As the Supreme Court takes on two major cases regarding the constitutionality of laws against same-sex marriage, a number of people have been lined up outside for days to witness what is a potentially historical moment for the United States. Supporters are waving flags and holding up signs with statements such as “A justice delayed is a justice denied” while those who oppose are praying and preaching over the Bible, manipulating scriptures to support their intolerance for what they label as “untraditional” love.
Gay-marriage polls have been mentioned in countless newspapers and on nearly every news channel show that an overwhelming majority are in support. Looking into the demographics of these statistics, it is evident that there has been a strong cultural shift over the past few decades as tolerance increases in the younger ages. Support is also increasing among leading political figures who, whom I presume have recognized the importance in boosting their popularity on what is one of the most supported social issues to date.
Yet opponents, those who are unwilling to adapt to a more accepting world than the one they grew up in, continue to argue for what they see as potentially undesirable consequences our society would purportedly face should we overturn anti-gay marriage laws.
Republican Dr. Carson recently used the shock tactic by suggesting a moral equivalent between same-sex marriage with pedophilia and bestiality, then defended his comments as a mere apples to oranges comparison. Again, the basis of his argument rooted in religion – that marriage between a man and a woman remains the so-called “pillar of society”.
Then there’s Sue Everhart who has come out saying that gay marriage is “all about a free ride”, claiming that gay people will somehow become inclined to marry for health plan benefits; as if straight people aren’t capable of doing the same, have never done so before and aren’t doing so as we speak.
This isn’t the first step in gay rights and with that being said, the potentially negative social consequences that conservatives fear will come from the passage of gay-marriage, frankly, seem preposterous when you look at the progress made so far:
In 1924, the country’s earliest known gay rights organization was formed in Chicago, Society for Human Rights. 14 years later, Illinois becomes the first state to legalize and permit homosexual encounters between adults in private spaces.
By 1973, homosexuality was removed from the official list of mental disorders by the American Psychiatric Association.
In 1980, Democrats took a stand to support gay rights and by the 2000s, civil union and same-sex marriage became legal among a handful of states.
The argument that politicians make when they claim that gay marriage rights will result in negative social consequences lack any concrete evidence since 1924. In essence, the current gay-marriage debate comes down to a test of democracy. Are we truly a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people or a government that is ruled by irrational fear and bias politics?
The polls have spoken for the people in themselves; the politicians are shifting their positions in favor and there are millions of children raised by gay or lesbian couples today that are being denied a fair chance to have a family that our government will recognize. It is time to accept this paradigm shift in our culture by giving equal rights to all families and let greater voice of America be heard, acknowledged and finally, accepted.