The Union Recorder

Columns

March 27, 2013

COLUMN: Gay marriage debate: People are people

MILLEDGEVILLE —  

As I write this I can’t help but to feel a little tentative. Hot button issues are just that — hot. However, since this is an opinion piece, that’s what I’m going to give. My opinion. I don’t want to make this article wholly based on religious views on the issue. To me, it’s a social and human rights issue. Is marriage, the union of two people, an issue that should be decided in the federal courts or in the court of public opinion? Who’s to say that the partnership between a same-sex couple is less than that of a heterosexual one?

I was raised in the church and I certainly understand how those teachings can impact the way we live our lives. But in the U.S. Constitution the writers were deliberate in not imposing any one person’s religious views. Out of respect and for the inclusion of all religious beliefs it is not intertwined in our government. Yes, there are presences of it. God is referenced in our pledge, our national anthem (in the fourth verse), on our money, etc. It’s not hard to see that Christian beliefs have a presence in the very areas the founders wanted them kept out of. At the crux of this issue is a conservative religious belief versus human rights.

High school was the first time I remember meeting and befriending someone who was gay. Even then, in the mid- to late-90s, it wasn’t something one discussed. I remember how my BFF was ridiculed and taunted. I really couldn’t understand why who he was made him any less of a ‘regular’ person than me. I was more curious about what it was like being gay. Being a heterosexual, it was only natural. I was taught to believe one thing, but like many things in life, you don’t really know until you know. At the time it never really crossed my mind that it was a big deal not being legally accepted. Naively I didn’t think that gay individuals wanted to get married. Obviously now I know that there is really a great deal more to it.

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