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Lady Liberty Said It First… Or At Least She Would Have

on September 7, 2012

The purpose of the law is to protect the rights of its people by preventing injustice. In the United States of American these rights are outlined in the Bill of Rights. At their most basic, the Bill of Rights is meant to protect, as described in The Declaration of Independence, one’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, (aside from that silly assertion that “all [people] are created equal) whatever form that might take for an individual – unless it impinges upon others rights to the same pursuits.

The Right to Life:

You might be like HBO’s Dexter and find happiness in murdering other people, but you are violating the Bill of Rights by denying those people that you killed their right to life. As such you are subject to the force of law; you have acted unlawfully. Your prosecution is not to ensure justice, but to prevent injustice. It is not just that you go to prison. Rather, it is unjust that you not be punished for violating another person’s rights.

The Right to Liberty:

The Bill of Rights protects its citizen’s liberty. Liberty is defined as the state of being free within a society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. This includes religion. You are free to believe in whatever you want, as long as your actions, whether as a result of your religious beliefs or not, do not impinge upon other’s right to liberty. For one or many to prevent the liberty of others would be unjust, and would therefore merit punishment (see Dexter, above). It is both unjust to deny one’s liberty; it would be unjust to not protect one’s right to liberty.

Separation of Church & State:

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom, secular government. Government shan’t be based on religion nor can it oppress the practice or belief in any claimed religion. One might say that Dexter believes that murder is his religion. But he’s not being persecuted for believing that murder is paramount, nor simply for killing another person. He is being persecuted because murdering another person is violating their right to life. Without the concept of one’s right to life, murder would not necessarily be considered bad.

Am I making any sense? I’m not going to pretend that my arguments above are bulletproof. Not in the slightest. And I realize that I am attempting to describe a delicately subtle difference that in most linguistic circles means exactly the same thing. But I swear, they are different. And here’s what I’m getting at – the government has no right to deny gay people from being recognized as married under United States of America law.

#1 – Gay and lesbian folk are people; human beings. Thusly they deserve the right to life. Ok, this isn’t so much an issue anymore. There is still homophobic violence out there, but I wouldn’t say that gay and lesbian people are actively being denied the right to life on a large scale basis. And I think that is because of human’s innate sense of one’s right to life. We don’t all ascribe to that belief because the Bill of Rights says so. There’s some innate belief in the sanctity of life.

#2 – Because gay and lesbian folk are human beings, and especially if they are citizens of the United States of America, they have the right to liberty. In laymen’s terms, they can do whatever they want (unless it violates the rights of others). I don’t see how allowing gay or lesbian people to get married would violate the basic rights of anyone else.

And don’t get me fucking started on what it says in the Constitution about marriage cause do you know who wrote those words? Yes, you should. If you don’t you really should go back to school. Do you know when that was written? Just like two hundred years ago when being same-sex inclined was basically not even an option. I feel pretty confident saying there have been gay and lesbian people for pretty much all of time, whether or not I have any proof. Over time it’s just been a matter of how acceptable or not the expression of that personal belief was in any given society.

Everyone is free to believe in whatever they want. People who believe gay and lesbians should not be allowed to marry have every right to believe that. They do not however, have the right to pass a law which explicitly denies the supposed liberty of gay and lesbian people to get married.  Every heterosexual person in the United States of America has the freedom to get married. They aren’t just allowed to get married, they are free to get married. Why aren’t gay and lesbian people free to get married? What right do the collective “we” have to decide whether or not to allow an entire group of people a liberty that most of us take for granted? Yes, not so long ago it was illegal for white and non-white people to get married, and frankly, that only further proves the outdatedness of the words in the Constitution regarding marriage, but come on people, let’s just let everyone be equal. Science can prove that homosexual people are just as human as heterosexual people. Why is that not enough proof that homosexual folk deserve the same inalienable rights as heterosexual folk?

#3 – Religion is not a legitimate reason to change the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights to deny an entire group of people those rights. Remember that little ditty about separation of church & state? This is where it applies. You can’t propose a law that says gay and lesbian people can’t get married because it is ordained by God (even that is constantly up for debate). Ok, so you say the original Constitution said marriage is between a man and a woman. Need I remind you again of when this document was conceived and written? -> in a time when homosexuality was frowned upon. And really, the assertion in a supposedly secular document that marriage is between a man and a woman is proof that the Constitution is not immune from bias. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable for this bias to be changed to reflect the times we live in now.

Admittedly, when Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all [people] are created equal,” he wasn’t really taking into account the fact that slavery still existed; that there were thousands, even millions of people in the world who were not being treated equally. But we can’t blame him, the science to prove the humanity of black africans didn’t exist yet *eye roll*. However, if “all [people] are created equal” doesn’t outweigh every argument against gay marriage, I don’t know what does. I mean, it’s in the fucking first paragraph of the fucking first document ever composed asserting the existence of a new sovereign nation that shortly thereafter became the United States of America. Like, if Lady Liberty was a real person and could speak, that’s the first thing she would have said having been mystically and spontaneously manifested from the earth.

So don’t give me this shit about not letting gay and lesbian people get married. How exactly is allowing homosexual people the freedom to get married in the eyes of the law (which they should already have) impinging upon the rights of heterosexual people? Pass a “law” in your church or religion that gay people can’t get married, whatever. I’ll just choose not to follow your religion; I have the right not to; the right to choose. But in a government that explicitly states there be no weight given to religious beliefs in its law-making… couldn’t be more clear to me the un-Constitutionality of passing a law that not only denies a basic right but also is motivated, supported, and promoted by a religious institution.

It would probably be pertinent of me to note that I am not attempting to bash religion. On the whole I think religion can be a very profound tool in bringing people of the world together, no matter the technical differences. I also know that not all religious people out there believe homosexuality to be an abomination, and I obviously would align myself with those types of people.

As my high school hockey teammate once said in some Minnesota governing session, gay marriage is not a religious issue, it’s a human rights issue. I don’t think (hope) there aren’t any  political leaders in the United States today that believe homosexual people to somehow not quite human. So why aren’t they given the same rights and freedoms that everyone else is given? I could ask that question in so many different ways about a million times over, and I wouldn’t be the first, or the last.

Yvette Nicole Brown, of NBC’s Community, described God as love. God. Is. Love.


Can’t we all just love each other, ya’ll?

Whether or not you believe in God I sure as hell hope you believe in love, cause love is basically what’s at the heart of it all. Without love  we would be like Dexter and we wouldn’t have any kind of concept of the sanctity of life. Or the importance of community. I mean, seriously, what more can a girl say in a post that she’s not gonna spell check and nobody’s gonna read?


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