Walk With Me

July 15, 2010

I was born on American soil, of German-American blood. With that birth I was guaranteed certain civil rights. And then one day I learned that one of those rights was no longer mine to claim. It has been taken from me, stolen by individuals who violate what should be unquestionable civil rights, on the basis of unfounded and unproven superstitious beliefs.

Before the age of thirteen, I didn’t know that one day I would grow up to be a minority in America. I didn’t know that in my future there would be things I would not be allowed to have that others in this nation, who were equal to me in anyother way, were entitled to receive. That one day when I fell in love, I would not be allowed to use the word “marriage” to legally describe any type of ceremonial exchange of vows between myself and my intended life-long partner and that any such type of ceremony would not be recognized for the purpose of full civil benefits given to others.

It is unfathomable to me that something so personal as religion, could bleed out into the lives of other people and affect them in such demeaning and selfish ways and not be acknowledged as detrimental to the wellbeing of those fellow citizens. That it is somehow okay to restrict religious freedom and deny civil rights on the basis of opinion. Such is the way of majority rules. It does not seem to matter whether the majority is horrifically misguided and morally wrong. If enough people believe it, then it must be right… so they say.

If a gay couple is Christian or Muslim or Jewish and the minister of the church, mosque or synagogue they attend openly accepts requests for marriages between homosexual couples, it would seem to me that such marriages should be performed and made lawful. Any nationally or state recognized religion is permited to perform marriages by an acknowledged minister, priest, rabbi or any recognized religious figure who has an established church or other religious community.

What about non-religious gays who wish to get married through the court system? Why should they be denied such rights, but not other non-religious people who get married through the same system?

Ponder for a moment if a “majority” of Americans, suddenly decided to intervene into your personal life because of their personal views or beliefs. Let’s say for example, there were enough atheists in America that they used the government against you in order to instill their personal views and beliefs into your life by voting to ban your right to pray in public, congregate for religious reasons, spread your religious beliefs, establish religious private schools, perhaps even make any marriage performed by a religious institution illegal, stripping any such marriage of any recognized legal rights or even prevent any such future marriages from occuring.

I think that what bothers me the most is that my civil life and the civil lives of millions of other members of the LGBT community, are dictated by the beliefs of other people. It’s one thing when such ideology is founded upon evidence or some kind of proof, but it’s a completely different story when such profound decisions are being made on the basis of something so inconclusive as faith.

We are not talking about receiving handouts, were are talking about something that should be an irrevocable right. We are not second class citizens, we are all equal and we should all be treated as such. I obey laws, I pay taxes like everyone else and yet such important decisions for my life are being made by people who have never met me and who are likely to never meet me. It leaves me speechless thinking about how people can vote to revoke American civil rights.

The most troubling part is the debate about morals. Gay marriage is often called immoral. And yet denying fellow citizens rights and making them seem to be less worthy of equal and fair treatment is somehow not immoral?

What about the sanctity of marriage? You tell me. How is it that two people who are in love, wanting to commit their loyalty to eachother, are somehow labeled as violating a code of sanctity? The only difference between a gay couple and a straight couple is that one is made of two people of the same gender and the other is made of two people who are the opposite gender.

It often seems as though some groups of people insist upon spreading the notion that the lifestyles of gay people are dirty or disgusting. If this is the best arguement they can supply for why homosexual couples violate the sanctity of marriage, then it is without question that we are talking about hate and not about legitimate issues. What exactly are these people talking about anyways? What do they mean by the term “lifestyle” because it sure isn’t clear to me. My lifestyle is no different than anyone elses. The only thing that is disgusting on this topic is homophobic hate. I do not understand why LGBT people are viewed as lesser human beings than other people. I don’t know what kind of people these conservative groups think homosexuals are, but being presumptuously labeled a male prostitute is far from flattering to me.

Sure there are homosexuals out there who fit the stereotype that the conservative community has manifested, but it is asinine to assume that all homosexuals are promiscuous and therefore incapable of upholding marriage vows. To call such ignorant beliefs insulting to the LGBT doesn’t even scratch the surface. Especially when some heterosexuals are equally fallible, including those in wedlock. It has been established that 1/3 of American marriages are likely to end in divorce before the ten year mark, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. I think that if conservatives are really concerned about the reputation of marriage, they should perhaps focus their attention within the walls of their own house.

The bottom line is that it’s unjust to revoke someone’s right to marry based upon something they cannot reasonably change about themselves. It doesn’t matter whether this characteristic is their gender, their age, their ethnicity or their orientation. I know that one day America will finally realize this and socially evolve. Homosexuality is not chosen and there are more and more of us born every day. Perhaps you cannot compare our battle to that of African Americans for their freedom or that of women in their right to vote, but we are a united people in a battle of our own. To be accepted as equal American citizens who are justly due equal rights.

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About Kephen

I am a writer who happens to be a pantheist living in the heartland of America. I write about everything that interests me, from Zen Buddhism to depression and mental illness, society and civil rights to the LGBT community and the personal meanderings of my life. To learn more about me just check out my blog.
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