Everyone deserves equality. It’s as simple as that statement. But that simple statement also carries the weight of thousands of real people who are affected by inequality everyday. Currently there are people across the country that are not given equal protection under the law simply because of their sexual orientation. The right to marry whomever, man or woman, is a major step in the right direction for those currently being discriminated against. But it is also important to know this is not the last step. We must keep fighting discrimination not only legally but personally as well.
I grew up in an area where “that’s so gay” was one of the most commonly used phrases. If someone couldn’t go to the movies with you, or your parents said you weren’t allowed to do something, one’s immediate response would be: “That’s so gay.” I myself was a person who commonly used the phrase. That was, until Jason pulled me aside one day. My friend Jason is compassionate, intelligent, hard working,, and as I soon found out, gay. I was one of the first people Jason decided to come out to. He was also the first gay person I was close to. After he came out, I became hyper aware of the off-handed comments that are derogatory to homosexuals. and all of the off-handed comments I made.
From that moment on I became determined to never let someone make a comment like that in my presence without asking them what they really meant. We are all human beings and we all deserve to feel like equal citizens. Comments like “that’s so gay” put a negative stereotype on the gay community. We should not be promoting negative stereotypes that make people feel like outsiders, and Prop 8 and DOMA are laws that make people in the gay community feel like outsiders.
I went to the marriage equality rally at the Supreme Court today to support striking down Prop 8 and DOMA because I believe that no law should be passed that makes an entire group of people feel like there is something wrong with them. I support marriage equality because a marriage between two men or two women is no different than a marriage between a man and a woman. It is a bond formed out of love. It should not be marked as “other” and contribute to the frequent stereotyping of the gay community. Marriage equality would be a major win in the battle for gay rights. But we also need to remember that discrimination is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed.
– Chelsea Matzen