Freedom and justice for all

| | Freedom and Justice For All Marriage is something people dream about from when they are young until the day they meet that special someone. It is more than just a union and much more than just a status; it is about being with the one you love most and sharing everything for the rest of your life. But could you imagine being told no, that you are not allowed to because of who you are? Imagine the felling of being denied a right supposedly given to everyone, but you. For a reason far from your control, because you were gay. This is an ongoing issue in the United States regarding the opposition of legalizing gay marriage. Discrimination is nothing new in America, but for decades our country has prided itself on equality for all after abolishing slavery and creating laws equal for all. However, by denying basic rights to homosexuals, aren’t we going back on everything we have worked so hard to achieve? Our country made unforgettable advancements in the 1950’s and 1960’s with the Civil Rights movement in which we were able to break the walls of racial discrimination. The historical success Africa Americans had allowed them to gain the same legal rights as white people. Despite anyone’s personal feelings, blacks are now legally equivalent in virtually every aspect of life. So what is it that is keeping us from overcoming this exact injustice in recent times? Similar to that of an individual’s skin color, being gay is something someone cannot control. Research has shown that it is not a lifestyle choice, but it is something that you are born with. In a report published Science Magazine regarding the genetic influences on sexual orientation, accredited researcher D. H. Hamer states that the “ male sexual orientation is influenced by a gene in the X chromosome” (1993) that is directly inherited from their mother. This theory was again confirmed at the International Academy of Sex Research meeting in 1995 by a group of noted Canadians. Likewise Dr. Donald L. Robertson explains, “ Being gay is not a matter of choice any more than eye color or handedness is chosen. We are apparently ‘ hardwired’ from birth to be gay. ” So how is it that someone can be punished and pushed aside for a trait beyond their control? Currently in the United States citizens are having a difficult time choosing between what they feel is right and what they have always known. With America being founded on Judeo-Christian principles it is inevitable that our government be affected by religious beliefs. Unfortunately many do not see the boundary between government and society, thus making it difficult to see more reasonable ideas, like those of noted author Jonathan Rauch, (2004) that stays, ” The law can and should be influenced by religious teachings but must not enforce them.” (Gay Marriage p. 164) However, despite being stated in the First Amendment, the majority of Americans continue to ignore the concept of “ Separation between church and state” and continue to rule in a fashion utterly prompted by religious teachings. Therefore they claim gay marriage is a sin based on the beliefs of proper marriage being between that of a man and a woman. In December 2008 NEWSWEEK published an article by Lisa Miller entitled The Religious Case For Gay Marriage discussing just this issue. Within the text Miller directly quotes Reverend Richard A. Hunter, a United Methodist Minister, with saying, ” The Bible and Jesus define marriage as between one man and one woman. The church cannot condone or bless same-sex marriages because this stands in opposition to Scripture and our tradition. ” However nowhere in the bible does it directly state that marriage is to be solely between a man and woman, but does in fact describe in great detail the manner in which a couple should behave when married and the sinfulness of adultery and divorce, since marriage is supposed to be for life, “ till death do us part. ” So to the religiously influenced I ask, how is it that one sees homosexuality as sinfully wrong when it is perfectly okay to break the vows ceremonially promised before God? The only real argument anyone could have for divorce would be that of religious freedom. Though same-sex couples directly challenge the traditional idea of a marriage, in today’s age the sanctity of a proper union has already been forever altered with divorce rates at its highest ever. According to data released by Divorcerate. org, 50% of American heterosexual couples’ first marriage fails, a “ severe blow to ‘ till death do us part.’” (Rauch 167) Therefore it should not be denounced when two people of the same gender have an unconditional love for one another and deeply honor the vows sworn in a ceremonial bond. Although at times it may be difficult to see the harm people are doing with these prejudice actions, we need to take a step back and learn from our past. For the issue does not deal with the color of one’s skin or the practice of what they believe in, but with something of equal importance: gay rights. With the refusal of gay marriage, Americans are being bias by saying that straight people are superior to homosexuals. Throughout history, America has made dire reforms, such as slavery, that have exceptionally altered our country. Same sex marriage is just another bump in the road toward making our country better. It is unfortunate that in a place, which stands for freedom, equality, and diversity, discrimination towards the gay community is so widely practiced. Nevertheless by showing support of gay marriage, and saying ” no” on bans of same-sex marriage, our forever evolving society can push in a positive direction and be one step closer to creating a more fair and just society that supports and accepts people of all kinds. References Bailey, J. Michael; Dunne, Michael P.; Martin, Nicholas G. (2000, March) Genetic and environmental influences on sexual orientation and its correlates in an Australian twin sample. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 78(3), 524-536. Retrieved November 02, 2011, from Google Scholar Dean H. Hamer, Stella Hu, Victoria L. Magnuson, Nan Hu, Angela M. L. Pattatucci (1993, July 16). A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation Science, New Series, Vol. 261, No. 5119 (pp. 321-327) American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved November 02, 2011 Galanter, Marc (1966) 1966 Wis. L. Rev. 217 Religious Freedoms in the United States: A Turning Point; retrieved November 07, 2011, from Google Scholar Hamer, & , D. D. H. (1999). Genetics and male sexual orientation. Science (New York, N. Y.), 285(5429), 803a-803. Retrieved November 02, 2011, from Arizaona State University Database Mello, M., & ebrary, I. (2004). Legalizing gay marriage. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Retrieved November 07, 2011, from Arizaona State University Database Miller, Lisa. (2008, December 05) Gay Marriage: Our Mutual Joy. The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 02, 2011. Rauch, Jonathan. (2004) Gay MarriageNew York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC Retrieved October 29, 2011. Smith, M. C. (2008). Political institutions and lesbian and gay rights in the united states and Canada. Retrieved November 02, 2011, from Arizaona State University Database West, E. M. (2011). The religion clauses of the first amendment: Guarantees of states’ rights? Retrieved November 02, 2011, from Arizaona State University Database ———————– 2 5