“What is love, baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me… no more” a classic 90s song from club singer Haddaway, “What Is Love?” remains an anthem in gay culture to this day. Fast forward from the early 1990’s to 2012, the political issue of “same sex marriage” is a “hot button trending topic” which many people have very strong opinions about. To quickly summarize the “Montague’s and the Capulet’s” you basically have the supporters who want the same rights as anyone else, to love who you want, and to have the same financial benefits of a traditional man/woman couple. On the other side of the fence, there are the conservative naysayers (who make up a majority of voters) whom strive to uphold the religious values of the institution between a man and a woman.
Homosexuality has existed in the world since the ancient Greek civilizations; the term “lesbian” comes from the Greek island of Lesbos where many women lived in unity on this island. (Just a fun fact for bar room conversation) Throughout the ages of civilization, homosexuality lifestyle has been considered “offensive and sinful.” People have been persecuted, killed, and beaten over a lifestyle which has strong scientific research saying this is a biological instinct from birth, and not a chosen trait of people. Here comes the political misconstrusion… get ready. Insert the birth of the United States of America in 1776. The colonists wanted to start a new life which escapes the values of the Old British Empire and those same colonists fought a war to grant Americans the freedoms they have today. The Declaration of Independence, founded on principles written in the Christian Bible, idealizes itself around the idea of “freedom from religious persecution and tolerance for all”. This document clearly prioritizes itself with the American citizen’s concerns of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Here is where the problem lies.
Gay rights activists are struggling to obtain the same privileges that straight couples take for granted. Even with identified inspirational figures in this movement such as Harvey Milk, Glee, Disney, and Lady Gaga there is still not enough voter support on this cause. Every time a bill reaches the hands of Congress, the vote always fails. Although there has been “civil unions” and some legalization in states like New York and Massachusetts, the majority of VOTERS still disapprove of this notion citing the sanctity of marriage is violated and, that more little girls will like Tonka Trucks and young boys will watch La Cage Aux Folles, thus confusing gender roles for our children. Opponents of gay marriage (let’s call them “Capulet’s”) also mention that this would open a door for “other deviant sexual acts” such as people marrying blow up dolls, or polygamists marrying 10 wives. The “Montague’s” (being supporters of gay marriage and civil rights activists) would rebuttal to that comment, talking about the 50 percent divorce rate in the United States and the lack of morality surrounding marriage of a union between man and woman. Another pro and con based argument for our two warring Montague’s and Capulet’s (I totally love using this Shakespearian analogy) is the idea that opponents would say that there is research considering gays and lesbians to have a 20 year lower life expectancy as opposed to straight couples. On the other end, legally married GLBT people serve a more philanthropical purpose of sending a cultural message to people as a whole to avoid sexually promiscuous high risk lifestyles, which is a plaguing epidemic in today’s gay culture. To put this in simple layman’s terms, people need to pick their stance on humanity of whether you want a more open society where people are granted the freedoms we fought for versus upholding classical values and morals for future generations. This direction is best looked at in the lens of humanity as a whole versus what age old religious doctrines and political figureheads believe.
Many powerful leading corporations such as Microsoft, AT&T, Google, Walgreens, and Apple (just to name a few) support same sex marriage, praising it for boosting the economy, and because it allows for a strong, diverse workforce. Gay people are good for business, as the saying goes. The average openly “out” gay/lesbian on average has a higher annual income and also tends to usually be well informed as well as being strongly savvy to current events. Our civil rights activists have come in small little numbers in a truly organic form of word of mouth persuasion. Gradually, over time voter support has shifted, from an 85 percent disapproval, all the way to a 54-45 percent vote as of late 2011, thus gradually going towards overall approval of gay marriage, although this is a very much a slow conversion.
In reality, same sex marriage could take a long time to make fully legal. Although there is a strong consensus of young people who would support same sex marriage, the statistics show that a majority of voters who actually vote on Election Day are older conservative boomers and senior citizens. To provide a solution for this GLBT generation and their straight allies to achieve equality, we need to get people involved in politics and we need people to actually go out and vote. We also need to find a presidential candidate who supports same sex marriage, as none of the current Republicans or Democrats support gays being in wedlock. Not even Obama’s administrations have supported this civil rights issue. Obviously our goals of allowing people to marry whom they want based upon the mere principle of love is a political one, because in the United States marriage is a legal binding between two people, and not just a religious union of two individuals. This will require legislation and convincing people with money, power, and influence to see the world from our perspective. To conclude this article, I would like to personally say that humanity has always been about progressing forward, and never being held back. People are slowly becoming more open minded about two men or two women upholding a family lifestyle, which could really bring a positive image to gays all over the world, as opposed to being “disease carrying sexual heathens” that the media plays them out to be. I vote yes for same sex marriage.