I am a duly registered, fully vetted, card-carrying Republican.
Yeah, I know… I hide the horns and pointy tail well.
In the same way I identify myself as Christian and still dismiss many of the hypocritical attitudes of some who adhere to organized religious practices, I also reject many of the planks of my chosen political party platform.
When asked, I tell people I am fiscally Republican, but socially Moderate, in the same way that I say I am more spiritual than religious.
I explained all that to set up this revelation:
I am a Republican, AND I believe in marriage equality.
To me, it is intrinsically wrong that an entire community of the American population is refused the fundamental right to marry the people they love, and have ALL the benefits inherent to that right – adoption, health/life insurance, medical decisions, family leave, Social Security, anything and everything I, as a spouse, am afforded.
It’s unconscionable that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are disenfranchised based solely on religious social mores. If there truly is separation of church and state, this should not be a legal issue.
During my lifetime, there were still states that outlawed marriage between different races. In 1967, when the unanimous Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia reversed raced-based restrictions on marriages, 16 states still had similar enforceable laws on the books.
In the original court case, where Richard and Mildred Loving were convicted on multiple charges related to their bi-racial marriage, the presiding judge, also basing his decision on religious grounds, wrote:
“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
Such a ruling today would be renounced as the bigoted hate speech it truly was.
In overturning these marriage laws, the Supreme Court cited the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause:
“(the 14th Amendment)… requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”
I don’t believe people choose their sexuality any more than they choose the color of their skin. Denying marriage rights simply because of sexual orientation, should be just as unconstitutional as banning these rights because of race.
Today is National Coming Out Day. I am coming out as a straight ally in support of LGBT rights.
*Day 27 – 30 Days of Shamelessness: express a dissenting opinion