Gay marriage legality not subject to religious approval
Since the controversial decision by Judge Walker to declare California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional, there has been an overabundance of nonsensical ideas on why gay marriage should not be legal, and additionally, why gays are not to be afforded the same rights as other human beings. We have heard arguments comparing the love between two members of the same sex to beastiality and even pedophilia, which only serves to evoke a specific set of negative emotions. Not only do these claims have no basis in reality, but they also call the accuser’s morality into question. Who, of sound mind and spirit, would compare the love between two consenting adults to the forced relationship between an adult and a helpless child? The fight against equal rights for gays appears to be deeply rooted in hatred and discrimination.
Whether a person agrees with homosexuality or not, most of us can agree that, as consenting adults (1) we do not want the government making personal decisions for us, and (2) we want assured equality between all persons no matter what lifestyle is chosen, so long as that lifestyle does not infringe upon the rights of others. Marriage as a legal institution must provide the same rights to both straight and gay couples if it is to be constitutional, and fair. Most of the time, marriage as a function of religion does not offer the same equality, but this has no bearing on the legality and the related civil rights.
There are many on the right who felt that Judge Walker was acting as an activist judge, purely serving his own agenda, when he overturned Prop. 8, despite being nominated by President Reagan. Some of these same people are proposing a strategy that supports the old idea of “separate, but equal,” the same concept used in the Jim Crow South, which is quite obviously unconstitutional. If Judge Walker upheld Proposition 8, he would have been enforcing a law respecting an establishment of religion.
While many on the right like to attack moderates and those further left, claiming that they are shredding the Constitution, the right’s irreverence for this document has become apparent. Equality is a fundamental concept illustrated in our Constitution, which would appear to align with conservative values; however, this is one area where conservatives seem to approve of big government. Big government is okay when it reaches into the bedrooms of millions of Americans, but not when it reaches into the pockets of greedy corporations. This political ploy has clearly come into light. Is having theocratic rule more important to the right than the separation of church and state, as well as the equality offered by the Constitution?
Until the case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967, which declared all anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, interracial marriage was illegal in the United States. Although we now see this as a victory for American citizens of all races, there were a lot of people that came out against the Loving v. Virginia decision. Today, interracial marriage is at an all-time high. At the end of the day, the government cannot protect straight people more than it protects gay people, nor can it exclude people on the basis of sexual orientation – the law does not allow it.
Until this battle reaches the Supreme Court, gay couples will unjustly have to ponder their uncertain futures, and worry about whether or not they will ever see equality under the law. Same-sex couples deserve much better than what this country currently provides. Despite the opposition, I am confident that our gay friends and family members will soon see the day where they can be married in any state, at any time, without fear of repeal.