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Lovers Condemned

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Somewhere in this country, deep in the heart of America, children are playing under the pallid and humid Southern sun, flags of red and white and blue are quickly flapping bellyful with the wind of freedom, an old couple is walking and talking their way into their past on a frigid beach in Maine, leaders of the Free World are convening under the laurel and map to draw up plans to end poverty and hunger and disease-and a man is being denied his undeniable right to marry the one he loves because he is gay. Blacks fought for a hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation to be free at last, women clamored to the streets for over half a century for the vote, and homosexuals have struggled for thousands of years to receive a right many consider inseparable from freedom and humanity: marriage. It is a clear cultural norm that marriage exists only between a man and a woman. This moral maxim poisons the minds of many, spilling over into state constitutions, denying the right of thousands to love with no criminality, branding homosexuality “sodomy,” a constant and mortal reminder of their alleged impending doom. If our civilization is to advance, if our country is to claim itself as the epitome, the eidolon, the apex of freedom, then it must cease its condemnation and forbiddance of same-sex marriage with no delay.

As this country awaits a verdict from the esteemed Supreme Court, the other nations of the world make giant leaps in freedom. In recent weeks, Uruguay, a nation in a region the United States often accuses of harassing human rights, passed one of the most powerful pieces of legislation in marital history, not only granting marriage to same-sex couples, but also completely redefining marriage to mean any union between two persons. Uruguay is a heavily Catholic country, but they refuse to hamper civil rights with religious bigotry. For being a secular country, protected by the clause of Freedom of Religion, the United States is guided an awful lot by Christian “values.” Perhaps if homosexuals claimed themselves a new religion, certain exemptions from state and federal laws would be provided, just as some Mormons are allowed to be polygamous, a clear straying from the traditional meaning of marriage. Defendants of unfair, heterosexual-only marriage often cite their fear of changing the definition of marriage. A few have even expressed their concern that heterosexual marriages, including their own, would crumble nationwide, as if these “illegitimate” marriages would spread like the plague. This fear is unjustified and ridiculous. If these monogamous men and women fear their marriage will deteriorate because of same-sex marriage laws, they should be seeking both marriage and psychiatric counseling, not condemning love between two men or two women. The most preposterous allegation against same-sex marriage is that it will destroy the future of children, love, and even lead to an increase in pedophilia. These unwarranted accusations have actually been spewed from the mouth of senators who are making our laws and have been elected by law-abiding, freedom-lovin’ Americans. Perhaps they have forgotten that gay couples often adopt, raising children from poverty and shambles, giving them shelter and comfort, showing them the stars of the future, despite their own past in the shadows under parental neglect for being gay.

The best logic-based argument against same-sex marriage still has no moral or common sense. In defense of Prop 8, it was argued that the sole purpose of marriage is procreation; thus, homosexuals, because they cannot produce children, have no right to marriage. A number of judges remarked with wit that marriage should then be denied to couples over sixty, and any other sterile pairing. The most sensible politicians and judiciaries understand the absurdity of denying at least civil unions to homosexuals, but many promote a form of segregation reminiscent of the treatment of blacks since the 1860s and Plessy vs. Ferguson. President Obama quipped that gays have a tenable and absolute right to civil unions, but the definition of marriage must remain the same. Put simply, the first African-American President, in a simple twist of fate and time and votes, is promoting separate but equal! Yes, by imposing civil unions versus marriage, we promote a new and subtler brand of separate but equal, the idea struck down by the monumental Brown vs. BOE, the same case that desegregated schools and paved the way for Obama himself to become President. There is no harm done in allowing civil unions to become marriages, to allow the definition of an abstract and invented human word, one that will likely be forgotten over time as all words eventually are, to change. In this moment, we possess a palpable ability to change the world, to extend freedom to the last abused minority in America, with the fixing of a single word, but our politicians will likely keep the dictionaries dusty, the marriages forbidden, and criminalize same-sex love for countless, dragging years. Will you?

Until marriage is extended to every crevice of love in this country, we have no right to call the United States of America a symbol of freedom. Were she living, Lady Liberty would stalk away from New York City, shoulders slumped, the Declaration sitting soggy in the water, its preamble forgotten, all the way back across the Atlantic to the City of Lights, leaving our dark and dismal country a shameful figment of her past. Though the US claims to be the propagator and fertilizer of freedom and democracy in this world, they leave homosexuals feeling like dying roses in a fertile field. With so much potential to change this country, to make history by following common sense for once, we must and will redefine a word with the potent power to deny lovers the eternal bond, the power to force into reclusion and expatriation innumerable Romeos- and the power to heal the wounds of shunning and witch-hunting and exclusion that homosexuals have endured for too long. If I assume the beliefs are right, if they must stand before their Lord and ask to be forgiven for something they were given, for a sexuality they were born with, to gain entrance into Heaven, or be burnt to crisps in Hell, why then must we torture them on Earth for this immortal sin?



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