There will always be someone different then you. That is what makes the world such an amazing place and life such an amazing journey. Each one of us has a place in this world.  The time has come to accept this.The time has come to evolve once again. 

                                  ~J.V. Manning

Growing up my grandmother always taught me that it is what a person has on the inside that counts. That it didn't matter what color they were, what church they belonged to or how much they made.  What made a person worth knowing you had to look for, listen for and feel. That just because someone drove a fancy car, had the best of everything or went to church every Sunday, didn't show me anything more about them, then how they chose to spend their money or their Sunday.  You learn about people through their actions. If you saw good in them, believe it. If you saw bad, believe that too. Always be true, be fair and give people the benefit of the doubt.  

She also taught me that every person in this world, deserves to be here. That I didn't necessarily have to believe in them, agree with them or even like them. But they deserve to be here as much as I.  She taught me values. She taught me open mindedness.  She taught one another powerful lesson; Treat others as I want them to treat me.  Well I have grown up and I still hold these truths as a guide to live my life by. I don't care if you are rich or poor, black or white, Catholic, Christian or Atheist.  I don't care if you make a boatload of money, sweep floors or flip burgers. I do not care if you are educated or not. I do not care if you are gay, straight, Bi or Single and getting it where you can. All I care about is, who you are as a person and how you treat others.  What do you give out to the world. Who are you on the inside?  

When I see people in my community, my state or this nation hate on a specific group of people because they are different then them, it makes me crazy. Just because someone is different than you does not make you a better person. It just makes you different. Differences are awesome. Can you imagine how boring life would be if we were all the same? Seriously. I can't imagine a world where every one looked like me, talked like me thought like me. It would be so boring. But yet every time I turn on the news or read a paper  this is what I see. Wars, fighting, demonstrations. One side versus the other side. Each side claiming they are right, that their way is the only way. Really? Just because something isn't right for one makes it wrong for all. Just because I eat meat doesn't make me a horrible person. It makes me someone who eats meat. Just because you go to a Catholic church and your neighbor worships in a small Baptist chapel, doesn't make you right and him wrong. It makes you Catholic and he a Baptist. Both human beings, both good people. Just different . Just because I chose to love and marry a man doesn't make me any better than the man who marries another man. I am right for me. He is right for him. Simple as that. Or at least it should be. 

Human beings have always formed "family units" in order to survive. When a father passed along the protection of his daughter to another man, marriage was created to formalize the agreement. In essence the woman was property. The agreement for marriage usually came with some form of financial arrangement. A dowry was often given to the husband for taking care of his wife. In return, the wife had no rights to any of their property or children. She also had no right to refuse sex at any time with the her husband. If he wanted it, she had to give it to him or he would simply just take it. There was a time in certain areas of England, when wives were often sold between men. This was the crude creation of what is now called divorce. As a woman I am so glad that we have evolved from this. That we as the human race have gotten to where were are today. I can't imagine being sold as property. I can't imagine not having the legal right to refuse sex husband or not. 

We saw a need to protect our rights as women. That we own the rights to our bodies, our minds and share equal rights in raising our children and owning property. We now have the freedom to vote, to marry who we choose, and if we do not want to have sex, we aren't forced against our will because he is in the mood. Our rights have evolved.  The men in various religious organizations fought it. We fought back. Why? Because no one should ever exert that much control over someone who can think, make decisions and has the basic human right to love whomever they chose.

Why then is this is the case with women and not with a gay or lesbian couple that wants to marry? You do not have to like it. You do not have to participate in it. You can still believe your beliefs, still go to church and enjoy your freedom to do so. What we as a nation do not have the right to do, is deny these same freedoms to anyone else. Be them gay, straight or purple. What we have to do is respect it. Why? Because like the women of old, it is their right to own their own bodies, their own minds and their right to love whomever they choose.  You have the right to practice your religion. You have the right to pray and you have the right to disagree with their choices. You even have the right to voice your beliefs. What we shouldn't do though is convince ourselves that this gives us the right or the freedom to deny others the same courtesy.

If everyone just took a step back and freely gave these rights to others that they hold so close and cherish for themselves, we wouldn't have demonstrations at a friggin' fast food chicken restaurant.   We could focus more on our own lives and ways to be better people, better and stronger families and a better race entirely. 

There will always be someone different then you. That is what makes the world such an amazing place and life such an amazing journey. Each one of us has a place in this world.  The time has come to accept this. The time has come to evolve once again.  The time to give equal rights is now. I am not trying to change anyone's opinion. What you believe is right for you. I may agree with it or I may not.  But I what I will never agree to is denying anyone their equal rights. As an American. As a Human Being.  It really should just be a given. 

That is what I have on the inside. 

This is an article written by one of the incredible members of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.