It is so interesting how some of the aspects of a democratic society and process somehow fail to deliver what originally was intended as a the main purpose of a nation that serves, supports, and entitles every single citizen with the exact same rights. Those rights that were extensively examined by the founders of our nation and became the constitution of the USA. Since its inception and the following amendments, the Constitution aims towards the deserving freedom that every single contributor to the nation earns by abiding to the law and regulations that will preserve the peace and harmony for each citizen, which in turns serves to become the order and progress of the nation. Therefore, a free and happy society brings what the country needs to ensure the prosperity and the well-being of all. The results go both ways: to the components of this society and to the nation that holds them.
Law abiding citizens that comply with their responsibilities and obligations are deserving of those liberties and rights, or any other provision the government creates. These will be served equally and without any distinction to ethnicity, gender, lifestyle, belief, origin, social and cultural status, etc. The Constitution does not provide any “special favors” to any group, person, organization, etc. “All” is about every individual that independently contributes to the positive formation and progress of the entire nation.
Jefferson, considering the measurable and important value of public happiness, included in the United States Declaration of Independence the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” A sentence that is considered one the best crafted and most influential sentences in the history of the English language. He recognized these three rights as an “unalienable rights” or sovereign rights of man.
George Mason wrote:
“That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”
But it is interesting that once legislation has been passed to protect and provide one of these constitutionally recognized perks offered by democracy to a minority lacking them – it becomes a matter of “popular” consensus by a referendum, which only seeks deny that passed legislation.
Nothing wrong with that mechanism, so as long as the same doesn’t violate the basic principle of granting – indiscriminately – those rights to everyone, without exception. But referendums created and presented to override the right to legal marriage to same-gender couples should be questioned before posted. The interesting part of all this is that there is no substance when it comes to any legal or reasonable principle to deny a right – especially one that already was granted by the higher office of a state and based on that constitutional right. Religious, moral or anything beyond the scope of the legal realm doesn’t suffice to derail something that has been established as a constitutional legal right. But those referendums keep coming and attempting to override that passed legislation. I am not a constitutional lawyer and sadly my ignorance in that department will not help me to present the necessary legal arguments that are violated with such referendums. But just common sense tells me that they are way wrong and out-of-place.
Looking a little beyond this constitutional and legal aspect, we can see that the main issue at stake is, somehow, missed or addressed: There is no individual, organization, law or regulation that entitles anyone to decide how others may live their own life. But somehow, those that are against the rights for that minority of the minorities, feel that – somewhere – marriage between a man and a woman is written in stone, and that this kind of marriage is exclusively the only one that can take place in our society. Is it that those religious minds suspect that if this constitutional right is addressed and federally enforced, those same-gender couples may seek a religious marriage? Give me a break!
It is interesting – for a lack of a better word- that theologians, historians, anthropologists and archeologists had found no sound evidence to such in the sacred scriptures. Not to mention the fact that the basic principle of all religions establishes that every single human being must be loved, accepted, supported and forgiven when wrong. To make this case even more compelling, there is no evidence in the sacred scriptures that presents homosexuality as wrong, unnatural or a matter of personal choice.
So where does this come from?
The undeniable fact here is that some people strongly believe to know the only truth, even if such goes against their own religious principles and as well is a total denial of equal liberty and rights for all. We can go even deeper in that regard when we ask: why do those individuals tend to believe that they are the only holders of such truth? Frankly, that is none of my business, as much as it is none of theirs to analyze, judge, ostracize and sentence those that they are unable to recognize and accept. However, from the civic point of view, it is rather revolting that those uptight and judgmental individuals fail to recognize that the people seeking the right to marriage are perhaps as good contributors to the well-being of the nation as they are. They work, pay taxes, respect the law, are loving people, etc. And all they ask is the acknowledgment of being who they are: equal to all and entitled to legal marriage that will provide them the same rights their opponents receive. But it is not just the civil right what they seek. Anyone who desires to commit into legal marriage, desires to do so because, they — like the rest of the population — aspire to help with the foundation in which society has been built on. They want to participate in the well-being of the nation with every single aspect of the established, working and organized society they live in.
Their love for each other will not be impaired by this denial. Instead, it will show that their commitment has existed since the moment that they committed to each other. But that “doesn’t suffice” to validate their commitment and the recognition they aim for, which is for the well-being and benefit of our nation and society. How ironic this is, when at least 50% of the heterosexual couples are already divorced, the majority pregnancy cases in the US are to single women under 30 years old, the numbers of family-less children has sky rocketed in the last few decades. Thousands of these children lack of any nurturing family, and most crimes come from those that never had an opportunity to become law-abiding citizens, because they are unrecognized and lacked all opportunities.
