer the unknown. You realize that in spite of your differences there is still much that is the same. In spite of skin color, religious beliefs, and sexual preferences, we all have the same basic wants and desires. To love and be loved. How can you hate that? How can you polarize a group and deny them rights based on their differences? I know I can't.