Coming Out for Equal Rights

So in case you hadn’t heard the big news, President Obama announced yesterday that he fully supports the rights of gay couples to marry. It also turns out that the Earth is round and it orbits the sun. For nearly everyone, this announcement did not come as much of a surprise because unlike all too many politicians, Obama has not constantly been on record saying that marriage is between a man and a woman.

See here.

On the same day as the President’s announcement, you have Rush Limbaugh (the GOP’s resident attack hippo) saying, “We’ve arrived at a point where the President of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage.” It should be pointed out that Rush is an expert in marriage. He’s on wife number four.

So with everyone coming out about, or re-affirming, their views on gay marriage, it sounds like it’s high time I made my view on the matter as clear as crystal.

First, let’s make something abundantly clear: Marriage is not a religious institution. If it were, or if you would like to argue that it is, then pursuant to the First Amendment’s establishment clause, the government has no business on the subject in the first place. Consider the situation objectively. You have two adults who want to be united forever spiritually, they can have a ceremony with all the traditional rites and everything. However, if enough people in the government don’t like the idea of the two being wed, then the couple is told that the wedding doesn’t count. All rights and advantages that are extended to every other married couple in America is denied to them. This couple’s religious views don’t matter to the government, but the politicians’ views are policy that dictate their fate.

…jeeze, kind of sounds like the plot of a dystopian novel, doesn’t it?

Welcome to America.

Marriage is, for all technical purposes, a legal institution. The government has created financial and legal privileges that only married couples are eligible for. The 14th amendment’s equal protection clause states: “no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Is it legal for a state to deny marriage rights to one couple while allowing them for another? No.

Gay marriage or civil unions are recognized through nearly all of the Industrialized world. The United States of America is the most glaring exception. While America prides itself on it’s liberty, equality and justice, it perverts all three. By discriminating to the point of denying marriage to people who are in love, the government defiles all that America stands for.

Like a rapist ripping the panties off an unwilling victim, the government’s denial of the right to marry lays America bare, it’s innocence gone along with any principles it had. All that remains is hate, anger and a dream of what could have been rather than what is.

The most disgusting aspect of this desecration is that marriage is not merely a religious right, a moral right, or even an American right. Marriage is a human right. These policy debates have big real-life implications, ranging from additional logistical burdens that complicate adoptions to access to health care that could make the difference between life and death.

There is more than one passage in the Bible that frowns upon homosexuality, but there are many more that frown upon us mortals judging others. No human being has the right to deny life’s most fundamental happiness between two people. Yet here we are.

If two men or two women want to get married, then they deserve that happiness. No rights should be denied to them, no happiness should be barred from them. They ought to be treated like we would want to be treated. If you don’t believe that they deserve the same things as everyone else…
Then I’m sorry,

But you’re wrong.

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3 responses to “Coming Out for Equal Rights

  1. Ryan, I couldn’t agree more. I know how badly the GLBTQ community is treated, my oldest daughter is a lesbian, she lives in NY and when she first came out, she was bullied, ridiculed and made to feel she was doing something wrong. I have done some research on the how and why people are gay, and there are some facts to support a theory that it starts in utero, that some part of the fetus’ brain doesn’t completely form the way it should according to the chromosome makeup. It is a very controversial subject, but I do agree that everyone should be treated with respect, and the way that we would want to be treated. Thank you for your post. You are a very intelligent and insightful young man and I have a lot of respect for you.

  2. I agree with you Ryan. Marriage, at least from the point of view of the government, is a secular rather than a religious matter. In a country based on liberty and freedom, it stands to reason that governments should not be restricting the freedom of two consenting adults to marry. Where I disagree with Obama is that this should be a federal matter, not left to the individual states. Some rights and privileges simply have to transfer from state to state (marriages licenses, drivers licenses, etc) Imagine being married in Maine for instance, moving to Florida and now finding yourself legally single again. I am all for gay marriage, personal freedoms, and limited government interventions in our personal lives. My politics may not always agree with yours, but on this issue I think we can find some common ground.

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