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Don't Amend The Gay Marriage Amendment Debate

1304 words - 5 pages

It is a crisp cool October morning. Two hikers are enjoying a quiet walk through the frost tipped fields of Laramie, Wyoming when they are startled by whimpers begging for help. They find a young man tied up to a wood fence, ready for crucifixion. He has been burned, bloodied, beaten, and broken. The University of Wyoming student died three days later due to injuries sustained from repeated pistol whippings. His name is Matthew Sheppard. Matthew was gay. His murderers intended to kill him because he was gay. Matthew had never hit on them, and had not been involved with any of them romantically. In fact, the murderers had tried to lure Matthew from a bar the night before, but were unsuccessful. Intent is clearly shown. This subject is about more than hurt feelings. It is about discrimination, prejudice, hate, and intolerance of sexual orientation that has brought physical harm and death to many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-gendered people.Our government is taking steps to split our country into a segregated society- straight versus gay, taking us back to the days of Jim Crowe and "separate but equal" standards. After the United State's Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, and the Massachusetts State Supreme Court followed suit in Goodridge et al. v. The Department of Public Health, the "concerned right" is pushing for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage. As society is progressively stepping forward in civil rights, why is our government trying to dictate who can obtain their constitutionally granted "pursuit of happiness"? Amendment supporters are ignoring a few things when it comes to gay rights, religion, and government.Gay rights are human rights. According to the 2002 Uniform Crime Report, 16.7% of hate crimes committed were against gays and lesbians. There are four people a day, that is over 1,400 citizens of the "Land of the Free", who are attacked in one year due to their sexual orientation. The uprise in anti-gay rhetoric can be found all over. Posted to the Matthew Shepard Online Resources bulletin board (http://www.wiredstrategies.com/wwwboard) on October 20, 1998 is a note demonstrating how deplorable this hate extends- "It's not too late to try and be STRAIGHT. Give up your homo lifestyle or more fags will die and lesbians raped and impregnated and forced to bear straight children. This is war against you homo perverts!" Few would say that this discrimination is acceptable if it were against religious or ethnic minorities, so why is it ok to accept this kind of hatred for homosexuals? It's not.This amendment debases our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which creates, ensures, and protects individual liberties. The Constitution has been amended 27 times, and only one (the 18th for prohibition) was created to restrict rights, but was later repealed by the 21st Amendment. This amendment would mark the first time in American history that the Constitution is amended to single out a minority group...

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