Marriage divides campus, nation

LGBT persons deserve marriage rights

Jennifer Katzer

Gay people exist. They live and thrive in this country. Historical mention of homosexual people goes back thousands of years in every culture, and they exist today in this very region.
Whether or not you believe it, the love they feel is real, human love. Just because the existence of LGBT people makes some individuals uncomfortable does not mean that discomfort trumps basic human rights.
Currently, LGBT people are not considered human in the eyes of our dominant culture. This tragedy is proven in the countless incidents of discriminatory commentary, childhood bullying, violence, hate crimes and murders across our nation.
As a supporter of the LGBT community, I find it important that marriage equality is achieved. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in only nine states, such as Connecticut and Iowa.
The fight for same-sex marriage began in the 1970s, and became more notable in 1993, when the Hawaiian court was the first to rule that prohibition of same-sex marriage rights is unconstitutional.
Some people believe that the legalization of same-sex marriage will be poisonous for opposite-sex couples. This is a ridiculous claim, considering that when gay marriage was first legalized in Massachusetts, divorce rates decreased by 21 percent between 2003 and 2008.
Unfortunately, a lot of the debating around this issue is based on the Bible. Those with conservative values believe that homosexuality is a sin. Doesn’t that part of the Christian Bible also prohibit haircuts?
However, this is a matter of the law of separation of church and state. If we allow conservative Christian values to be signed into law, what is legally stopping us from signing liberal pagan values into law? Or Judaic? Or Islamic? What about Scientology?
And if we were to sign Christian values into law, which Christian church will be represented? The Westboro Baptist Church? The Amish? The Church of England? Can I start a new Christian church and put my values into Congress?
The simplest way to solve this delightful enigma is to eliminate religious intervention in laws that will affect people of all faiths.
Others argue that marriage has always been between a man and a woman, and that marriage’s prime purpose is for the sake of procreation. In that case: Let’s annul all marriages of couples over the age of 55, sterilized couples, couples using any form of birth control, and those who do not wish to have children.
Ultimately, same-sex marriage is an issue of civil rights. In this country, 100 years ago, black people were not granted the same rights as white people, and interracial marriage was illegal. Today, that concept seems outlandish. In 100 years, so will the discrimination against LGBT couples.
Some argue that same-sex couples should just be given a “civil union” because it will give them all the same benefits without “dirtying” the name of holy matrimony, as if allowing black individuals to use the same doorway as whites will somehow “dirty” the doorway.
Discrimination happens for the comfort of the selfish. The civil union argument still insists LGBT couples are second-class citizens, too “dirty” to be granted recognition of their human love.
Statistically speaking, every single American knows an LGBT person. Even if that person does not announce his or her preferences to you, you do know somebody.
I beg that you consider the gay person in your life when you step into that voting booth, when you are given a place of power, and when you see a person harmed for something out of their control.
Could you look your friend in the eye and tell them you do not believe in their love and that they do not deserve happiness?
Please, this world is already too full of hate. Believe in love.

Jennifer Katzer is Gay-Straight Alliance club president and a junior in English technical writing.

Change needs to happen

Mary Butler

Gay marriage is a controversial issue, especially recently with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) being heard in the Supreme Court. Gay marriage should be legal because when it all comes down to it, denying rights to a single group of people is unconstitutional and ethically wrong.
The only real argument against it is that “it’s immoral,” as Congress stated as its reason for implementing DOMA into law. Saying it is immoral is attempting to use religion to dictate the law, which is against one of our founding principles of separation of church and state.
You cannot get health insurance through your wife’s plans, and if heterosexual people had to pay separate health insurances, file taxes as single persons, or pay inheritance taxes on an estate they built with their spouse throughout their lifetime together, they would implement a solution. And that solution is marriage.
I’ve talked to many gay people on this matter and most of them don’t even care if it’s called a marriage. This population of people just wants to have the same rights and equality as the rest of the population. I know for me one of the biggest things is that I just want to know that if I die first that my wife will actually receive what I leave her in my will. In most states, like Kansas, we don’t even get that much.
Another thing that is troubling is if my wife were in the hospital, they could not tell me anything about her condition because legally she is not my wife. What if in that circumstance she is all I have left? The only person I have left could be dying and I would be told nothing.
Also, a blood relative could take children or anything left in the will of a deceased spouse simply because gay couples lack the rights to enforce the wishes of their loved ones because the law sees them as strangers. I feel as if the reason this is such a big issue is that we as a country are too afraid of change and what will occur if we let gay people get married. Some ask, “What will come next, bestiality?”
I’m not entirely sure why that is the connection made and why that’s what we’re afraid of. I don’t think it will ever be legal for someone to marry his or her goat. The difference between two people of the same sex getting married and allowing people to marry goats is that the two people are consenting adults. Either way, we cannot be afraid of change. Change happens on a daily basis.
There is absolutely nothing we can do about it, but even if there was, why stop it? If we halted change whenever people were afraid or used religion to argue against a civil right, interracial couples would still be arrested, and women would be property of their husbands. We would not be as wonderful of a society as we are if change never happened.

Mary Butler is a sophomore in psychology.

‘We are stooping ourselves as humans down to the levels of creatures that cannot reason’

Philip Lierz

As the equals signs started to pop up all over Facebook last week, I was initially confused as to what they meant, but as the day went on, I found out that they had been in response to the hearings in the Supreme Court over same-sex marriage.
Being against same sex marriage does not make someone a homophobe, nor does it make them hate a person who struggles with same-sex attraction.
It simply means I don’t want to redefine what marriage is on a whim.
Why Not Polygamy?
Some argue that if two people love each other then no one should be able to stop them from getting married. If we can redefine marriage into just a union between two people then nothing is stopping us from turning it into a union between anyone and everyone.
Nothing will stop people such as swingers, or polygamists, where a man can have as many wives as he wants, from getting married. Why not marriage between siblings or between a parent and a child then? Most of us can agree that these are morally wrong and always will be.
“Infertile” or Not Possible?
Another argument is the infertility argument, which is proposed by the two lawyers seeking to overturn Proposition 8 in California. The argument is that if the purpose of a man and woman to be married is to reproduce and have children, then why can couples that are infertile get married and people who are gay cannot?
When the word “infertile” is brought up, this presumes that someone had the potential to be fertile. So when two people of the same-sex cannot have a child, it does not mean that they are infertile. A same sex couple cannot have a child because they are biologically incapable of bearing a child.
There is no other mammal that has survived the test of time that was homosexual.
There are some animals, such as giraffes, that do have homosexual behaviors, and we do not know why. So, are we then stooping ourselves down the level of animals?
We are stooping ourselves as humans down to the levels of creatures that cannot reason.

Philip Lierz, junior in automotive technology

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