Why am I so passionate about gay rights these days?

I know that I tend to go off about this a lot these days, and I’m sure that I’ve lost a few Twitter followers and Facebook friends and soured the perceptions of a few family members along the way, too, and that’s just going to have to be ok.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really know where it all started. I’ve personally known maybe enough gay people to count on one hand, and I wouldn’t even consider any of them to be  really good friends, as much as more co-workers and acquaintances. But that doesn’t matter – you don’t have to know someone personally to believe that they deserve to be treated equally.

It’s to the point where a lot of times I feel rather silly that we’re even still fighting about this topic, but deep down I know that if I shrug my shoulders and walk off, and enough other people do the same, then another ten years from now we’re just going to keep having this same argument over and over again.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so to speak.

It’s just civil rights for me, plain and simple.

  • Until 1865, African Americans could be kept as slaves and were counted as 3/5ths of a person in America.
  • In 1920, women  were granted the right to vote in America.
  • In 1965, African Americans were guaranteed the right to vote in America – a right which was technically granted in 1870, but then quickly eroded away by discriminatory Jim Crow laws.
  • In 2014, gay Americans are allowed to marry in 14 out of 50 states, though legislation is frequent both to retract this right as well as reinforce other discriminatory acts towards them in the name of religious freedom.

Not even 100 years ago, none of the women in my life would’ve been allowed to vote, and a mere 50 years ago, black people were just then granted not only the right to vote, but also the right to sit at the same lunch counter and use the same public restrooms as white people.

That’s crazy, and to think that similar discrimination still exists today towards other Americans simply on account of who they are is unconscionable to me. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and I don’t really care if it makes anyone uncomfortable – we have to change and fix it.

We were wrong when our ancestors thought that it was ok to keep slaves, just like we were wrong when our ancestors thought that women weren’t equal to men. And just like it wouldn’t be right for someone to be persecuted because they were Jewish, or Italian, or atheist, it’s not right that here in the land of the free, some people are deemed more acceptable than others in the eyes of our government.

If someone wants to personally dislike gay people, that’s fine with me – history is full of jerks and by no means will they be the last.

But if they want to use their collective power to keep gay people beneath them and deny them rights that they themselves enjoy today, then that’s not right and I do take up issue with that.

Not to mention, specifically with regards to gay marriage I don’t understand…

  1. How is the “the sanctity of marriage” not impacted by the astounding divorce rate here in America?
  2. How is it that I’m able to be married and not even believe in god, though a gay person can’t even though he or she might?

It just doesn’t add up to me, so yeah, it’s a hot topic in my world, not because someone close to me is personally impacted by these rulings on a daily basis, but simply because what’s happening here just isn’t right, and until we can look across the landscape and gay people enjoy all of the same rights as you and me, then fair warning – I’m probably not going to shut up about it.

And no doubt somewhere even further down the line, there will be something completely different that raises its head and challenges societal norms all over again, and then our children’s generation is going to have to decide if they’re going to be accepting of that strange and new or if the cycle is going to persist. The best I can do is strive to see that they’re not still dealing with the civil rights faux pas of here and now, and I do think that we’re making progress.

It may not be going fast enough, but social justice never does or else it wouldn’t be required in the first place. 😕

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