Equality To Change Society? - Left Side
Gay Marriage Is A Matter Of Basic Human And Civil Rights
(page 2 of 2)
Yes, some opponents of gay marriage actually make that argument. Thing is, I don’t know about you, but I’ve not run across many people who are clamoring for that particular right. And it seems highly unlikely that if legal marriage between gays were to become the law of the land that hordes of goat lovers would come out of the woodwork demanding their rights as well.
At any rate, that argument is highly offensive because it utterly dehumanizes gay people. It suggests that if a man falls in love with another man, or a woman with another woman, they are really no different from people who engage in bestiality.
This is a matter of basic human and civil rights—a recognition of the human dignity of all people and their right to love whomever they choose, without interference from the state, and to enjoy equal protection under the law.
As things stand now, in Virginia and other backward states, laws against marriage essentially seek to establish a category of second-class citizenship. That, it seems to me, is a clear violation of the 14th Amendment.
As I said at the outset, I’m a moderate on most left-right issues. I can see merit in the argument that banning guns makes law-abiding citizens more vulnerable to criminals; I can see merit in the argument that abortion is murder because fetuses of a certain age have beating hearts and feel pain. Gay marriages, by contrast, harm no one!
In my experience with college students, today’s younger generations recognize this overwhelmingly. Even my students who are staunchly conservative in most respects tend not to have a problem with gay marriage. This suggests to me that it’s only a matter of time before gay marriages are legal across the land. Opponents might as well give up now because they’re fighting a losing battle—never mind a battle that is both immoral and unconstitutional.
Tom Robotham is an award-winning writer and an adjunct professor of American studies at Old Dominion University. He was born and raised in New York City but has lived in Norfolk for the past 20 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Taphouse Grill in Ghent.