Why Baby Boomers Should Support Same-Sex Marriage
Imagine this. Your husband/wife is in the hospital, in the intensive care unit. Maybe he or she has had a stroke, a heart attack, or was in a car accident. You’ve been married to this person for 25 years or more, but because of a glitch in the system – maybe the computer has crashed, or maybe you left your driver’s license at home – you aren’t able to be with your beloved at this critical and scary time. You scream and yell, call for the head of the hospital, maybe even contact an attorney – but there’s absolutely nothing to be done. It’s the law.
This is what it’s like for most long-term homosexual couples that aren’t able to get married.
If you’re over fifty, then you remember the civil rights movement. Maybe when you were a child you thought segregation was the right way to do things – perhaps you grew up in the deep south, or maybe your parents just didn’t like “colored” people, and that’s what you learned sitting around the dinner table. At the time, those were common (if prejudicial) beliefs and opinions. Looking back on this, you now see how horrible segregation was, and how important, necessary and, most of all, inevitable desegregation was. Looking back, it’s clear how crazy and unfair – incomprehensible, really - it was to relegate African-Americans to a lesser status in our country, and to deny them rights and privileges and access just because of the color of their skin. But that’s how things were, and that’s how a lot of people thought things should remain. How terribly wrong they were. And how terribly wrong those who oppose same-sex marriage will seem fifty years from now.
This is what your children will say in fifty years when they look back on the battle for marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Eventually all states will legalize same-sex marriage – it will happen not only because there is no legal reason for it not to, but because it’s morally and ethically the right thing to do. Those who oppose same-sex marriage often cite the Christian values our country is founded on, but some ideas grow irrelevant as time passes – and the time has come for our country to move past the archaic and unfair tenet that marriage is only for a man and a woman, the primary reason for marriage being procreation. We are evolved, we are educated, and we are living in a new century. We have learned a lot in the 250 plus years since our founding fathers wrote the constitution. Science has discovered so much about DNA, nature vs. nurture, and the way humans grow, develop and come to be who we are as unique beings. Christian beliefs are a fine foundation, but as a country we must adapt our laws to meet the ever-changing make-up of society. The pursuit of happiness has become far more diversified than Thomas Jefferson could have imagined. The vast majority of us no longer look upon homosexuality as an abomination as many did when the constitution was written. We may not all agree with it, or feel comfortable with it, but hopefully most of us have learned that homosexuality is not a crime, or an aberration, or even a choice. It’s just what some of us are, that’s all.
Homosexuals don’t have a choice about being born sexually attracted to the same gender, but we all choose what we believe and we choose what we say and what we do. I choose to support the rights of gay couples to marry. I really don’t see any other option. I firmly believe that everyone is equal – whatever their sexual preference – and that everyone should have the right to spend their lives with the person they love, for better or worse, richer or poorer. They should have the chance to declare their commitment to each other, make a legal union, and celebrate their pursuit of happiness any way the choose.
How can anyone believe any differently?