Our VoiceNews & Politics

Equality is not a Privilege


Guest Blogger • Mar 12, 2009

By Amy Spicer

“It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others. –Thomas Jefferson.

“Fidelity”: Don’t Divorce… from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.
When President Bush first called for a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage I thought most people would recognize it as a desperate act of a desperate president. Certainly an amendment with the sole intent to deny basic legal rights to its citizens couldn’t be carried out. Right?

Unfortunately wrong.

While the California Supreme Court heard arguments to overturn Prop 8 last Thursday (arguments whether is was an amendment or a revision and the legalities therein) I just kept thinking how a president was able to hijack a human rights issue and use it to deflect from his own shortcomings as the leader of the free world. And how it’s possible in 2009 that equal rights are denied in our country. Equal rights; not different, not more, not “instead of” but equal.

Our government itself is a result of a revolution in thought; it’s founded on the principle that all people have equal rights and even more that the government derives its powers from its people; how then can the Constitution knowingly be changed to deny these rights?

The argument that same-sex marriage threatens and undermines marriage between a man and a woman always begs the same question: how? How can one relationship threaten or undermine another’s? Or marriage is for having and raising children. I’m a woman who is fairly certain she does not wish to have children. Where does that argument leave me?
Then there’s the same-sex marriage opens the door for redefining marriage completely. Again, how? How does marriage between two loving, committed adults redefine marriage? Isn’t it in fact the definition of?

I find that try as they might to offer legal, social or cultural reasons opponents of same-sex marriage generally come back to religion.

Prejudice framed in a religious text is still prejudice. And we live in a country where freedom of religion is just as important as being free from religion. Lines cannot be blurred when it comes to the separation of church and state.

As for the argument that same-sex marriage just isn’t “traditional”; how could “tradition” ever trump inalienable rights. We are born as we are and as such are equal and free.

All states, not just California, should be states that do not encroach on their citizens fundamental and human rights including marrying the partner of their choice, whether same-sex or not; and all the legal rights that come with. Allow everyone to pursue happiness and in turn begin creating their own traditions.

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