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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Righting a Wrong for Human Rights

Change. America made changes on November 4, electing a black man to the presidency for the first time, some 143 years after the institution of slavery came to a halt. Anything is possible in the United States, a great nation based off the Declaration of Independence’s creed of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.” Sadly, Election Day saw three states take that creed and create their own change: “all” became “heterosexual.” California, Arizona and Florida all banned same-sex marriage on November 4, leaving Connecticut and Massachusetts as the only states in which same-sex marriage is legal. Homosexuals are now limited in the sacred pursuit of happiness due to a vote that infringes on basic human rights. The problem with a debate on the topic is that there simply isn’t one; opponents of same-sex marriage bring the same stale, empty arguments devoid of substance or solutions to any argument on the issue..

Marriage “purists” say that any same-sex marriage with violate the sacred “institution” of marriage. They argue that marriage has been a certain way for a long time, so we should not allow any redefinition or reshaping. There’s no exact explanation for why it has been the same; it just is, they say.

Just because we as Americans have done something in a certain manner for a long doesn’t mean it is right. Using the term “institution” as a crutch often puts our society in a hole, and the only way out is to use progressive thinking and a belief in human equality to get up and back on our feet. Now, homosexuals aren’t allowed to marry in 96% of the United States because of an institution.

Not that long ago, women weren’t allowed to vote simply because they were women, and that was the way America did business. Ditto for African-Americans that weren’t allowed to eat in certain restaurants because many Americans hated them for their skin color. Some argue whether people are born gay or choose to be gay. The argument is pointless; it is akin to a homosexual trying to figure out if these “traditionalists” were born as bigots, or whether it was a choice.

When that argument fails, these violators of human rights turn to their trusty religion card. They will say, “God forbids the act of homosexuality in the Bible, and we, after all, are one nation under God.” Well, the Bible also bans tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) and tells of stories that encourage men to eat their own feces (II Kings 18:27). This is not a Bible-beatdown; just proof that perhaps we should use our own, progressive judgment in the 21st century to determine an appropriate course of action for our government besides leaning on religion.

In addition, isn’t one of the liberties in this country the “freedom of religion?” That freedom is infringed upon when the law is based upon mandates of god that not every citizen agrees upon, or is required to do so. Citizens against casting one particular religious figure as the beacon of truth is one of the reasons this country was formed. Funny that these hypocritical religious radicals seem forget that their ancestors fled European nations for that very reason.

Now the marriage traditionalists are down to their final bullet: the children. Just save the argument about having to taint our children’s minds with the teachings of the atrocious homosexual marriages in school. I don’t recall learning about heterosexual marriages, so why would we teach about homosexual marriages?

With all of this said, it is worth noting that just because more people voted for banning gay marriage than against it does not make it right. The proponents of Proposition 8 in California, the ban on gay marriage, are incensed that four judges in June 2008 overturned a 61% statewide vote to limit marriage strictly to a man and woman. These people argue that the majority vote is always right. In that same state in 1948, almost 95% of voters wanted to block interracial marriage. Judges also overturned those ludicrous voting results, allowing loving couples to wed, regardless of the color of their skin. Sixty years ago, President-elect Barack Obama would have been breaking the law by marrying someone of a different race. Now, that man is leading the country into a new time of progressive thought. The Declaration also tells us that “all men are created equal,” and these equal men need equal freedoms. The change America needs isn’t just about human rights; it’s about doing what’s right.