Many people think gay people are sick, disgusting people who commit unspeakable acts. That they’re sinners, and they are barred from heaven as long as they continue their lives of sin.Some believe gays don’t deserve a fair shot at life. That they don’t deserve to get married or raise children. In fact, they believe we should not allow known gays to vote, teach, participate in government or live in our communities.
If you believe this, I think we should try an experiment. You can join the church of Stephanie where I will force you to turn away from your straight ways in order to help you. Then if you fail, I will bar you from ever marrying a person of the opposite sex or raising children. How do you think you would handle this?
If you can’t wish it for yourself, don’t wish it for others.
Don’t get me wrong – I used to be a fairly conservative Christian who believed gay people were destined for hell unless they changed their lifestyles.
But even at my most fundamental, I never thought gay people should be banned from marriage or from raising children. I did not think it was my duty to restrict their life choices. Instead, I was to “love them to Christ.” Thus I was responsible for “loving the person, but hating his or her life style.” Ultimately, the goal was still to get them to change, but it was not to take away their civil rights.
So when I heard the latest pack of lunacy, I had to shudder a little.
When the anti-gay marriage bills started passing, I was revolted. It didn’t make sense that gay people wouldn’t be allowed to marry. But at least it was nothing new. Gay people have never had many rights in that arena.
Taking away civil unions was much worse. This leaves gay people without inheritance or visitation rights, which are pretty basic rights for those committed to loved ones.
But now gay rights are taking yet another slam.
According to an article in USA Today on Tuesday, 16 states have proposed laws or ballot votes to keep same-sex couples from adopting children. This is ridiculous.
It seems that chiseling away at gay rights has become a national past time – and for no good reason.
There are always babies needing to be adopted – especially older children, special needs children and children from developing countries. With all those children out there needing love, is it really right for us to restrict possible parents merely for sexual preference?
One man told a USA Today reporter that because Ohio has defined marriage, it has the right to define parentage and whether children can be raised within the context of certain unions.
But why? Who does this benefit? Certainly not the children who will have fewer chances at good families if these bills are passed.
These laws do not aim at making the world a better place, protecting children from abusive homes or making adoption placement easier. Instead, the laws seek to make the already difficult lives of homosexuals even more difficult.
Even if you believe homosexuality is morally repugnant, a sin or just plain disgusting, making homosexuals unable to adopt will solve nothing. It will not cause them to repent. It will not make them go away, and it will not make them lie down and cower in fear.
If anything, such unjust and discriminatory practices will fire up gay rights groups. It will give them cause to be more active and will rally others to their cause. As people see the increasing discrimination, I hope, for the sake of America, that more and more people will stand up for the rights of others.
Homosexuals deserve the same rights as anyone else. Whether the definition of marriage and family revolves around an (outdated) implied concept of a woman and man, homosexuals deserve the right to a family, to inheritance and visitation rights and to the right to feel like real people and full citizens in their own country.
Opinion editor Stephanie Weaver is a senior English, philosophy and French major from Westwood, Kan. She is engaged (to a man) and wants every person to be able to be as happy as she is.