When I first saw the posts and reports from AL.com and WSFA coming in on my newsfeed via Facebook a few weeks ago about same-sex marriages becoming legal in Alabama, I was shocked. Shocked that it took so long for me to hear anything about it and because we weren’t going to be last. I knew it would happen during my lifetime, I just didn’t know it would happen so soon. The reports all started mirroring each other, so I took to the comments the readers were leaving behind. It was a peanut gallery for sure. People were quoting scriptures, definitions, laws, and memes of all sorts but there was balance. Being from the South and Bible Belt, a majority of the debates, as you would guess, were based off of literal and figurative interpretations of both Old and New Testament scriptures. Those debates always interest me for some reason but I seldom get involved because you never know who you’re going to offend and it always seems that offending someone religiously or politically is always bad juju. Throughout the bickering amongst everyone one, there were two words that I was constantly drawn to; love and respect. The debates became hateful. That bothered me. They would start off “fine” with just opinions, but then they seemed to always turn away from the actual matter at hand and become geared towards the original source that caused the debate. People were going to the profiles and finding anything they could to be disrespectful, from ethnicity to where they originally might have been from. Racism and homophobia were key players in all the heat for the pot being stirred. They felt “powerful”, I’m sure, of not having fear in what they said to others because they weren’t having to look them in the face and say it. The internet can show what true cowards people can become. This isn’t to say there wasn’t any respect being shown, there was plenty of it too. Like stated before, there was an odd balance between the debates that kept things light. Multitudes of people sharing their heart-felt stories about they themselves being a same-sex couple for years or other friends and families. They seemed to be the calm before, during and after the storm. I know, at least on my Facebook newsfeed, all of my friends were showing their support for same-sex marriage and that was amazing, especially those I didn’t know were in support of it. Skipping forward to the Feb. 9, I was expecting to see a large mass of supporters and protestors outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse. To my surprise, there weren’t. When I arrived there were maybe 30-40 people outside, not including those getting married and reporters. Only one person was “protesting” the event. He pretty much stood quietly on the opposite end of everyone with the occasional conversation about anything other than the event happening. There was no anger or hate that day at the courthouse, only love and respect.