Court’s ruling on gay marriage a just one2 min read

Stacy Lane

Last week, the California Supreme Court profoundly altered gay civil rights by reversing a past referendum banning gay marriage. The court has taken the correct stance in this era’s most polarizing civil rights issue.

The ruling does not take effect until July 16 and opponents are already pushing for a stay until November in the hopes that a proposed ballot initiative to amend the California Constitution and outlaw gay marriage will pass.

No one should be denied the right to marry. Yet there are opponents, presidential hopeful John McCain included, decrying judges who are “inventing rights” for gays. Equality for all is not a new concept, nor is the concept of government working to ensure that equality.

Past court decisions have guided America to civil rights reforms that now seem obvious and morally correct. The Supreme Court forced school desegregation, overturned laws banning the sale of contraceptives and reversed bans on interracial marriage.

Now gay marriage rights can be added to that list, with kudos going to the California Supreme Court for having the backbone to take a stand on this controversial issue.

Our government was originally crafted to ensure that majority action does not interfere with or dominate over the rights of the minority. Judicial 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 oft-unheard voices of the minority.

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

Only ignorance could be the source of any laws banning homosexual marriage. Ignorance is the source of all discrimination and conflict.

The world is a diverse place. No matter your faith, lifestyle, nationality, gender or sexual orientation, one truth remains: we are all human.

Strip away all the adjectives, undo the stereotypes – the fat, the skinny, the expensive, the cheap – take off the sari and the turban, remove the Asian eyes or the brown skin, remove the “gay” or “straight” title, and you are left with one fact that cannot be stripped: we are all humans.

It is through our humanity that we are all united as equals, but we are divided through our ignorance. It’s time to step away from that ignorance and see everyone as human and equal, all of us entitled to the same freedoms and rights.

It is time that we stopped trying to use laws to divide and discriminate, and start using them for that which they were intended: to protect equality and freedom.