My Take on Gay Marriage

28 Mar

One topic has dominated media and social media lately – gay marriage.  The recent discussion started when U.S. Senator from Ohio (and Republican) Rob Portman came out in favor of gay marriage because of his son.  I say recent because this isn’t a new topic by any means.  We have been talking about gay marriage for years.  I as well as most people my age, have supported the right for same-sex couples to marry since I became active in politics.

I’m not surprised that the tide is turning in favor of marriage equality.  I have always thought that one day a majority of people would favor same-sex marriage.  In college I was surprised to learn that even some of my most conservative friends supported the right for same-sex couples to marry.  Towards the end of my college career, I learned that the issue of gay rights was no longer an issue of liberal vs. conservative, but rather that of young vs. old.  That is why the tide is turning.   Conservative columnist George Will pointed out what is happening when he said, “Quite Literally, the opposition to Gay Marriage is dying…”  The electorate is quickly changing.   Two things that seemed impossible just a couple of years ago, support for immigration reform and gay marriage are now within reach.

The only thing that has surprised me recently about the change in attitude of gay marriage is how quickly things have changed.  If someone told me last year that a Republican senator would come out in favor of gay marriage I would have been stunned.  After Senator Portman’s announcement, there has been an increase in U.S. Senators joining Senator Portman.  The senators who recently announced their support for same-sex marriage are Kay Hagan (NC), Jon Tester (MT), Mark Begich (AK), Claire McCaskill (MO), Mark Warner (VA), Jay Rockefeller (WV), Chris Coons (DE), as well as senators who were already on the record supporting gay marriage.  I think it is monumental that we have seen so many public officials come out in favor of gay marriage in such a short time.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing two cases that will have a dramatic effect on gay marriage around the country.  The challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California Prop 8 will be decided soon.  Regardless of the outcome, the nation is moving towards the right direction.  Public support for gay marriage is rising and is higher now than it was for Civil Rights in the 1950’s.  One of many reasons that I bring that up is that I believe that gay marriage is a civil rights issue.  The widow of Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, voiced her support for gay marriage.  She saw it as a civil rights issue.

There are several arguments against gay marriage but it all boils down to one argument and that is religious objections, which has no standing on the law of our country.  Our constitution forbids making religious beliefs law of the land.  We were founded on freedom of religion, not the idea that everyone has to follow the majority religion.  It is for these reasons and many others that gay marriage should be legal in our country.

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