A most sad moment in US history

Equal treatment of EVERYONE under the law, or so what the founding fathers of the United States of America envisioned at the birth of the nation.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009 is indeed a most disappointing moment in American history as the Supreme Court of California ruled on a 6–1 vote to affirm the ban on same–sex marriage, but said that the 18,000 same–sex weddings that took place before the prohibition are still valid since the amendment was not retroactive –– a ruling condemned by gay–rights activists as a hollow victory.

Since then, I was plagued by a simple question that I believe also has a simple answer. Why can’t two people of the same sex be able to make the same life–long commitment as two of the opposite sex? It seems simple enough to me, but let me start off with some things that need stating at the outset:

I am a person who believes that people are born gay. I believe that you have no control over what (or who) attracts you and what eventually ends up being your sexual preference, that’s why it’s called attraction and not choice. Being a homosexual myself, I believe that my attraction to the same sex was not in any way my choice, but something that came organically to me.

I also believe that America is a great nation of even greater people, but this incident is a gross and shameful violation of the virtues of the founding fathers of the United States of America. This is quite an irony as America claims that they adhere to the principle of the separation of the Church and State.

Make no mistake, I am a Christian and I believe in the Bible. But this issue goes far beyond any religious orthodoxies. It is because we’re dealing with basic civil liberties. This is about the equal treatment of EVERYBODY under the law. This is why it is disheartening to note that an atheist who doesn’t believe in God at all is allowed to marry someone s/he loves while a gay Christian is not.

America has been in this rut many times in the past. Struggle for civil rights, women’s liberation, religious tolerance: the notion of equality has always been inherent in this supposedly great nation. But why can’t nonheterosexual people enjoy liberties such as marrying the one they love, in spite of America’s triumph against other forms of inequality?

I’ve been asked many times in the past, why can’t two men or two women, joined in a civil union, be happy with that? Why do they have to have a marriage? Is it about the name?

Civil unions have to do with death. It’s essentially a document that gives you lower taxes, and the right to let your living “spouse” collect your insurance when you pass away. But marriage is about life. It’s about commitment. And this argument is about allowing people to have the right to make that commitment, even if it doesn’t make sense to some.

Also, I’ve noticed long before that there isn’t one person who is against gay marriage that can give me a reason why it shouldn’t be legal without bringing God or their religion into it. Are we to believe that anyone who doesn’t live their life according to the Bible isn’t protected by the same laws that protect those who do?

Still, I’m amazed at the audacity of a group of the ultra–conservative Christians, who spend millions of dollars, in a recession, on advertisements to stop two men or women who love each other from being able to marry, but when you present any opposition to them, they accuse you of attacking their religion.

Isn’t it funny that the people who are the quickest to take someone’s basic rights to happiness are always the loudest to scream when someone attacks their right to do so?

If one does still insist on bringing religion into the argument, I dare ask: Is it not strange that throughout the Bible, people keep on insisting that “God is LOVE”? What then, is the difference when a man loves a woman, when a man loves another man, or when a woman loves another woman?

The support of legalizing gay marriage is in no way meant to change the ideals of those ultra–conservative Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin. Believe what you like. But let us believe what we like. Let us not allow other people’s ideas shape our own. Allow us to love who (or what) we love. Allow us to have that kind of commitment as well. ▪