YOUNG VOICES: Equal rights more important than love

2013-04-08T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Equal rights more important than loveBy Clayton Thomas nwitimes.com
April 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Recently, the Supreme Court heard the arguments in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry. The case stems from the debates of the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

During the 2008 election, California voters added a line in their state’s constitution that said, “Only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

After this proposition was passed and enacted, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier were denied a marriage license because they were a same-sex couple. They sued the state, citing a denial of equal rights. The case worked its way up the court system, landing in the U.S. Court of Appeals. There, the appellate panel said Prop 8 was unconstitutional.

Enter Dennis Hollingsworth, leader of the protectmarriage.com collective. Hollingsworth, along with other traditionalist groups, is counter suing Perry. Thus, Hollingsworth and protectmarriage.com are listed as the plaintiffs and Perry and her fiancée are listed as the defendants.

If the court sides with Hollingsworth and the plaintiffs, same-sex marriages will be effectively unconstitutional. If the court sides with Perry and the defendants, same-sex marriages will be considered valid. Not only in California, but also across the country.

The proponents of same-sex marriages say love is love. Validate these marriages because you can’t help who you love. I don’t buy this argument. Love is culturally relative.

American culture dictates that the “I Do’s” be said with love. In other cultures, “I Do” is never mentioned during the ceremony because the participants have no choice; the marriages are arranged.

What’s more, love interferes with the firing of the brain’s synapses, putting people in a different state of mind. Love should not be the most compelling argument in favor of same-sex marriage.

The equal rights argument is much stronger. Marriage involves rights not affiliated with love. Insurance plans, inheritances, tax brackets and other matters of social organization are changed with a marriage certificate. By saying that same-sex couples cannot get married, the law is also saying they are not worthy of these social benefits.

If the Supreme Court sides with Hollingsworth, the government will be effectively saying LGBT citizens do not deserve rights other people receive by virtue of sexual orientation. This is not liberty and justice for all. I hope the Supreme Court sides with the defendants.

I encourage you to become as informed as possible on this important issue. Instead of taking my ideas at face value, or any other ideas presented by the media, search the web for “Supreme Court Hollingsworth v. Perry.” There, you will find an audio file and a transcript of the entire Supreme Court hearing. This raw, unfiltered data will allow you to make a decision without media interference.

Clayton Thomas, of Chesterton, is a senior at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. The opinions are the writer's.

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