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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Same Nation, Same Rights

Once thought of as radically conservative, Ireland makes history today being the first country to legalize marriage regardless of sexual orientation.

I find it bizarre that America, a country synonymous with progress and trend-setting, is still debating same-sex marriage.

To so many, this should not be up for debate. It is equivalent of past debates that fall under the “this doesn’t really affect you” category.

People once opposed women having the right to vote. Men would allow a woman to sleep in their beds, cook their meals, raise their children, care for them in their declining years….yet they couldn’t vote? You could argue that this did affect others – giving women equal say in our nation’s decisions. But it was only a matter of time. Half the nation could not be oppressed.

The right to bear arms has raised many fists over the decades. No! We shouldn’t be able to have guns, to own them and have them in our homes where we can have and do absolutely anything else: cook meth, watch porn, beat your wife/husband/child). Why should we have the same weapons the criminals who might accost us have? And to align with the argument, if you don’t want a gun, if you don’t agree in the right to bear arms…don’t buy one.

A raging war has existed for half a century over whether a woman should be able to have control over her own body. Should a government have a say over whether I cut my hair? Show my face? Open my mouth…or my legs? Many governments do. Don’t get me wrong; I am not an advocate for abortion. Morally, I would choose not to have one. Yet I do not believe the government should have any say over what I do – or don’t do – with my body. And ultimately, if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.

This may ire people to rebut: a child is a life at conception and it is precious. I agree. But…there is always a but. I believe God loves us all and He wants what is best for us as human beings. He does not want suffering or judgment, condemnation or retaliation. He has allowed us to create our world and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences for the choices we’ve made. Even God embraced change…those who live and die by the Old Testament need only consider why there was a New Testament. Ideologies from Old to New changed.

Just as they have now.

The sanctity of marriage occurs when two people who love one another want to make a lifelong commitment. Only a few decades ago, those two people could not be of different color. Today, the barrier is whether any two people can vow to love one another – in a time when over half of the men and women who marry eventually divorce. What right do people who cannot honor their vows have to deny everyone else the right to the same opportunity? The opportunity to no longer hide their relationship, to know what it feels like to hold hands in public. Many people can’t know the ache of wanting to wrap your arms around the person you love but not being able to because someone might see. The right to marry is one step closer to that kind of equality.

So it comes down to the core of the debate: why are some people so opposed to same-sex marriage? Heterosexual couples engage in immoral and illegal sexual practices daily in their own bedrooms. Women sell sex for a living. We have slave trade of children in sex-trafficking rings, and whether to allow people who love each other to marry is our issue? It begs the question, why do they care? And at the risk of being redundant, if you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, don’t have one, don’t go to one, don’t watch one. But honor that sanctimonious soapbox you stand on and embrace the most important adage: don’t judge one.