Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gay rights are civil rights...even if you don't approve of the lifestyle

Now that the District of Columbia has moved in the direction of expanding marriage rights equally to all people, it is time for those who have fought so valiantly all of their lives for equality to practice what they preach. While it is partially a generational issue, and partially one of culture, many of the opposition voices in Washington DC were those of longtime civil rights crusaders who made possible the legislation of the 60s. Now they are angry and offended that people are attempting to frame the battle for marriage equality in terms similar to those that they used 50 years ago.

As Christian Davenport of the Washington Post points out, some of the anger and resentment coming from the former leaders of the civil rights movement stems from some notion that homosexuality is something that can be hidden, while skin color cannot. I would have hoped that in this age we would have come to a point in our society where the goal is not simply to hide what one is to be accepted, but rather to be accepted for what we are or whatever differences exist between us.

The false sense of indignity that is being expressed by members of the black community over the comparison of gay rights and civil rights seems to be coming from the petty rejection they feel towards homosexuals. From the arguments put forth over the past few years, it seems clearer than ever that they object not because of some principled stance to preserve the honor of Black struggle, but rather they object because they just don't like gays, and that is simply not a strong enough argument to continue to deprive people of basic civil rights. Because let's be honest, that's exactly what marriage is, a civil right.

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