"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." ~Thomas Paine
In a conversation with my friend on the subject of gay marriage, I mentioned a man whom I highly respect, had said something that really disappointed me. I'm referring to Herman Cain and his statements on Homosexuality being a "sin" and a "choice". While I consider Mr. Cain to be my frontrunner pick to go against Obama, I strongly disagree with him. Don't get me wrong, Cain is entitled to his own opinions on the issue of Homosexuality and gay marriage, but I feel it is a devastating position shared among many Conservatives and I feel it will ensure the Democrats will continue to get the support from the gay community solely on the empty promises they always campaign on.
First let me say that I personally believe Homosexuality is a birth trait and that it is not a choice. As my friend put it perfectly, "you can't help who you're attracted to and you can't explain it". He's right. You can't help if you're attracted to tall, short, skinny, curvacious, blonde, or brunette- you just are. It's an objective view that only you can hold and there isn't a right or wrong way to go about it. One shouldn't be discriminated because of their own preference in what they like. This also includes what gender you prefer. And choosing a mate based on what one prefers, doesn't make them any less smart, good looking, or moral.
Mr. Cain along with Conservatives and Tea Partiers claim to be defenders and protectors of the constitution, believe that all men are created equal, and are entitled to rights given to them by God. So, shouldn't this include equal rights when it comes to gays?
On my Facebook I asked people's opinion on whether the government or the church should decide who gets married. A few responded but their beliefs were based on a religious perspective and failed to make the argument. My position on marriage is that it is a contract between 2 consenting adults, their church, and their god. I believe that if a couple wants to be considered "married", it would be left up to the church. In other words, I believe the word "marriage" is religious in nature and can hold different standards depending on the religion. The government shouldn't be the arbitrator of what constitutes a marriage. I also feel that any relationship officiated or not should get the same recognition when it comes to taxes (complete with loopholes and credits until the tax code is changed), insurance, and kinship. No one should be granted special rights or privileges based on religious beliefs or religious affiliations. Marriage as currently defined as one woman and one man, creates a protected class that is given special privileges and should not have its legal definition reliant on a religious foundation. We are not a theocracy. We live under the constitution, not Leviticus.We obey the rule of law, not a priest.
Rights are not contingent on personal moral convictions. Most people who oppose gay marriage do so because they are morally opposed to Homosexuality in general. But personal disgust and visceral reactions are not moral positions- they are mere reactions and they shouldn't be an influence on public policy. Show me an example of Homosexuality harming society and I will give you 10 examples showing how theocratic beliefs have harmed society.
I'm not gay but I do believe in equal rights for everyone and I also believe people should be able to do what they want as long as they don't interfere or violate the rights of others. It's time the Tea Party, Mr. Cain, and anyone else who lives in America and loves our freedoms to start considering the real meaning of individual rights.
*follow up will be on marriage licenses