On marriage rights for homosexuals

Love is probably the greatest, most important thing in the world. Who cares what kind of plumbing two people have if they’re in love and want to spend their lives together? How hateful do you have to be to want to stand in the way of two people building a happy life together?

For god’s sake, this is supposed to be a free country. Part of living in a free country and having rights of your own is respecting the rights of others, and that includes the right to be with the person you love and have your relationship recognized by the legal system. That means inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, tax filing rights, everything. Even if you’re someone who thinks homosexuality is “gross” (and while I’m heterosexual, I disagree, but you’re free to think otherwise), if you want to live in a truly free society, you should be willing to suck it up and allow others to live freely as well. Voltaire put it best: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Have the courage as a free human being to respect the freedom of others to live in ways different from the way you choose to live your life. It’s not the gays (or whatever other minority group we’re supposed to be lynching this week) who are taking America to hell in a handbasket; it’s Americans’ eagerness to vilify and shit all over the rights of anyone else they disagree with that’s ruining this country.

There is no fundamental philosophical difference between opposing homosexual marriage now and opposing interracial marriage fifty years ago. People have the right to love whom they choose (so long as they’re consenting adults) and no one else has the right to use the government’s power to cram their political and/or religious beliefs into someone else’s relationship. Telling homosexuals they can’t marry is completely unacceptable in a free society where all citizens are supposed to be equal. Telling homosexuals they can have “civil unions” instead of marriage so they’re “separate but equal” is the same as telling black people they have to drink out of their own “separate but equal” water fountain and stand at the “separate but equal” back of the bus. “Separate” and “equal” are wholly contradictory concepts when it comes to basic human rights. Either you let gays marry, or you’re denying American citizens their inalienable rights. There is no middle ground.

While it’s no secret I’m no fan of the American government (D’s or R’s), I still believe strongly in the principles this nation was founded on: freedom and equality for all citizens, rich and poor, strong and weak, and yes, heterosexual and homosexual (and all the sub-categories in between–hi, my bisexual and pansexual friends; you know who you are). Those are values that can, at times, take courage and tolerance to stand behind, but they are values I believe are worth holding and trying to live up to. So I suppose the question I have for those of you who believe homosexuality is “immoral” is: are you willing to live up to the founding values of this nation when the going gets tough? Are you willing to practice love of thy neighbor and respect his or her freedom, even when s/he exercises that freedom in ways you may not approve of?

If so, then congratulations. You understand what it truly means to live in a free country.

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