I am proud that America took a great big step towards equality by electing Barack Obama this week. But I am also saddened and disappointed by the backward steps taken by the following states that wrote blatant discrimination into their constitutions: Arkansas, where unmarried couples are now prevented from adopting or fostering children; Florida and Arizona, where gay marriage has been banned; and most notably, California, where a law allowing gay marriage has been repealed, leaving the status of 20,000 marriages in question. I was under the impression that our constitution was created to protect our rights, not repeal them.
We currently live in a society where people are ignorantly learning about civics in church and where law is being dictated by religion (namely Christianity) with scripture passages arbitrarily chosen while ignoring others that they, themselves, are clearly breaking. But not all homosexuals are Christian, so who are Christians to judge and tell people what is right and what is wrong and what they can and cannot do (Judge not, lest ye be judged), when not all share their mistranslated beliefs? Orthodox Jews cannot eat pork and cannot mix meats with cheeses. What if they rallied a majority to prohibit ham and cheeseburgers, or worse, bacon cheeseburgers to protect their faith? The government plays no role in religion, so why is religion so largely playing a role in our government? It is time to start governing our nation on the ideas of the collective people and not the scripture of a single religion.
This is about rights and civil liberties: the right to marry, the right to employment non-discrimination, the right to hate crime protections, the right to fight for country, and the right to feel like a citizen of this country and not a second-hand citizen. Melissa Etheridge wrote in The Daily Beast, that because 51% of voting Californians find her to be a second-hand citizen, that she will no longer pay her state taxes. “I mean, that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing in the history books,” she says. “When did it become okay to legislate morality?”
Although funny and meant in jest, I would also have to agree with Margaret Cho, who once said, “We need to recognize that a government that would deny a gay man the right to bridal registry, is a fascist state.”