The issue I would like to point everyone’s attention to today is one that many blogs across the ‘net are focusing on today: Gay Marriage. My belief system, and the ideology that I believe needs to be promoted worldwide is very simply this: tolerance.
When I see people trying to make legal restrictions on people’s lifestyles, for instance the California Prop 8 that’s currently up for vote (more on this later), I honestly cannot wrap my head around it. I can understand people who do not believe gay marriage is a legitimate choice, based on their religious values or other beliefs, even though I do not agree with them personally. However, just because I can see their point of view doesn’t mean that I feel they (or anyone) has the right to put laws in place that restrict the harmless happiness of another person.
Let me move away from generalities and be very specific. We should ALL support legislation that allows two people of any sexual orientation to marry. Why? Look at it this way: if gay women and men are allowed to marry and you happen to be straight, nothing changes for you – you’re still capable of dating and marrying and being happy with ANYONE you want, you’re also still capable of personally believing that God doesn’t approve of gay marriage, it’s your prerogative. However, allowing this to happen means that the percentage of the population that is gay is also allowed to have the same freedoms, and the same happiness that you have! How can you vote against allowing happiness for others?
The argument I’ve heard most is that people do not believe that their church should be “forced” to perform gay marriage ceremonies. I can understand this argument as well… it it were valid; the thing is allowing gay marriage does not mean your place of worship must perform a ceremony they do not agree with. Changing the legal definition of marriage does just that, it changes marriage at a legal level. Because of separation of church and state any legislation made within the bounds of the constitution would only force government agencies to recognize same sex marriage; churches would not have to. This means that gay men and women would be given the same rights under the law as same-sex married partners – they could receive marriage licenses – but churches could decide for themselves whether or not to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Ultimately legislation that allows same-sex marriage won’t affect the lives of straight people at all; everyone is still free to feel as they want. All it would do is allow gay Americans the same rights that straight Americans have, validating gay relationships further in society and promoting tolerance. Much of Europe, Canada, South Africa and more countries have gotten behind gay marriage already so what’s taking America so long?
Prop 8 is a piece of legislation in California that is pushing to make gay marriage illegal. If you live in California and can vote or know someone who can please encourage them to vote NO to this prejudiced piece of legislature.