Mar 3, 2013

[Technicolor Musings] Gay Marriage Is Important

On Friday the President of the United States Barrack Obama filed an amicus brief (friend of court) with the US Supreme Court against Proposition 8 and in general support of gay marriage. And while this is not his first statement in support of gay marriage, it is still a strong statement that I hope will help the Supreme Court decide against what Proposition 8 stands for. In addition, we also saw news that HP CEO Meg Whitman also made a statement in support of gay marriage, which is a bit of a reversal from her former stand on the subject - and she's a Republican to boot!

Growing public support for marriage equality is definitely a good thing in my book. I think that I've been pretty plain in other blog posts about how I fully support gay marriage as a true human rights measure and not solely part of the supposed "LGBT agenda" or whatever you want to call it. And no, I don't see how giving rights to a minority group will mean taking away rights from others or somehow destroying what marriage is "supposed" to stand for.

So today's Technicolor Musings is about reiterating my support for gay marriage, especially for those queers out there who still don't see the point, which still somewhat surprises me.

First, this is about human rights. Not just gay rights. Not just LGBT rights. It's about human rights. It's about treating everyone regardless of their sexual orientation in the same way with respect to society as a whole and of course our respective governments. We always talk about everyone being created equal and yet we make a special subset of exclusions for minorities.

Second, you can't judge if the LGBT community is "ready" or not. If we base things on the number of heterosexual marriages that end in divorce, you might think that straight people aren't necessarily "ready" for marriage either. But who is to say really? What makes the opinions of others more important than respecting fundamental rights that should be granted to everyone? If this were the case about other matters, then African Americans would still be riding in the back of the bus and all that nonsense. And who is to say that LGBT relationships are any less meaningful that heterosexual ones?

Third, gay families deserve the full protection of the law. Thus it means not just respecting our right to legally marry whomever we choose to spend the rest of our lives with, it's also about adoption rights and making sure that spouses can make key medical decisions for their partners. It means making it easier to process life insurance claims and even easier to deal with property and inheritance.

Fourth, this is not about oppressing religion. If your religion does not want to recognize gay marriages, then that's fine by me. I'm not asking you to change your beliefs and principles. What I am asking is that you keep religious opinions outside of political matters. You cannot cite scripture when crafting a law in a democracy. We'll leave church matters to religious leaders as long as they leave political matters to politicians.

Fifth. this is ultimately about love. Recognizing everyone's right to marriage is about celebrating the love that these individuals have for one another. It is about acknowledging that we are free to decide for ourselves and that our decision to love someone of the same sex is a beautiful thing that should be honored, respected and cherished. We are not forcing all couples to get married. But for those who feel they are ready, then they definitely should have that right available to them.

Gay marriage being allowed will open many doors and help us as a society live up to the concept of true equality among all people. The only reason to stop it at this point remains to be irrational fear, ignorance and of course blind bigotry. And I think we should be mature enough to move past these things by now.

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