Same-gender marriage will pitch in – tremendously – in addressing and correcting some of those problems. In fact, more than half of gay families opt for adoption. And there is no evidence of any sort, that kids growing up in a same-gender coupled family are dysfunctional, less human, disrespectful of the law and — definitely not – unloving people. Many of the kids from gay couples I’ve met through my kid’s events, schools, etc, are some of the most loving and compassionate kids I’ve known. But those that propose these referendums, as well those that vote for them, seem to know the truth better than the rest of the American people, even better than those same-gender couples.
More ironic is the fact that not everyone is against same-gender marriage. The majority of the people under 30 years old are in favor of same gender marriage rights. But today, baby boomers, the flower generation, are much older and they’ve forgotten what they learned, when they were as young as their kids are today. As well, it is overwhelmingly clear that the advocate efforts of some religious groups (#1 the Mormons) are the reason this legislation has been threatened and defeated before (Prop 8) and possibly legislation in those states that already passed this constitutional legislation, will be defeated again and again, until this case goes to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will not have any other saying but to speak in favor of the constitutional rights of every American, the very same way that interracial marriage became protected.
But I have another point in this regard, one that is as valid and solid as the previously mentioned. We are not in the middle ages. Science, sociology, history and many other fields had proven consistently that homosexuality is a natural event in our species — records of it exist since our early days of history. There is nothing wrong with it. Going against it reflects a deep lack of compassion, understanding, fear and plain ignorance. And that doesn’t match our need for progress in any field or history. Or is it human nature to always have an issue to go against, or a certain group of people to fight, specially if they’re a minority? There is no evidence to back this notion. It’s those individuals — that feels, thinks and acts this way — that have an internal and very personal issue. And their issue has nothing to do with the people they are against, because there is no foundation or evidence to their sentiment. That’s the reason they have no other option other than to use something that which is not even proven, such as the Sacred Scriptures they assert. However, it seems they “know the truth and the only truth.” But those are against to it, in reality, know nothing. They are just holding their sentiment based on their very personal opinion. A Freudian projection of some sort? Therefore, they feel obligated to fight at any cost. Also, they take the law in their own hands. They police the order they believe should be. They try to enforce it and they do whatever it takes to keep it that way. And the cost of this illegal effort is a tremendous waste of money and time. It damages the establishment, the uneducated and fearful in society, because it plainly disseminates discrimination towards those that never have done anything to deserve such. This is nothing different from what today is not illegal anymore, such as interracial marriage, rights for women, desegregation, religious freedom, etc, etc, etc. The same items that were removed from our unspoken “laws” of our ancient past and were nothing less than a disgraceful violation to humanity and harmonious order.
Nevertheless, the most annoying of all aspects of this discriminatory initiative by some religious groups is that the only argument they present to advocate against same-gender couples is nothing more than their moral and religious views — same that had not be proven by any means, in terms of any biblical validation. The separation of Church and State is suppose to go both ways. No one is advocating about any of the above beliefs or religions, so what is the excuse those zealots have to make their case against that which has been clearly legislated and protected by our constitution? These referendums that attempt to derail any constitutional right do not deserve to become a matter of democratic process. It is a violation to the liberties that all Americans deserve and are granted. Civil unions are not the proper measure to be granted by state governments, because such is not a validation of that right and as well, for as long as this right is not federally addressed and corrected, gay couples will continued being unrecognized as law-abiding and deserving people, as the Constitution and the law states should be.
I am not attempting to state (as they like to think and act) that I own the universal truth about this issue. Therefore, I know better than they do. I am just expressing my own view, coming from a little more educated place. I am not seeking to marry anyone, same gender or the opposite. I do not have a family member that wishes to receive this right. Yes, I know of people who wish to be able to do so, but my investment is not based on my own belief or wish. I am just expressing something that once taken care of, for good and enforced to the dot, will deeply and positively affect an area in our world and nation, that has been for the longest neglected and unspoken. And that only is because those against this, are extremely vocal and proactive to enforce their own set of beliefs and the rest of the people prefer not to get involved because – for starters – this is not a business that belongs to anyone but those that wish, aim and aspire to get it legally granted. The very same right that you and I receive and most take for granted. Marriage is about commitment into a monogamous, steady and loving establishing of a family. It is recognized as a right to one of the basic principles that establish a positive future of a functional and progressive society that up-keeps a nation. Nothing more, nothing less. Those referendums should be denied by the local governments and they should use their resources in something that offers true promises to our democratic process, state and nation.
An earlier version of this piece was published on Educate Your Mind