Prop 8: ignorant discrimination

December 8, 2008 — by Mary Mykhaylova and Kavya Nagarajan

Recently, California passed a proposition that bans same-sex marriage, though it had been previously deemed legal by the California Supreme Court in a ruling that was valid for 173 days.

This country was founded on the ideals of freedom and every citizen deserves equal rights. When an individual’s right to love and marry whom that person wishes is undermined, so is his or her pursuit of happiness. It is unconstitutional and unjust to restrict homosexuals from receiving the same rights as straight people. They are required to pay the same taxes, yet don’t receive Social Security benefits, health insurance, veterans’ benefits or hospital visitation rights only because they aren’t allowed to get married. This is clearly unfair.

There are several supposed reasons to oppose gay marriage, one of them being that it isn’t “natural.” Some parents also oppose same-sex marriage because they don’t want their children being taught that it’s OK to marry a person of the same sex. Accepted by society or not, homosexuality will not disappear. That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s going to be preached, either. Nowhere is it stated that teachers will all of a sudden be required to teach kids about marriage, gay or straight.

The “keep marriage out of our schools” myth is a fabrication. Even if some teachers were to decide to educate their students on this issue, they will not be preaching to the children that they should all turn gay. If that were true, then schools need to rethink the whole Holocaust segment as well.

There is also the argument that same-sex marriage goes against a number of religious beliefs. Several religions, such as Christianity, believe that marriage is a sacred sanctity between a man and a woman. In the Bible, it states that divorce is not allowed unless a person commits adultery. Yet today, thousands of couples get divorced for several other reasons. It is unfair and wrong to allow only certain exceptions.

Every person should have the right to believe in what he or she wants, and along with freedom of religion should come freedom from religion. Prop 8 has clearly shown California’s failure to separate church and state. This is quite ironic, considering that California is considered to be one of the most liberal states. Even suspects in a crime are recited their rights before they are arrested.

Not only does the argument of religious beliefs fail, but also the claim that allowing same-sex marriage alters the meaning of the word “marriage” does not make sense. Marriages that last two days that happen after a couple is drunk in Las Vegas are what make the word less meaningful. Two people who love one another, whose relationship has withstood oppression and discrimination, make a marriage, if anything, more meaningful.

A gay couple, who have been together for years, represents patience and love. Individuals are almost always born gay–it is not a phase, it is who they are, and no one deserves to be discriminated against for something out of their control. Humans are responsible for defining the word “marriage,” so why can’t we be the ones to change it as well?

By supporting this proposition, a citizen is justifying the action of discriminating against different sexualities. Although supporters claim that they have nothing against homosexuals, they are going against everything this country is based on.

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