Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece about today’s Supreme Court ruling. This piece differs greatly from the typical content you will see on this site, but today’s events are important enough that we take a step back and recognize what has occurred today in a serious manner. The subject matter is sensitive, and rightfully so. These are my opinions and my opinions alone although I hope they are shared by many. Please read with an open mind and while I encourage commenters, please keep them professional and respectful to everyone. Thank you.
June 26th, 2015. Remember this day. Somewhere down the line you may be asked where you were or what you were doing on the day that marriage became a right afforded to everyone equally in the eyes of the law. So few in history have had the opportunity to live through such historic change like the one we experienced today when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Marriage Equality in the United States. Regardless of how great the events of today are, the irony that change was required in order to make a day like today possible in the first place is not lost on me. And it should not be lost on you. Lest we forget…
It’s important that everyone take a step back and really look at the changes that have been made on this day. They may or may not impact you in some way, but they certainly impact your fellow man, your neighbor and maybe your children. These changes will impact you, be that directly or indirectly. Look at your surroundings and think about where you are today; look at people you surround yourself with and where you stand together or where you stand apart. Days like today may make you reconsider some of those people and where you stand together, if at all. My hope, is that today’s ruling doesn’t make you reconsider those you surround yourself with. Still, it is important that you consider them and still be considerate. Lest we forget…
Looking through your social media feeds today (and in the coming days) will bring to the forefront both a strong sense of love and desire for equality from those who support the new ruling. The same stroll through social media, however, will show that somewhere hidden among your friends, family and co-workers are those who would have rather not seen such a change and who do not share the same desire for equality. As disheartening as this may be, the fact remains that there are still those in our country who would rather suppress progress and repress those whose ideals and ideas do not match their own. Those individuals fighting to restrict the rights of others will argue that changes like the one seen today are equally oppressive in the other direction and that creating equality for others will impede on their own religious freedoms and beliefs.
I find incredibly offensive the idea that marriage equality takes away from, impedes upon, stifles, or otherwise disrupts the religious beliefs of any individual or group. I find this offensive because of the love and appreciation I see demonstrated in support of the changes. Many people are thrilled for who have been granted an opportunity at equality today. Heterosexuals have nothing to gain by seeing the equality of marriage being shared by anyone but they have nothing to lose, either; they simply feel that it is the right thing to do. I feel it is the right thing to do because I choose to believe in love and choose to believe in happiness for everyone if they so choose it. Yet there are still those who refuse to believe in happiness for others.
There are still those who feel that their religious beliefs and rights are torn away thread by thread with every freedom and every right granted to those who do not agree with their religious ideals. They cite losing control of their country and seeing their country go to Hell because we afford rights to those they define as sinners. One acquaintance of mine told me today that “Gay marriage shouldn’t be a government issue” and then cited that he believes “homosexuality is a sin, so (he) cannot be in favor of this ruling. The government just told us all that this sin is ok.” This is simply not accurate. The government is an administrative entity and has ruled that this law is a recognition of a legal union for insurance and taxation purposes. This wasn’t a ruling handed down by God, or the Pope or some other religious figure and therefore has no bearing on the beliefs of anyone’s religion.
This person, like many others, feels that the government having too much influence is inherently removing God from their laws and values. My question is not whether or not we are removing God from our laws and values or if our country is going to Hell; rather do we still want to be a country whose laws and values are not equal for everyone? With all the progress we’ve made as a species, why do we still feel it necessary to suppress the freedoms and rights of others when these freedoms do not impact our own? Why do we choose to label someone as a “sinner” for who they choose to love? If we are to “love the sinner,” does that not mean we should allow them the same opportunities and rights as our own?
The ultimate question to be posed is if the weight of loving the sinner outweighs the hatred for the sin: If we are to love the sinner, one would assume that by the true virtue of love, we should treat them as equals and not label, restrict, or deny them the freedom of love or even the opportunity to share a love on the same playing field as anyone else.
Today is about love and wanting to afford the right to love to anyone who is in love regardless of gender, race, creed, or orientation. We shouldn’t need a book or a government to help us decide or to explain to us that those rights should be the same for all. We shouldn’t have needed people to tell us that love should be for everyone.