August 22, 2009

Gay Marriage, and Why It's One of Those Unalienable Rights

The traditional social hierarchy frowns on anything that threatens its established power. As such, the hierarchy (or, rather, those indoctrinated into believing in it) feels a bit queasy when thinking of horrible awful oh-so-terrifying things like, say, two people of the same sex daring to go on a date.

Because that might just wobble the heavy stone blocks that this grand old hierarchy's built on. What if- imagine!- things actually changed for the better? What if people could actually enjoy freedom of sexual orientation without worrying about what everyone else would think? What if, in the spirit of the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence and even common sense, we let people decide what to do with their own lives?

And yes, I'll explain myself, because I realize that a lot of people are probably really mad about what I just said. Fine. They're allowed to be mad. This is a free country, remember?

So, first. The Bill of Rights. Obviously it doesn't say anything about hetero- or homosexuality. But thinking about the First Amendment, shouldn't gay marriage be considered as a kind of freedom of religion? After all, the main objections to gay marriage seem to be based around religion. Marriage, or so the anti-gay argument goes, is sacred, right? Well... Last time I checked we had freedom of religion in this country, so let homosexual believers or nonbelievers decide what's sacred to them.

Second, the Declaration of Independence. Try "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." That's what Thomas Jefferson and his eminent colleagues told us we have a right to. I think that "liberty" definitely includes the freedom to choose who to spend the rest of one's life with... as does "the pursuit of happiness." And come on, if you're upset about the use of the word "marriage" as opposed to "civil union" then please, just stop being so annoyingly stuck-up and busybodyish... Let them have their pride and their economic rights. What does it matter to you if a few law-abiding married citizens get a tax break?

And as for common sense- look. I realize that not everyone thinks the same way. We all have different opinions about how everyone else should live their lives. But, basically, what I mean by calling on common sense is this: There is a point where we have to stop telling other people what to do. Otherwise, we'd get mixed up in a giant world war, because no one likes being told what to do, right? And I think telling people if they can get married or not is quite a line to cross. Therefore.... can we just not cross it?

Basically, if you're not gay it's none of your business. What in the world does it have to do with you? If it offends you to see two gay people get married, well, it offends me that you're offended. What are you going to do about it? Try this: Be a good citizen and let other citizens enjoy their unalienable rights.

Please, feel free to express your opinion... but there's a certain point at which you stop enjoying your own rights and start infringing on someone else's.

1 comment:

  1. rideabicycle11:39 AM

    Although I agree that gay marriage needs to happen, I am fairly certain that such a policy is not at all consistent with either the documents upon which this nation was founded or the people who did the founding.

    But more to the point, I'd like to take a look at your three arguments:

    a) The First Amendment does not concern marriage. People have a tendency to reach for it in justifying whatever they feel the need to justify, and frankly it's a absurd to associate the statute with an institution over which the Federal Government has no jurisdiction. Even at a state level, you'd be hard pressed to convince a judge that the freedoms of speech, assembly, redress, and religion have anything to do with marriage.

    b) As to your second point concerning the Preamble, I'm compelled to renew my argument that the framers did not have gay marriage in mind when they penned the Constitution. While this should have no bearing on how we as a nation decide the issue (society does change over time), you can't really invoke Thomas Jefferson here. He wasn't exactly a moral role model, especially concerning marriage; he cheated on his wife with a slave. It doesn't really get any more immoral than that.

    c) Common Sense varies between people. The relative location of the "line to cross"`is going to be different for every person on earth, and you have no right to tell them that they're wrong.

    I do support the homosexual's right to marriage, but we inhabit what is, ultimately, a society governed by the people. And the people, ultimately, do not wish to permit gays to marry. If we can come up with a way to give them the same economic advantages as marriage, then we have fulfilled our obligations to protect the rights of the minority.