Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vote Against Violence

Heal the world
      I recently moved to Minnesota where voters are preparing to vote on the same amendment to ban gay marriage that my home state of Kentucky passed 8 years ago. Unfortunately it seems that in those 8 years not enough has changed in the extreme division of people's feelings on this issue. Many arguments I hear  for a NO vote on this amendment talk about loving same sex couples and their families and how it effects them, which is a valid argument of course. What I want to address that I seldom hear is the way in which this effects the whole of the lgbt (and the other letters I know I am leaving out) community regardless of whether they are in relationships. I am talking about violence. I know, and read stories about, so many lgbt people who are violently attacked, hospitalized, and murdered for no reason other than their sexual orientation. I know you have heard these stories as well and you may not see the connection between this and banning gay marriage so I wanted to tell you how they are connected. When government singles out a group of people by taking away rights and preventing them from obtaining equal rights, that group of people become less than people. Separate but equal means less than human. For people who do have violent or even hateful feelings toward a singled out group of people, laws like this justify that behavior. It is okay to make degrading comments to that butch girl up the street or to punch that feminine boy at my school because my government does not fully accept them as people.
   The separation of church and state is set in place not just to protect the state but to protect the church as well. To protect the state from allowing religious views to dictate government rhetoric but also to protect the church from having the government tell you who you must accept. It allows you to have your exclusive club of straight people and allows you to refuse to marry anyone you do not want to marry regardless of who is legally allowed to be married. Total equality in government does not change who your church or religious organization can exclude. Total equality in government simply makes us all people. Simply being viewed as human as everyone else by your government does help people understand that we are all just as protected by law as anyone else.
     We are not voting to marry same sex couples, we are voting to single out a group of people and remove them as equals justifying the hurtful and violent actions of those that would do so.

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