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Love is love. Period. Deal with it.

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I am writing this on February 14th, Valentine's Day, when people in many parts of the world celebrate the phenomenon of love.

Sadly, in most parts of the world, some couples' love is still regarded as less genuine, less real, and less acceptable than others'. These days, same-sex couples are probably the hardest hit by this ridiculous double standard.

If a man can fall in love with a woman, why can't a woman fall in love with a woman? If a woman can fall in love with a man, why can't another man do the same? It's no less natural than heterosexual attraction, as clearly evidenced by the widespread occurrence of homosexual behavior in animals.

Some folks argue that same-sex couples cannot reproduce, as if that makes a reasonable case against same-sex unions. By that standard, though, should we not also criticize unions between elderly couples, or between sterile couples, who also cannot reproduce? Should your grandmother die lonely just because she can no longer bear children?

Some folks argue (ignorantly) that the "gay lifestyle" is all about risky promiscuous behavior. However, I know a number of gay couples who have enjoyed strong, committed relationships that have lasted much longer than my own heterosexual ex-marriage. (And I know some astoundingly promiscuous heterosexuals.)

And, of course, the gays are not lurking behind every tree, waiting to "convert" your children.
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The more arguments the homophobes throw out there to try to justify their irrational fear, the sillier it all seems.

It boils down to this: If you are not comfortable with another person's sexual choices, then don't make those same choices for yourself. But don't deny another person the right to love and companionship. And don't worry about what they may or may not be doing in the bedroom. It is not about you. It is none of your business.

Love is something to be celebrated, not judged by strangers.

Perhaps James Carville said it best: "I was against gay marriage until I found out I didn't have to have one."

Or maybe Jesus said it best: "Judge not, lest ye be judged."


Happy Valentine's Day to all.
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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)

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