When I first began writing this article, I almost found it unnecessary.
The thought of inequality in a country as free as the United States is almost ridiculous. It is hard for me to imagine that some could believe certain groups of people deserve less than others.
I sometimes forget that two men or two women cannot get married in Pennsylvania.
But, the fact is lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth are twice as likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, according to suicidology.org.
There is a good friend of mine who comes to mind.
He is hit with extreme anxiety every time he leaves the house. I have heard him called “faggot” by strangers.
He has been bullied, fired from a job and made invisible because he is gay. So, that is bad, but what does that have to do with marriage?
It has everything to do with marriage.
Every little change that shows acceptance will help reverse these terrible effects.
When bi-racial marriages became legal and when women could vote, these were steps in making our society treat anyone who is not a white male as human beings with the same basic rights as anyone else.
One counter-argument I hear is that marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman, but it is more accurate to say it has been a covenant between a man and many women.
The ancient act of polygamy is just as prevalent in societies and in the Bible, if not more prevalent.
Another argument is that marriage is meant for procreation. Well, that would disqualify infertile couples, too.
Sexual orientation is not chosen. Imagine asking a straight person, when did you choose to be straight? That sounds silly, so why ask that to people of other sexual orientations?
Why would anyone choose to be bullied, invalidated and shunned?
Some try to wriggle their way around this controversial subject by saying there could be a way to give the benefits of marriage to gay couples, but not call it “marriage.” This is still prejudice. It is the same idea of the separate but equal doctrine that was instilled to segregate African-Americans.
Even if conditions were equal, as is proposed with the gay marriage-but-not-marriage idea, it is still saying there is something not quite right with LGBT people. It is saying they do not deserve the respect and dignity of true marriage like “normal” folk do.
For instance, if I were to replace it with bi-racial couples and say they should have a separate form of marriage, there would be outrage, and for good reason.
Anyone who is separate is not being thought of as equal.
If we do not permit gay marriage, then we are telling them their love should not be taken seriously.
If people see that our own government does not recognize gay marriage, then that invalidates gay couples as human beings who love, go to work, pay taxes and contribute to society.
If gay marriage becomes legal, it will offend some, but hurt no one.
If gay marriage does not become legal, it will continue to take away the same dream that many straight men and women have; to walk down the aisle and say, “I do.”