Still striving to define Equal Rights as universal.

Today’s post was not inspired by the California Supreme Court up-holding the ban on Gay Marriage known as “Proposition 8”. I was witting this over the weekend before I knew about the hearing and as part of a longer thought about attempts to legislate morality in the United States. Tomorrow’s post will be directly inspired by the hype about a “Gay Agenda” and will be really, very long. Come back for it.

Now, the issue at hand: Do homosexuals deserve equal treatment under the law? Are they entitled to the same rights as other citizens of the United States?

Umm, yeah.

Our republic was designed, largely, to protect the rights of the minority from the oppression of the masses. That’s why we demanded the initial amendments to the Constitution. The first amendment prohibits our government from basing laws solely on the moral code of  any religion, or even collection of religions. The 14th Amendment clearly outlines that all citizens have the same rights and privileges and that no government within the United States can “deprive any person” of those protections without due process. That means that if the government is in the business of recognizing marriage, it cannot define the legal institution by the laws of any religious text, but must do so by what make sense, is fair, and in the best interest of everyone.

Many homosexuals will tell you that they would rather be able to live as straight; not because they hate who they are, but what kind of person chooses to be hated? Many bisexuals will not get into a homosexual commitment because it is just too hard. That’s sad. People are afraid and even ashamed to love because society tells them their love is inferior or even just wrong. Isn’t there enough hate already? Isn’t it hard enough to find love and family without persecuting people for the shape or style their family takes?

We, as a society and a republic, need to butt out. We need to offer better solutions, rather than subtracting the options we don’t like. We need to admit that the State recognizing the life-long commitment of 2 men to one another is no threat to whatever standards your religion has for marriage. They deserve the rights of property and mutual support that comes with being a spouse, like any committed couple.

These are issues of personal responsibility and choice. These are basic first and fifth amendment rights; freedom from religious oppression, freedom to assemble, freedom to act in your own home and liberty until served by due process. These are conservative issues, stemming from a conservative reading of the Constitution. Marriage isn’t mentioned in the US  Constitution, and wouldn’t be a government issue if taxation hadn’t been added. Taxation is the only reason the federal government cares about “marriage”, and I’d rather remove the rate breaks for married persons than limit the freedom of all people to call their relationship whatever they like.

This is, to me, an issue of treating people like people. Telling anyone, in this day and age, that having found love and support by bringing another person into your life, your family is wrong because it doesn’t look like the ones in my text is unlawful and cruel. If we really looked at what Family and Marriage meant in the Bible, I think we would find that we’ve outgrown, as a society, the confines it seeks to impose. Women are not property, and fathers do not trick men into laboring for them only to foist off the less attractive sister in a bait-and-switch maneuver. Men are not allowed multiple wives, nor are victims of rape killed along side their attackers for being unclean.

We live in a society that has grown and prospered for its inclusiveness. We’ve benefited from accepting people for who they are and celebrating their contributions. All that this homophobia is going to amount to, in the long run, is what racism has left us; deep wounds, standing tensions and, someday, just maybe, a Gay History Month.

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