Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gay marriage okay?

So I was sitting at lunch with my mom the other day and we got on the topic of how different generations have a hard time grasping concepts that may come to another generation naturally.

One of these things is homosexuality. It seems to be a lot more accepted in my generation than in others. Should it be? Should homosexuality be accepted these days?

As we all know, we have some elections coming up on November 7th. Besides voting between two equally lovely and competent governors, you’ll also have the option of voting on Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban. I highly recommend you take the opportunity to do so.

First of all, it makes me sad that we even need to vote on this and that the issue hasn’t even come up until now. It’s not even an issue, it’s common sense. Why would anyone not be allowed to get married? It seems a little silly to me that there’s even a question on whether or not homosexuals should get married.

Better yet, it seems silly to me that I’m even posing the question of whether or not homosexuality should be accepted. Why is it even a question? - Because it’s not accepted in the majority of people by any means. If it was, we wouldn’t be having this vote.

I’m sure some of us can remember the brutal beating of Matthew Shepherd in Wyoming in 1998. That very same year, Will & Grace premiered on NBC. So why is it okay to watch homosexuality on television but not be anywhere near homosexuals?

This baffles me and I will never be able to understand why gay people are any different from me. They’re not. So why are they being treated that way? - Because they’re not accepted.

The Fair Wisconsin vote certainly wouldn’t make things fair if you vote yes. According to the actual text:
"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."
This means that the amendment would not only ban gay marriages, but also civil unions, which are currently legal. It would take away all the rights a gay couple could ever have – why is that okay?

Wisconsin is a leader in medical research out of Madison, especially stem cell research. So why don’t we be one of the first states in the nation to reject this constitutional ban on gay unions? Sadly, eleven states passed bans in November 2004 and we can’t let Wisconsin be a follower of something so wrong. We need to be a leader of something just and fair.

We’ve all heard the argument that homosexuality is a sin. We don’t prosecute child molesters because it’s a sin do we? We do it because we know it’s wrong. We don’t let murderers out of jail because they’re sins were forgiven do we? They get out early for good behavior or paroled early on a daily basis.

We don’t base other laws in the government on religion, why start now? Wisconsin needs to keep a distinct separation between church and state and see people for who they are – just people.

Homosexual people are no different than anyone else. We are all human beings and deserve all the rights to be treated like one.

By banning gay marriages and civil unions, Wisconsin will be taking a step back in time. We don’t need another civil rights movement, let’s continue to use what we learned then and apply it now – the situations are no different.

If this amendment gets passed, there is bound to be many protests. Even worse, many people will leave the state for somewhere more accepting and fair, like homosexual teachers and professors who won’t get benefits in Wisconsin.

I’ve addressed a lot of the cons here for one big reason – I see no pros. What benefits could possibly come from banning a large group of the population from something everyone else is allowed to do? How could that possibly make Wisconsin a better place?

Not only is this gay marriage ban a problem on the surface, but it goes much deeper. Imagine you are in a serious relationship and your partner gets in a fatal car accident. They’re okay but in serious condition, so of course you are concerned and head for the hospital.

Wait, you can’t see your partner, nor are you allowed any information on how they’re doing. Your relationship is not legally recognized or accepted. Would you be annoyed, frustrated, and angry? Would you feel helpless, like you were being treated unfairly?

We need to put an end to the terms “unaccepted” and “unfair” and “unjust”. We need to put an end to discrimination once and for all. And we absolutely need to make our generation known for being tolerant. Make Wisconsin a fair Wisconsin by voting no on November 7th.

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