"While I still have the right to my opinion, I would like to express it here on the issue of gay marriage. The gay rights movement wants us to believe that this is an issue of equality. Maine gave them equality in 2005 at which time many of them declared that it wasn't about marriage. Yet, on the very eve of their victory their leaders stated, 'Marriage is next.' There is a reason it is referred to as a movement. They do not plan to stop here. This is not about equality, it is about totality. When do we stop allowing the desires of the few to become the laws of the many? Yes, this is Maine where we tend to keep to ourselves and let people be. But there are people out there who want to change our state and its laws and then use us as an example to further their agenda at the federal level. Come on Maine, let's stand up collectively and say, 'You can't theyah from heah.' Vote 'Yes' on 1 to protect marriage."
You are right, gays and lesbians DO want to change the laws! Wow, how astute of you to figure that out. You've uncovered the entire gay agenda! You must get up VERY early in the morning!
We want to change the laws to reflect the ideals enumerated by the founders of this country--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and equality for all. There is no reason why gays and lesbians ought to be kept from the obligations and benefits of being a citizen of this country. We work hard. We pay taxes. We contribute to our communities. We are productive members of this society and we are patriots. We aren't demanding special rights, we're demanding the SAME rights that were promised every American, but for some reason are being barred from a big community.
Here is what the gays and lesbians are pushing for:
1. Equal opportunity in employment, housing and public accomodation--to be judged on the quality of our work and content of our character, rather than our arbitrary adherence to our boss's religious principles. Is this already a right that you have? Yes. Yes, in fact it is. Is this already a right I have? No, in most states its perfectly legal to fire someone--send them penniless to the streets--regardless of how well they do their job, just because they're gay. That's why over 40% of the homeless population in this nation are LGBT. 40%! Is ENDA then a special right? Nope! Its EQUAL RIGHTS.
2. Equal opportunity to serve our country in the military. Is this a right that you have? Well, if you're fit and under forty, then yes. Do I have this right? No. Is this a special right then? Are you kidding me? Being too old is a barrier to being able to safely keep up with rigorous military service. Being out of shape is too. Being disabled is also a problem. However, being gay is not a handicap. Being gay does not affect your ability to follow orders, work hard, shoot straight. How do we know? Lots of gays and lesbians have come up the ranks of the military before and during "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and did so because they did a damn good job.
This whole shower business. Its a load of crap. There already ARE gay men showering with straight men in the military--it's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," people. As long as you're not asking, they're not telling. Lifting the military ban isn't going to legalize sexual assault and harassment! That's idiotic thinking. If the gay guys aren't raping the straight guys now, why would they start all of the sudden when DADT is lifted? They won't. Hey, many guys in the military ARE hot, but there are hot guys EVERYWHERE, and if I can show restraint in every other aspect of my life, why would I suddenly lose control in a high-stress, high-tension battle situation where the last thing on my MIND would be sex!
And lastly, why would I want what I can't have? Unlike you, I don't think orientation is changeable. I don't think I have a shot with that straight guy. But if DADT was lifted, I'd know who the other gay guys are, and I'd know who to make the moves on if I was really interested in that. Get real. Gay folks aren't predators--they're perfectly normal. We don't want to go around molesting everyone--like everyone else we want a second and third date! We're not going to get all handsy in the shower with someone who isn't interested. That would be counterproductive.
3. Once we HAVE found that special someone--whether that be in our military unit, our apartment complex, our school or our neighborhood--we want the right to legally share our lives with them and be granted access to all of the FEDERAL, STATE and LOCAL LEGAL benefits granted to other long-term, monogamous, committed, MARRIED couples. Do you have that right? Yes. Do we have that right? No. Is this a special right then? Nope. Do you think we're looking to invade RELIGIOUS marriage? Honey, we HAVE! Gays and lesbians have been able to get 'religious marriage' for decades. Its up to the church. I can be any denomination in ANY state and find a church that will perform a religious 'wedding' ceremony for it--regardless of what it is called. I will be joined by a minister under the eyes of God. ANY denomination. If you're trying to keep us out of religious marriage, you are too late.
