As we draw close to Christmas, I thought it would be useful to look back over some events of the last year in the struggle for getting recognition for same-sex marriage in America. After all, Christmas is the second most important celebration in Christianity and since religion seems to be tied up in this discussion, at least on the surface, it seems an appropriate time.

It is interesting when both side in an argument claim to be on the moral high ground. But, when you look at the arguments of those who wish to prohibit same-sex marriage more closely there is precious little morality actually in them. Instead you find intolerance and discrimination. You find Catholic Cardinals likening gays to cockroaches, Popes spewing hyperbole and Presidents who deliberately use fear to achieve a political advantage. Where is the morality there?

Somehow the words “moral” and “family” when used in the name of an organization have become almost like the words “democratic republic of” and “people’s republic of” in the names of countries. The lose all meaning or worse mean exactly the opposite.

It is a telling fact that since the November election, attacks against LGBT individuals are up across the country. This is the message that has been sent to the country: that it is ok to hate and even attack those who are different. Is this really the kind of country that you want to live in?

For those who call themselves Christians, think about the positions that some of your leaders are taking. Even if you don’t agree with someone else’s life, it is still appropriate to respect that difference. Though they say they are trying to protect society and families their actions bely those words. The only thing their actions do is promote hate and intolerance.

Christmas is a time of optimism and outside of the US there are signs of hope. Belgium and the Netherlands already allow same-sex marriage and several others are close to it, most notably, Canada.

As Americans, let us make the words that we say mean something: freedom and liberty should be for everyone, not just a select few that pass a sniff test. As we head into 2005, let us reverse the trend of 2004 and truly bring the country together.

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