Opinion: The right to love

Judging+someone+based+on+who+they+are+attracted+to+is+the+same+as+judging+them+for+their+gender%2C+the+color+of+their+skin%2C+or+the+religion+they+practice.

Illustration by Sabrina Futch

Judging someone based on who they are attracted to is the same as judging them for their gender, the color of their skin, or the religion they practice.

How would you feel if being who you really are was controversial, if you were judged for something you could not change about yourself? If every time you held hands with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you were surrounded by people staring and whispering about you? If you were told who you could and could not be in love with by people you did not even know?

These situations are something that people who are homosexual face every day. Some are even surrounded by so much hate that they choose to end their lives rather than just be who they are. The fact that anyone could be driven to this is simply not right, yet laws prohibiting same sex marriage are still in effect, fueling hatred of one another.

One of the biggest opponents of same sex marriage are strict religious communities. As someone who is not strictly religious, I am not going to say religion is wrong or try to disprove it. Religious groups have the right to their say in this matter and to practice their beliefs. However, in this country church and state are supposed to be separated. And today, while marriage is recognized as both a religious and legal union, most of the rights that come with it are legal rights that the church has no control over. Therefore, while religions have the right to their opinions, they should not be trying to prevent the state from giving a minority legal rights.

Another point that I would like to address is the argument that being homosexual is a choice of the individual. A study conducted by neurologist Simon LeVay in 1991 at the Salk Institute of San Diego revealed that the brain structure of heterosexual and homosexual men was noticeably different. In addition, numerous other studies have been done, giving concrete evidence that homosexuality is a biological predisposition, not a choice of the individual.

Also, think about that for a second. Why would anyone choose to be discriminated against and bullied for loving someone or being who they are? Judging someone based on who they are attracted to is the same as judging them for their gender, the color of their skin, or the religion they practice. It is simply discrimination, and it must be stopped.

We need to stop playing the blame game on homophobia and face the facts. This irrational fear is not the fault of any political party or religion. I have met Republicans who are supportive of gay rights and Democrats who are homophobic. Just because someone identifies themselves with a party does not mean their beliefs are or should be completely governed by it. We, as a country, cannot preach about equality when an entire group is fighting for rights that should be automatically given to them.

I am looking forward to the day when same sex couples can be open about who they are and it will be just as normal and accepted as interracial marriage, strong independent women, or the open practice of religion. In the words of rapper Macklemore, “A certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all, but it’s a good place to start.” Although it may take several years for this oppression to vanish completely, our country has done it before, and with effort, we can do it again. And I believe that the place to start is legalizing same sex marriage nationwide.