Weekly Weigh In: Gay Marriage
Gay Marriage? Yea, I’m completely for it.
If the Gallup polls are accurate, half of you just quit reading. For those of you who remain, thank you. The Gay rights ‘controversy’ has erupted all over the news since last week’s interview where for the first time in history a sitting president has publicly and positively acknowledged the gay community and their goals. A calculated risk for an election year, and although it will not hold much sway against state lawmakers, is a great morale boost to the gay community and their supporters. I’m by no means ‘jumping on the bandwagon’, but would like to put to paper (as it were) my views and opinions on the subject, based on several conversations I’ve had over the years with people against or confused about homosexuals. I’ll touch on some points that have really been the core of my views regarding gay rights and same-sex marriage.
Number 1: Being Gay is not a choice.
Let’s just go ahead and get that myth out of the way. I could dive into the scientific findings that support the theory of homosexuality actually being genetic, but I’ll keep it personal. If you know someone who’s attracted to the same sex, you know that all ready; but I think a lot of misconceptions about homosexuality stems from the simple fact that people don’t personally know or interact with someone who’s homosexual. These people generally soak up information from resources like the media, relatives, friends, and church and develop a view on the subject based on narrow and biased opinions. I can tell you from my experience, every person I’ve known who’s “chosen” to be gay, recant sooner rather than later and return to affairs with the opposite sex. All my friends that are actually gay, however, are totally uninterested in the opposite sex except the occasional “experimental phase” they went through in high school or college to see if they might actually be straight.
Number 2: Gay parents make gay children
Let me stop laughing for a moment to address this. If, by some mythical force, this were the case, homosexuality would be an extremely rare genetic anomaly that would have been weeded out of the human genome rather quickly because they would have never procreate. If the sheer stupidity of the statement escapes you, let me riddle you this: Why do gay children mostly come from heterosexual households? I’ll let you ponder that, as I move on to the next topic.
Number 3: Gay rights VS. Civil rights
I’m against the notion of comparing the gay rights movement to the larger wave of women’s suffrage and the African American Civil rights movements. It’s like comparing hard boiled eggs and omelettes. They share the same basic principles of a group being discriminated against and being denied something they view as their legal right, but that’s where the similarity ends. Women and African Americans had to bleed to raise themselves up in protest from second class citizens to legal equality with white men. Women in the 19th and early 20th century were largely regarded as sexless and brainless. African Americans began in this country as slaves. It is a disservice to their struggles to raise the gay rights movement to their level. The gay rights movement is more on the level of the 1940’s movement to keep women in the work place that evolved into equal employment opportunities between women and men. We can hope it won’t take that long for gays to obtain the same legal rights to their lifestyle, and marriage as that, but only time will tell.
Number 4: Love thy Neighbor
20 or even 15 years ago, the sight of a gay couple would be utterly scandalous. In recent years the gay rights movement has spread like wildfire, encouraged mostly by celebrity endorsements and prominent figures taking the courage to admit their sexual orientation. In the wake of the shifting social views a lot of people have resorted to falling back on religion to justify their homophobia. This display is just sad. It’s like saying “I don’t have to explore my hatred for gays because the bible says you are bad for being born this way. That’s the only justification I need.” This anti-gay religious stance smacks of ignorance and a stubborn close-mindedness to other’s points of view. I only have one thing to say to these kind of people: In the nineties there was a very, very popular anagram that swept across the US… I want you to take it and apply it to this: When it comes to how you acknowledge and treat homosexuals… WWJD?
Number 5: Gays have a right to misery and High Divorce rates too!
When you take religious issues off the table, why shouldn’t same-sex couples be allowed to be legally joined to the person they love? As far as the danger to “traditional marriage” Historically speaking, a monogamous lifetime commitment between one man and one woman was not the most popular family arrangement. More prevalent examples throughout ancient and modern times are based on polygamy, communal child-rearing, the use of concubines and mistresses and the commonality of prostitution. On top of that, there is absolutely no legally viable reason to deny them the right. Surprisingly enough, their right is actually protected by a Supreme Court case from the seventies and states banning gay marriage are in fact, violating their constitutional rights. In Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, the Supreme Court determined thatpersonal choice in marriage and family matters are liberties protected by due process. So, why not let them join in the perks of marriage that allow them POA over their partner if their life is in medical jeopardy, claim their rights to parenthood and share in tax breaks and an outrageous divorce rate.
So, there it is, a summary of my feelings on homosexuality, gay rights, and gay marriage. I fully support their quest for rights equal to that of heterosexual married couples, and I don’t believe such unions, if recognized, would do anything but affirm that they deserve it. The rise of tolerance and acceptance of same-sex couples in no way endangers traditional family values (we’ve managed to do that all on our own, sorry folks), endangers our children and their sexuality or should be fodder for bigots and haters to demean and abuse fellow human beings. We have a rare opportunity in our generation, as have generations before us, to take a collective step towards bettering ourselves and moving towards true equality and justice for all of humankind.