Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Normally, this is a place where I tell you what or how I’m doing while I’m away from the states. This time however, I’m concerning myself with an issue that’s happening back in the states. The marriage equality debate has hit a fever pitch and I’m sure people are tired of reading statuses, tweets, and seeing profile pictures changed. However, this issue is too important to me to not speak out. Not for me, though I’m getting better at fighting for what I want, but for people who are close to me.

Many of you know I’m extremely close with multiple homosexual people, and while I won’t be mentioning them by name, they know exactly who they are. These are people I count amongst my greatest friends. People who have supported me during my best times and my worst times, and continue to do so now. To not support them would be a disservice to the love I have for them. How could I tell them I love them, which I do, and then not fight for their happiness? Make no mistake, that’s what this entire debate is about, happiness.

I’m not going to approach it from a political perspective, but instead only as a moral issue. So let’s dispel some notions about marriage equality that have nothing to do with the reality, first and foremost being the religious issue. This is a completely irrelevant argument to me. Currently, I can get married to anyone at anytime I want. All it takes is a plane ticket to Vegas, which is admittedly more expensive now that I’m in Paris. There’s no need to get married in a church, or even by a man of the cloth. These marriages that take place outside of religious institutions or are completely devoid of religion whatsoever still count the exact same way when being viewed by the state. If churches want to deny homosexual couples getting married in their church, let them live in the past. However, just like heterosexual marriages that take place outside religious dogma, why wouldn’t we allow homosexuals the same exact rights? Who exactly is judge of how we treat the citizens of our nation, religious institutions or we the people? Furthermore, I’m not exactly a theology scholar, but I’m pretty confident a key component of almost every major religion would be to treat others as you would like to be treated. I don’t understand how people can label themselves religious and actively fight for the right to deny a portion of the population the opportunity to be happy. I know that there are many tolerant religious people in the world, but it makes me happy that I don’t subscribe to that label.

Moving to a different type of notion, one of the biggest stereotypes about homosexual men specifically is that they are not strong, but are in fact weak. That could not be more false. For my heterosexual friends who are in love, imagine being told by someone that your love for the person you care about more than anything else in the world was not right. They told you the way you want to pursue your happiness was immoral, wrong, and would not be accepted. This isn’t just by strangers or the state, but possibly by some of your friends and even your family. Now imagine the courage it would take to stand up against all of that pressure and pursue what makes you feel happy. Sound like weakness to you? When have you had that kind of courage in your lifetime?

Ultimately, this entire debate comes down to equal rights. What exactly are homosexual people asking for? Are they asking to corrupt your children, your ideals, or your religion? Not even in the slightest. They are simply asking for the same rights afforded heterosexuals, first and foremost being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is the kind of strength and pursuit that literally built this country. We have a moral obligation as a nation to treat all people equally, so stop worrying about whether being homosexual is right for you, and start worrying about it being a right.

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