I have very close friends that I disagree with… a lot… about very important things.
I have very close friends that I disagree with a lot, but I know that they are good, kind people who want nothing more than fairness, freedom and equality for all people. Sometimes we disagree about how to accomplish that, and sometimes we disagree about what that means.
I have very close friends that I disagree with a lot, and I like that we disagree, because my conversations with them make me reconsider my positions. Sometimes they change my mind, and sometimes they don’t, but I always walk away with a more informed and better thought-out position.
I have very close friends that I disagree with a lot, and I would invite anyone else to disagree with them too, but here’s the deal:
You can disagree with my friends all you want, but if you attack them you’re going to have to deal with me too.
Because disagreeing with me doesn’t mean that someone is evil or stupid… it just means that they disagree.
I was thinking about this today after reading a press release from Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of McAllen. Sen. Hinojosa recently introduced Senate Bill 480, which, if passed, would be one step towards creating state recognized civil unions in Texas.
“In light of my recent filing of SB 480, legalizing civil unions, I have received many phone calls, emails, and Facebook posts expressing positive support and excitement that this legislation has finally been filed in Texas,” the press release read. “However, I have also received opposition and negativity that I would support relationships not confined solely to a man and a woman.”
Chuy’s being diplomatic. The hateful rhetoric on this one has gone way, way outside the bounds of civility. The Senator has been called every name in the book and threatened with hellfire for daring to have the decency to suggest that the State of Texas should have some form of legal recognition of same-gender couples (a position that 69% of Texans agree with).
I know that Sen. Hinojosa filed SB 480 because he is a good, kind man who sincerely wants Texas to be a state with fairness, freedom and equality for all people. I respectfully disagree with the Senator that civil unions are the best avenue for achieving equality (let me rephrase that: I STRONGLY disagree with the Senator that civil unions are the best avenue for achieving equality), but that disagreement doesn’t mean that he’s evil or stupid… it just means we disagree.
You can disagree with the Senator, or disagree with me. That’s fine, we’re good, we can still be friends.
But anyone who attacks Sen. Hinojosa for filing HB 480 is going to have to deal with me too!
And I want the Senator to know that, which is why I called his office at 512-463-0120 to tell him I’ve got his back. If you, like me, think it is out-of-line to name call and threaten Sen. Hinojosa for filing SB 480, I hope you will too.