wikiHow to Learn to Accept a Gay Marriage

Three Methods:Learning to Embrace a Same-Sex MarriageDiscussing Same-Sex MarriageDealing Politely With a Same-Sex Marriage

Looking back over the course of history, there have been many changes in how marriage is viewed and defined. One of the biggest changes is very recent, with the gradual legalization of same-sex marriage. Even though it is slowly being legalized and accepted, there are many differences of opinions pertaining to same-sex marriage.[1] If you want to learn how to accept this change, whether because you want to be more open minded or you know someone entering a same-sex marriage, there are several ways to go about it. You can open your mind to same-sex marriages by doing work on your own to understand same-sex marriage and by discussing same-sex marriage with others, whether its to someone who is married to a same-sex partner or just to people who you trust and admire.

Method 1
Learning to Embrace a Same-Sex Marriage

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    Accept other people's personal choices. Don't transfer your personal opinions and beliefs onto same-sex couples. We all make choices for ourselves that others would disagree with. Just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean that it is wrong.
    • Everybody is different. As long is someone is content and satisfied with their choices, you shouldn't try to change them.
    • Remember that the choice to enter a same-sex marriage actually means that the people getting married are committing to creating a life together. This commitment will give them the added benefit of the economic and social support that comes along with marriage. In essence, they are making a good and sensible decision.[2]
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    Put yourself is a LGBT person's shoes. Well, not literally of course. The point is to try and think about the issue from another perspective. If you wanted to marry someone you loved and the state told you you couldn't, how would that feel? It would feel horrible.
    • This does not mean that you can ever really understand what it is like to be a lesbian or gay person if you are not. It simply means that you have to be willing to look at the issue from a perspective different than your own.
    • If two people love and care for each other enough to fight extreme social bias to express their love for each other, you should give them the credit of overcoming the obstacles that a good number of couples take for granted.
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    Recognize that happiness is what's most important. While you may not necessarily agree with same-sex marriage, if the couple is happy in their relationship then you should not pass judgment. A happy gay marriage is much healthier than a bitter, miserable opposite sex marriage.
    • As long as people are happy together, it shouldn't matter to you what sex they are, or whether their beliefs clash with yours.
    • Same-sex relationships can be even more successful than straight relationships. Fore example, studies are beginning to show that same-sex relationships usually include clearer and more direct communication, leading to a better ability to work through conflict.[3]
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    Accept that LGBT people are just as good parents as straight people are. Some people who oppose same-sex marriage argue that if people of the same sex are married they will want to raise children and that will hurt children. However, this argument is just not true. Scientific research has shown that the children of same-sex parents are on par with children raised in straight households.[4]
    • Research has shown that the things that impact children are their relationships with their parents, their parents competence, and the families economic stability. The sexual orientation of the parents does not impact the success of the child but the inability of parents to benefit from the financial benefits of marriage could negatively affect children. Thus, same-sex marriage could actually benefit the children of LGBT people.[5]

Method 2
Discussing Same-Sex Marriage

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    Discuss same-sex marriage with your loved ones and friends. Sometimes it is important to discuss your problems with others. It is good to get input from those that you love and respect. This will show you, if nothing else, that feelings about same-sex marriage are varied and complicated.
    • For example, ask your best friend or husband or wife how he or she feels about same-sex marriage. Say, "I am trying to accept a same-sex marriage. How would you deal with this?"
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    Have a conversation with other people who have worked to accept same-sex marriage. One place this might be possible is at a meeting of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).[6] PFLAG is an organization made up of straight people working to increase gay and lesbian rights. Many of its members, however, have not always been so accepting. They have had to work through problems accepting gays and lesbians and they may be able to help you do the same.
    • Don't be afraid of going to a PFLAG meeting even if you still have reservations about same-sex marriage. Remember, many of the people at the meeting were probably in your shoes some time ago and so they should be understanding about your struggles.
    • There are also online forums where you can discuss issues you are having with those who have also gone through them. One such forum is hosted by Empty Closets.[7]
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    Seek out other advice. Some issues we simply cannot work out on our own. If you want to accept a gay marriage but are struggling seek out the guidance of a counselor or a religious leader the is accepting of same-sex marriage. They will help you through the process and give you the time you need to work through your problem.
    • If you belong to a religious institution that does not accept same-sex marriage consider visiting with a religious leader from a different denomination or faith that does accept it.[8] They may have a different interpretation of religious texts that can help you accept both same-sex marriage and your religious faith.
    • Look for a therapist or counselor who is accepting of same-sex marriage. They can help you to process your feelings and come to terms with the issue.
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    Research same-sex marriage. If you don't, or can't, talk to anyone about this issue, then find information online or in books. Researching the subject will help you realize what the same-sex couple is going through, and it will give you the knowledge to support them, and maybe even yourself during this time.
    • Look for unbiased data on same-sex marriage. Because the issue is so political, there are a lot of websites out there with very biased information. Only take information seriously that comes from good sources. For example, the Pew Research Center is an organization that compiles scientific data from all over the US.[9]

Method 3
Dealing Politely With a Same-Sex Marriage

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    Don't interfere in the relationship. If you can't come to accept and embrace a same-sex marriage, it's important to at least learn how to be polite and nice about it. For instance, if you interfere too much and try to end the relationship, you can damage your relationship with those involved. Trying to make or influence the couple's decisions will simply cause arguments, friction, and pass you off as controlling and narrow minded.
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    Sit back and let whatever may happen, happen. You might not like the outcome, but it's not your life. Let the same-sex couple find happiness and faults by themselves. Don't try to teach them yourself. In fact, the success of the relationship may surprise you.
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    Choose your battles. Some methods for objecting to something you disagree with can do more harm than good. Don't charge in with no thought of the repercussions of your actions. You could make the situation worse.
    • For example, if the couple has children, you may feel that this is not an ideal environment for the children. But there is no way to change the situation after the fact, without causing the children far greater harm. A child who already knows and loves two parents of the same sex will not benefit in any way from being separated from one or both of them. This is a situation in which, even if the marriage ended, it would do more harm than good.
    • If your personal beliefs do not agree with same-sex relationships, don't pretend you agree but don't introduce or pursue the subject. As it's wrong to lie and put up masks with people, it's also not right to stir up trouble or pick at wounds. If you know that you are never going to totally be accepting of the marriage, then don't bring it up!
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    Try to be happy for the couple. Don't show them any hatred or disgust. Instead, show them love and open arms. This situation is probably hard enough to lay out on the table, so the couple will need all the support they can get. Do not sit in judgment of their actions, or feel you have to accept it.
    • Consider telling the couple, "I am so happy that your are happy." This doesn't bring your negative feelings about same-sex marriage into the conversation but is an honest expression of your feelings as well.
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    Stay away. If you can't find it in yourself to be supportive, stay away until you feel that you can be civil. This may mean staying away from a same-sex couple completely or just cooling off until you can control what comes out of your mouth.
    • If you are finding it hard to accept the marriage, it's a sensible idea to keep your distance until you do. Otherwise you may end up saying or doing something you will later regret. Give yourself the time and space to work on your problem without forcing it on the happy couple.

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Categories: LGBT Marriage