Essay on Equal Rights

A judge has struck down anti-gay marriage laws in Arkansas.

It should be a wonderful day for conservatism because our system worked. Not all laws are constitutional, and the system is set up to correct that with executive, judicial, and legislative branches being able to enact laws and fix mistakes. We also do not leave all laws to a popular vote since we are a republic, and we understand that this can protect minorities against discrimination by the majority. Conservatives should be applauding that our constitution has kept our republic strong since 1789, and acting within those parameters, fine tuning, and fixing problems by all three branches, America has been successful.

Instead, they are gnashing their teeth and whining about “activist judges.” Not one of them is seeing the hypocrisy of wanting a “popular” vote on a civil rights issue. Not one of them is remembering our republic protects minorities from the tyranny of a majority. Despite their “moral” outrage at a group gaining their civil rights, they want to limit a group that they don’t like. Do any of them remember 1964? I do. Conservatives back then were dead set against civil rights for blacks. They wanted to leave it up to “states’ rights.” Does that sound familiar? Is there any doubt that if something like civil rights for blacks was left up to a popular vote that it would be disastrous? Many states across the south would have apartheid.

This is where the libertarian streak in today’s GOP has taken a wrong turn. They want everything done by the states and not a central government. That was tried by our Founding Fathers under the Articles of Confederation, which was a failure. The “me me me” philosophy neglects our great society and diminishes our place in the world.

So a judge has declared in yet another state that gay people can have the same rights as straight people. The world won’t end; society won’t crumble. People can still practice their religion. Nobody will have to go to a church that performs gay marriage. The sole thing that will change is that gays will be able to take advantage of their civil rights. Those rights include being able to do business in public shops. It doesn’t force anyone to do anything but conduct business. And let me tell you that every day when you are out in the public or doing business, you may come across someone whose beliefs aren’t the same as yours or someone whose lifestyle you might find objectionable. It doesn’t mean that you are accepting what they do. It just means that in our capitalistic society, business is business and you often put aside your “moral” outrage to do business.That doesn’t force anyone who has “religious” objections to engage in same-sex marriage. If your religion forbids you from being around gay people, perhaps you ought not to walk out the front door in the mornings. You might go to a restaurant where your server, chef, or host may be gay. You might buy clothes from a gay person in a store. Do the gay people refuse to do business with you because of your religious beliefs? No. They serve you, help you, and don’t whine about having to do business with bigots. Perhaps the far right so-called conservatives should learn that lesson, and get on with their lives.

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