Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's Okay To Change Your Mind

Though it's not always easy to say so, especially in a large public forum, like a press conference when you're the mayor of San Diego and it's a controversial topic.

I don't know anything else about this man or his politics, just that he is a Republican and that he changed his mind about civil unions being good enough for gays and lesbians (which I think implies that they are not good enough for "the institution of marriage"). Because he is a mayor of a city with a council that's asking him to sign an amicus brief in favor of marriage being open to all, he had to announce his change of mind, or change of heart, before signing the amicus specifically because he'd taken the stance for years that he would not sign such a thing.

Mayor Sanders says that the main factor in changing his mind is knowing people who are gay or lesbians, and seeing that they are just as deserving of state recognition of their relationships as straight people (this is what can happen when people can't marry). Once again, this proves the studies that indicate that straight-identified people who know queer people tend to be more supportive of equal civil rights for the queer community. We seem to have grown past saying things like, "One of my closest friends is a lesbian and she's not like all the rest of those lesbians," though I don't think we can rely on the voters to vote in favor of social change because so many people don't think they know any queer people... but that's a different post.

I used to hate changing my mind. I craved certainty and the ease of acting in that, and as a result decisions were really hard for me to make. As a child, hell for me was Baskin-Robbins! I remember when I was a junior in college and was realizing that I didn't, after all, want to be a high school English/history teacher, my academic advisor told me that it was okay to change my mind - and that I rejected her advice. I changed my mind anyway but had I believed her it would have been much easier to do so.

Five years later I started to understand that the only constant is change, and the more I learn the more likely it is that I will change my mind about things. I can say "my thinking has evolved" but really that's a just a fancy way to say I've changed my mind. Mayor Sanders has my political gratitude for standing up for equality while being a member of a party that is famously not interested in equality, and my personal support for publicly changing his mind. He could have just signed it, but he's told us why and what changed his mind.

1 comment:

Saipan Writer said...

I'm going to have to stop reading your blog--one minute you've linked me to something that makes me laugh, and the next I'm checking out a story that makes me cry.

Great job!

Interesting post.