Gay/same-sex marriage has been a political hot button for some time now. Those who argue for banning it say that they want the concept of marriage to be protected and that gay couples counter the natural order of things. Individuals who are pro-gay marriage believe in equality across the board and insist that all couples, no matter the genders that comprise the couple, should have the same rights.
I believe that in 20 years we will look at the debate concerning gay marriage in the same way that we view segregation and the mistakes of that generation concerning the treatment and separation of people based on the color of their skin. It will be something that the majority of our country will want to shove under the carpet, embarrassed by their lack of open-mindedness and acceptance. Luckily things haven’t turned as violent as they did during the civil rights movement.
On May 17, 1956, the Plessy vs. Ferguson supreme court case was overruled after being ruled as constitutional by the Supreme Court in 1896. This court case stated that “A statute which implies merely a legal distinction between the white and colored races—a distinction which is founded in the color of the two races, and which must always exist so long as white men are distinguished from the other race by color—has no tendency to destroy the legal equality of the two races, or re-establish a state of involuntary servitude.” (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0163_0537_
ZO.html) Basically, it legitimized a state’s right to create laws that segregated blacks and whites. But on May 17th, 1956, the supreme court case of Brown vs. Board of Education determined “separate education facilities [were] inherently unequal.” (http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/cultural_diversity/Brown_v_Board_National_Historic_
Today the Supreme Court begins debating whether or not the revocation of marriage rights to those same-sex couples married in California during the time period in which gay marriage was legalized and whether the ban of gay marriage itself was constitutional or not in the pivotal case of Hollingsworth vs. Perry. Some lower courts have already ruled that the ban is unconstitutional. But there is a lot more at stake here than the issue of marriage, in my opinion. The ruling of the Supreme Court will impact the lives of members of the LGBTQ community in numerous ways. I see the potential for an easing of the burden of younger members of the LGBTQ community. The legalization and recognition of their lifestyle can increase the support and potentially reduce the teasing and bullying that some of these young people still suffer through on a daily basis.
The issue of gay marriage is really a non-issue. If there was truly a separation between church and state, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. But clearly there has been a breakdown of the proverbial wall that is meant to keep religious affairs out of the government. Of course I am not an expert in law or religion. I wasn’t raised in a religious home. I did accompany a friend to church sometimes for a while. I stopped going the day I heard a pastor marginalize gay people and denounce their lifestyle. And I will never go back.
Christianity ousted the concept of homosexuality way back in the day when it was considered a mindless cult. The little “cult” needed to grow and the easiest way to grow was to have lots of Christian babies. By refuting homosexuality as part of their basic principles, the people who began Christianity helped to ensure the progression of their religion through birth. At least, that’s what I believe happened. Religion ran the world and thus members of the gay community were reprimanded and punished for something that is inherently a part of them.
I live in Kansas, one of the most backward, conservative states in the country. And I believe that not allowing members of the LGBTQ community to marry their partner is segregating people based on their sexual orientation and I believe this is wrong. It makes members of the LGBTQ second-class citizens and denies them their rights as citizens of this country and as human beings. I support gay marriage, homosexuality, the right of all gay people to be parents, the rights of gay boys to be members of the boy scouts and the rights of people everywhere to live life as they see fit as long as it does not cause harm to themselves or another. I hope today that the US Supreme Court finally puts a stop to this whole mess and rules in favor of the couples whose rights were stripped from them in California after gay marriage was overturned.