Changing laws is about the CIVIL protections, benefits and obligations of marriage, NOT the religious ones. When you're voting against Marriage Equality, you may be fooling yourself into thinking its about religion and protecting your religious rights, but its not. Our CIVIL rights are no burden on your religious rights at all. However, using your RELIGIOUS BELIEFS to bar me from an institution that allows me inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, next of kin rights, insurance benefit coverage rights, social security benefits rights, citizen sponsorship rights, immunity rights, family and medical leave rights--all rights you have--you're INSINUATING yourself into MY personal life. same-sex couples pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more in fees and taxes over their lifetime than opposite-sex couples because of these inequalities. That's not fair. I CAN get married in your church, but I CAN'T get any of the legal rights you get. That's not fair.
The Far Right wants to convince people of faith that THEIR rights will be taken away if Marriage Equality becomes the law of the land. However, which of your rights are taken away if I'm granted legal Equality, which I don't currently have. Your right to discriminate? Doesn't exist. Your right to have this exclusive little institution that grants you special rights? Doesn't exist. There is no such thing as tiered citizenship in America--all citizens are created equal. And yet, our laws do not reflect that. Our laws are creating a tiered citizenship, in which heterosexuals are above non-heterosexuals legally. This is OUTRAGEOUS! This spits in the face of the promise of America. This MUST be corrected because it is a clear violation of the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution of the United States of America. And yet, the Right wants to paint such efforts as a violation of Freedom of Religion. Huh? The state does not PARTICIPATE in religious traditions. How could giving out legal protections have anything to do with Religion?
The answer: It doesn't. Your church won't change a bit if Marriage is opened to all consenting adult couples. If they don't want to marry a couple, they don't have to. They reserve that right now! Nothing will change. Even now a Catholic priest can refuse to marry a couple for whatever reason--usually because he doesn't think they're ready. When this happens they can just go somewhere else. So if you have a pastor that doesn't want to unite loving couples NOW, that won't change, and you're fine. If your pastor is going to marry gay couples when its legal, chances are she or he is already doing it now, then. The law doesn't force pastors to accept anyone they don't already accept. Doesn't force churches to do anything different than they're already doing. Trust me. I don't want to get married in your nasty church anyway. Like I said before there are friendly churches that will marry me now.
So if legalizing gay marriages won't affect your church at all, what 'religious rights' will be taken away, according to the Far Right, if marriage is opened to all loving consenting adult couples? If it has nothing to do with your church or your home, then its not your PERSONAL religious freedoms--you can still exclude gay marriage from your home and church as you do now. The 'religious rights' that will be taken away from you are your 'right' to enjoy BARRING someone from a right YOU already have. That's not a right though. Like I said, you have no right to legally discriminate against someone. You don't have a legal right to feel superior to someone because you get to do more than them. This is called Fascism, and we don't live in a fascist system. In a democracy, everyone gets access to the same legal institutions. The private and religious institutions are another matter. Guess what? We already have families, just like we already have churches. Your barring us from legal rights does not stop that.
You think gays gettin' married is going to force you and your family to have to acknowledge the existence of gays? Well that's too bad! There are lots of things we don't want to acknowledge that we have to all of the time. I don't want to acknowledge snow storms, but I'm not going to make them illegal. Gay people exist, and hating them won't make them not exist. Gay people are humans and they're Americans, so therefore they deserve the same rights as you, regardless of whether or not you like gay people. You're going to HAVE to acknowledge our existence--but not because we have legal rights. You have to acknowledge us because we are a reality. You have a legal right to privacy, but not a legal right to build a bubble of discrimination around you so that every time you leave the house you don't have to be confronted with things that make you 'uncomfortable.' That's the wrong reason to be trying to make laws. UnAmerican reason.
Stop using the law to hide your superiority complex and elitism. I'm sorry you miss the 50s when straight white men were in charge, and everyone felt comfortable all of the time. However, you don't have a right to force second class citizenship on someone for the sake of nostalgia. Just because someone else's Equality makes you feel uncomfortable, you don't get to fight to keep them down. That's evil. This is AMERICA. For God's sake, be PROUD this is a free country! We fought HARD to break away from this feudalism and fascism. Why do you want to return to that? A real Patriot SUPPORTS Equality for all. Because that is the BEDROCK of this nation. If you don't like Equality, there are plenty of Fascist dictatorships and Religious theocracies around the world that would love to have you. Go there and live out your dream of looking down on others and knowing you're superior in the eyes of the law. Leave my America be.
We aren't asking for a legal right to anything you don't already have a legal right to. Please just stop trying to impede in my life and interfere in my rights. If you are REALLY about minding one's own business, then please mind your own. This is not an ISSUE that concerns you--unless you really do believe in Equality for all. Then it is of the utmost importance that you lend your hand!