You and me are free to be you and me (within reason of course…)

When I was in middle school I was in a show called Free To Be… You And Me. It was created as a record album and book, but later became an ABC after school special, and eventually a stage show comprised of a series of skits. The idea was to promote gender neutrality to young children during a time when it was becoming important to people. The major theme was that anyone can grow up to be and do anything, regardless of whether or not they were a boy or a girl. That they were equals.

I think it’s pretty widely accepted now that little girls can grow up to to be doctors and little boys can be stay at home dads. Great so, we can pursue any career of our liking, but is that really all it takes to be ‘me’? No.

It wasn’t until 1967 that the ban on interracial marriage was declared unconstitutional (if you don’t know about Loving v. Virginia check it out here). That is 43 years after Virginia passed the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. It also overturned the case of Pace v. Alabama from 1883 that rules Alabama’s anti-miscegenation laws as constitutional. 1883! It took 84 years, probably more, to finally make interracial marriage legal in the United States. Now in 2011, 44 years after the U.S Supreme Court ruled the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 unconstitutional, interracial marriages are not uncommon, or shocking to see. There are still those that don’t agree with it, but we can safely say that the right to marry someone of another race will not be taken away from us.

The battle to legalize interracial marriage spanned over a time when people did not have equal rights, and finally ended during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. So it’s no surprise that it took as long as it did. Thanks to the people who made this push for civil rights, we don’t have to fight for equality any more, right? Well no, no really. We know that we can not legally be discriminated against based on gender, race, disability, or religion.

People have been fighting for equality for so many years, and we have made so many advances, that it only makes sense that when a new issue of equality comes up, if shouldn’t take very long for people to acknowledge the necessity of extending personal freedom providing it does not infringe upon the rights of others. It’s a pretty basic idea really, if someone if doing something you don’t like, but also doesn’t cause harm to anyone, you suck it up and leave well enough alone. More basic, if Jenny is coloring the grass in her picture purple, and Johnny doesn’t like it, that’s too bad. Jenny gets to color her grass whatever color she likes.

So now we find ourselves as a nation presented with another case of equal rights in marriage. This should be an easy thing to clear up, it would seem we have already learned what to do in these situations. Yea right… I’d like to think that the majority of Americans now understand that if a black man and a white woman get married, it causes people who are against such unions no harm whatsoever. So now we have homosexual couples wanting to marry. Personally I never could have fathomed why this is a bad thing. No body should be denied love, and all the things that come with it.

Imagine that your spouse has supported you your entire life, and now they are dying. You are elderly, unable to support yourself, and in desperate need of the insurance benefits you are entitled to upon your spouse’s death. You know you will be able to survive after this tragic loss because you are legally bound to one another through marriage. You are still taken care of. What if you hadn’t been allowed to marry though? You would not be able to support yourself, you would not have been allowed to make decisions for your spouse regarding the end of their life. You would have no rights at all. They may not even allow you to visit them one last time.

That in mind, again, it seems very silly to me that there is even a question about extending these equalities to homosexual couples. Unfortunately the question has been raised. However we study history so we are not doomed to repeat it right? Which means to me that we would remember this same thing coming up with interracial marriage, see how silly it is to even ask, and extend equal rights to these people as well. Well apparently we have not learned form our own history, and we are still denying people equal rights. There can only be a single definition to the term equal rights, it’s all or none, and we’re going with none.

People claim that they are undermining the sanctity or marriage. Allowing two people who love each other and want to take care of one another to be married is undermining the sanctity of marriage… Allowing people to get married in Las Vegas (or anywhere else) while too drunk to make life altering decisions, and then have it annulled the next day doesn’t undermine the sanctity of marriage though, people are ok with that. Tell me, please, who does it harm to allow two people of any gender or sexuality, that love each other very much, to be married? How do -you- justify telling them they are not allowed to do so? What gives you that right?


~ by lmkelley on April 4, 2011.

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