Editorial: Gay marriage debate is at crucial point in American history
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 23:09
The 2012 Republican National Cownvention covered a cavalcade of important and topical issues that the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, will have to address in his run for the White House this November. However, the GOP is catching some heat for trying very hard to turn what many would consider to be the country’s biggest social issue into a non-issue. Gay rights are a major topic of discussion for this voting generation. Every great social movement begins with loud voices calling for change and reform. Unfortunately, the RNC has decided to make the issue exclusively about their own religious rights.
Ann Romney discussed “real marriage,” Paul Ryan discussed “defending marriage” and Mitt Romney spoke about “honoring the institution of marriage.” Instead of making the hot topic an issue of traditional marriage versus gay rights, the debate now is centered around the rights of those who believe, either religiously or morally, that marriage is between a man and a woman. If we allow gays and lesbians to marry one another, we stomp on the rights of those people. We are supposed to find the idea of force-feeding the nation gay marriage to be unfathomable.
Meanwhile, while we squabble over definitions of religious freedom and individual state rights, the entire LGBTQ community is having to put their rights on hold for an election in which the major players aren’t afraid to talk about this issue from a point of view of protecting citizens’ basic inalienable rights. Americans are at a crucial point in our history. Already this history has been marred by the lack of women voters before 1920, racial segregation before the 1960s and Japanese internment camps in the 1940s. We are coming dangerously close to having another black mark on our nation’s report card when it comes to restricting the rights of the LGBTQ community. Every four years, our country has a chance to examine what the most important issues facing our nation are. This chance is part of what makes this country great. By choosing to skirt around the issue of gay rights by squabbling over religious rights, we essentially acknowledge that those of the LGBTQ community are less than other citizens by not affording the same rights for outdated and often illogical reasons.
While no party should ever be judged based on its position on only one issue, the Republican party and candidate should be aware of the detrimental affect that their choice to avoid this issue will have on Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or questioning.