July 22, 2005

"Defending Marriage" vs. Civil Rights

Our country was founded on a number of fundamental principles. When our forefathers seceded from Mother England, they had hundreds of years of hindsight with which to form a new government. They saw the mistakes being made in other countries, for example, where religions were ruling, and they composed a constitution that specifically protected the people from the government. That's right - our constitution was specifically devised to protect us from a potentially abusive and overreaching government.

In the 200+ years since the formation of our United States, our constitution has grown and evolved into a living, breathing, governing entity. We've elected legislators who have interpreted our will and amended the constitution in various ways. While there have been changes made in our laws, both locally and nationally, the most significant changes have been in the category of civil rights. In these 200+ years since Thomas Jefferson first penned the Declaration of Independence, we've abolished slavery, allowed women to vote, and taken significant measures to fight discrimination through de-segregation and affirmative action. We've fought against discrimination at every juncture to protect the rights of the elderly, the children, the handicapped, and minorities of every kind... except one.

Why is it that we continue to openly and vocally discriminate against those who choose to bond with people of the same gender? It is so outrageously clear and overt that the "Defense of Marriage" movement is nothing but gay-bashing. It's discrimination, pure and simple, and it goes against 200+ years of strides we've made to protect the rights of our citizens. Why is it that gay people are not entitled to equal protection of their civil rights like every other citizen?

For the record, I am not gay. I am happily married for 22 years to a wonderful woman. So why am I speaking out in defense of gay people? Because I'm deeply saddened by the way they've been treated, and I find it utterly despicable that some politicians and even clergy have built their careers, reputations, and candidacies at the expense of people who are not hurting anyone, and at the expense of a major crux of our constitution - civil rights & liberties.

If you want to defend the institution of marriage Mr. Bush, Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Falwell, Mr. Romney or any of you other half-baked, hypocritical, conservative, excuses for public servants, then why don't you do something about the institution of divorce? Perhaps you've overlooked the fact that the only state in the union which permits gay marriage (Massachusetts), has the lowest divorce rates in the country? Surely divorce and its underlying causes are more of a threat to the institution of marriage then people of the same gender taking advantage of their equal protections and wanting to be treated like everyone else? Surely the essence of tolerance and diversification are more important then hampering the efforts of two people of the same gender who love each other and want to make the commitment to be together? And certainly the equal protection of civil liberties is far more important then the Religious Right's crusade to discriminate against homosexuals under the guise of ‘morality'.

To all of you homophobes out there, who initiated or voted for ‘Defense of Marriage' legislation - shame on you! Put into perspective what's really important in this world and move on.


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