“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: They shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them,” Leviticus 20:13.
When it comes to homosexuality it could be argued that it is religion that drives societal hatred toward the gay community. Words like abomination should not be used to describe the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community. Abomination should be used to describe those who discriminate against society for not conforming to our “social norms.”
With that in mind, what exactly are our social norms? Do any of us have a right to designate how we should all act, or decide what we should believe in? I think not. In today’s modern society the LGBT community plays a huge role in America.
In fact, The Williams Institute at UCLA school of law reported after conducting a study in 2011 that 1.7 percent of American adults identifies himself or herself as gay or lesbian. Another 1.8 percent identifies himself or herself as bisexual. Freedomtomarry.org recently reported that more than 38 percent of the U.S. population lives in a state that either has the freedom to marry or honors out-of-state marriage of same-sex couples. Over 41 percent of the U.S. population lives in a state with either marriage or a broad legal status such as civil union or domestic partnership. Over 43 percent of the U.S. population lives in a state that provides some form of protections for gay couples. As more and more states are working to legalize gay marriage, I think Pennsylvania should be no exception to legalizing these rights.
I do not believe the government or any religion should be able to dictate how relationships should look. Every person has a right to happiness, and whether someone finds this happiness with a man or woman should not define our opinions of that individual.
As of now Pennsylvania does not recognize gay marriage nor does it have any anti-gay constitutional amendments.
However this could change after 11 gay couples rallied together to fight for their rights. According to CBS Philadelphia, both sides of a federal lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage are now asking the judge to skip the trial, and to make a ruling.
Legalizing gay marriage is hopefully something that will come to pass soon for the LGBT community in Pennsylvania. According to the The Huffington Post, Pennsylvania voters also backed a law that would allow same-sex marriage in a vote that ended with 57 to 37 percent backing the potential law. This was a three percent increase from a Franklin and Marshall poll that was conducted in 2013.
Democrats in Pennsylvania favored the proposal with 74 to 22 percent favoring while Republicans opposed marriage equality with an end vote of 59 to 36 percent. Interestingly enough, the Post also reported that gender in Pennsylvania also played a role in determining who favors marriage equality. Sixty percent of women voted that they favored gay marriage, while 53 percent of men voted that they support gay marriage.
I think that it is evident to see that gay marriage is something that can be seen on the horizon for Pennsylvania residents. It is something that I feel needs to come to pass for the LGBT community.