Stacy Lane

California’s Supreme Court has finally taken a correct and firm stance in this era’s most polarizing civil rights issue.

Last week, the court rewrote gay civil rights by reversing a past referendum banning gay marriage. The new ruling does not take effect until July 16, and opponents will be pushing for a stay on the ruling, hoping to place a initiative on November’s ballot that would outlaw gay marriage. Simple logic seems to be lacking. No one should be denied the right to marry, and yet there are these opponents, presidential hopeful McCain included, decrying judges who are “inventing rights,” for gays. Memo to Mr. McCain: equality for all is not a new invention. Nor is the concept of our government ensuring that equality. Past civil rights court decisions have guided America to changes that now seem obvious and morally correct. The Supreme Court forced school integration, overturned laws against contraception and reversed bans on interracial marriage. Now, gay marriage rights can be added to that list, with kudos to going the California Supreme Court for having the backbone – and lets face it, the balls – to protect the rights of this minority in such a controversial and polarizing issue. According to Kenneth Janda of the American Political Science Association, the government in America was crafted in order to ensure that majority action does not interfere or dominate the rights of the minority. Our Judicial ruling and proceedings were not put into play in order to add power to the voices of the majority, but rather, to add strength and offer protection to the often unheard voices of the minorities.

To the more enlightened of us, the reality is sad and obvious. It’s unfortunate that we need to rely on our government to protect the rights of gays. Nowhere in our constitution does it state that the rights set forth are intended for heterosexual persons only. The marriage rights afforded heterosexual couples should also be given to homosexual ones.

Ignorance would be the only reason for laws banning homosexual marriage. Ignorance is the source of all discrimination and all conflict.

Allow me to enlighten the ignorant. This world is diverse. No matter your faith, lifesyle, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation – one truth remains. We are all human. Strip every adjective away; undo the stereotypes: the fat, the skinny, the expensive, the cheap. Take off the sari and the tourbon; remove the asian eyes or the brown skin. Remove the gay or straight title. You are left with one fact that cannot be stripped: we are all humans. It is through our humanity that we are united as equals, but through our ignorance that we are divided. It’s time to step out of the ignorance and see that, as humans and citizens, we are all entitled the same freedoms and rights. It is time that we stopped trying to use our laws to divide and discriminate and start using them for which they were intended: to promote equality and freedom.