Tomorrow will be the eighth anniversary of the writer and I “tying the knot”. Luckily, because we are of the opposite sex, we were able to secure a legal marriage with very little effort. If, in fact, we were of the same sex, we would be celebrating an eight year commitment with no legal rights between us and within our union.
This week, the State Senate of New York is voting to pass a bill that will legalize same-sex marriage and secure a higher level of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. In opposition to this bill is a small group of bigoted but vocal individuals, led by a group called the national organization for marriage (nom). This group purports to be pro-marriage when, in reality, they are a bigoted group who seek to push their values on the majority of Americans that believe in equal rights.
Legislating from the seat of morality is a very sticky situation. America is a nation built on the ideals of equality, justice and separation of church and state. Without these founding positions to ground us, we would be nothing but a nation of religious zealots, no better than those countries that govern their people based on religious fundamentalism. This seems like a no-brainer really. What people do in their bedrooms should not be governed by the public. Laws are meant to protect people, not to restrict rights.
When it really comes down to it we should all have the freedom to do what we personally feel is right. If two people want to get married for love or money or rights, that is their decision. The government should not be in our bedrooms, telling us how to live our lives. The faithful say that they are trying to “protect the sanctity of marriage” by fighting against equality, however they are doing a disservice to the faith that they claim to have. Faith is personal. Faith is a guiding principle in an individual life. Faith is not something that can be legislated or imposed on others. Each of us walks through this world with our own minds and the ability to make decisions about our own lives. If one chooses to be married, that is a personal choice. It should, therefore, not be molded by those with power. It should not be regulated by those in high positions. Morality is something that we each deal with on a personal basis and that is how it should remain. Love is love is love.
Having said that, what can we do to counter the hate filled rhetoric of NOM and move forward with a more equal system for all?
Stand up and be counted
The Human Rights Campaign has been working diligently to get our elected officials to vote yes on the marriage equality bill. With the “moral” attacks from NOM and other organizations, the efforts of HRC could be thwarted. We need to stand up as a people and show NOM that the majority believe in equality and acceptance, not bigotry and hatred. Call or email your senator with your support of this bill today!
Tell a Friend
Share the news that you are part of this fight with your family and friends. Power comes with mass outreach and the struggle cannot be won without an outpouring of support from all people.
Post your support
You know you love to “like” things on Facebook or Tweet about stuff that concerns you. Why not do that for this very worthy cause? Let all those people that follow you know that you will not stand for the inequality that has been the norm for so long.
Let’s go New York! Let’s make this happen in my lifetime. Equality for all is what we were promised in the beginning of this nation and we should make an attempt to see it through. It has taken us long enough, time is up, equality for all, NOW!
Chantale (aka hippiegrrl)
Please pass this column along to those you think would be interested, or, even, those who you think need a bit of educating on ideas of equality. Your support is important to the cause.