Saturday, May 12, 2012

Created Equal ...

I know this may come as news to some but the United States is not a theocracy.

That is, the Bible (or any other holy text, for that matter) cannot be used as a justification for enacting laws.

Period.

And to those same people who would attempt to use the Bible as a bludgeon or an exclusionary tool, may I direct your attention to the phrase in the Declaration of Independence, "all men are created equal."

Equal.

As in "not unequal."

It should not anyone's place to vote on whether other citizens should be granted their inalienable rights.

Because they are inalienable rights.

Inalienable.

As in "unable to be taken away."

Except that some people have never had them in the first place.

This week, North Carolina voted not only to ban gay marriage – which was already banned in North Carolina – but also voted to deny a whole lot of rights to a whole lot of people who straight, too, while the very next day, President Obama pronounced his belief that gay people should be able to get married.

And I've watched the volleys on Twitter and Facebook and many sites I read.

And I see a lot of fear.

And I don't understand it.

Love, people. All we're talking about here is love. The right to marry the person you love.* And please, don't make a mockery of this very important discussion by asserting that if we allow gay people to marry that suddenly people will be allowed to marry their dogs, or, as one legislator suggested, marry ice cream.

I've written about this before. I've asked someone – anyone – to explain to me how allowing gay people to marry "weakens the institution of marriage" as seems to be the prevailing "reason" to deny people their rights.

Marriage is plenty weak already, folks. Have you seen the divorce rate?

Yet straight people are allowed to get married and divorced just as many times as they please. Or as many times as their bank accounts will allow.

But gay people aren't allowed to obtain a piece of paper that will make their combined lives easier and better even though many of them have been together for decades.

Any why is that?

No, really, I'm asking.

Why is that?

Because some people think it's "weird"? Or "unnatural"?

What if you were gay? Wouldn't you want to be able to marry the person you love?

What if your child was gay? Wouldn't you want your child to be able to marry the person they love?

Some years ago, an older friend of mine was preparing to go to his daughter's wedding. She was marrying her partner, a woman. And my friend said, "Beth, I don't understand it." And I said, "You don't have to understand it. You just have to love her."

It's that simple.

Everything in the world comes down to love or fear.

Let love prevail.

* Some people may bring up the idea of plural marriage here. But for the purposes of this discussion, I'm focusing on couples.

P.S. For all those who cite the Bible in discriminating against gay people, you have to follow through on all of these points, too.

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