Gay Rights and the Big Picture

I am aware that this tweet was taken before the election, it’s great that President Obama won!

Lately, I’ve heard a lot of people say that gay rights isn’t a “big picture” issue. They say that things like the economy or foreign affairs matters more, and that being gay only affects a limited amount of people – so, it should be shoved aside until our country can resolve other problems.

I understand that people have priorities and certain things that affect them. Everyone is supposed to care about different subjects, and people are supposed to disagree, otherwise, nothing new would arise. I understand that money has a huge effect on our country’s prosperity and its overall position in the world – it’s truly unfortunate that so many people are struggling to make ends meet.

But I do not understand how anyone can assume that gay rights isn’t a key part of the big picture. Clearly, people who say this have not been bullied, discriminated against a by a teacher, or called a “fag” as if being gay gave you some sort of disease. Clearly, these people do not have friends or family members who have suffered from unequal rights. Clearly, these people have never felt guilty or oppressed for loving someone of the same sex.

The symbolic meaning of marriage, to visit your loved ones when they’re sick, to be equal to every other human being – are those things not part of the big picture? If so, why do people bother to get married anyway? Why don’t we all just have civil unions with marriage benefits? It’s horrifying that human dignity has taken a back seat to money, a purely materialistic measure of man’s success.

And it’s not just gay people who are left damaged by unfair legislation and policies. Everyone is affected by this. Straight people who vote against a gay person’s right to live as freely and to love as equally as them are dehumanizing themselves, whether they’re aware of it or not. They are allowing their fellow man to flounder and fight for the rights they should be born with.

Oddly enough, I’m confident that very few would vote for money over the rights of black people to get married or to visit their loved ones in the hospital. The thought itself is inhumane and disgusting. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is happening to gays – money and issues that seem to be prevalent are detracting from our country’s focus on social issues, making our morality stagnant and depriving citizens of what’s fair.

Even though this post might make me sound like I’m indignant, I’m really not. This past election, our country showed that it’s striding in the right direction. Obama, a supporter of gay rights, won the Presidential election, four more states will now allow gay marriage, and we have our first openly gay member in the Senate and openly bisexual member in Congress. Hopefully, when the Supreme Court argues DOMA, all of these victories will influence the justices’ decision.

Four more years! Image via ndtv.com.

Does anyone agree or disagree? I’m definitely biased because I know more about social issues than I do about fiscal or foreign affair issues, but I do believe that gay rights and morality should be a predominate concern. Also, how do you guys feel about the election? Of course I was ecstatic, but I recognize that not everyone may feel that way. Now, I am off to volunteer – until next time!

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9 Comments

Filed under Society

9 responses to “Gay Rights and the Big Picture

  1. Alex

    I totally agree with you. Gay rights shouldn’t be pushed back because it’s not “as important” as other issues, when in fact, it’s just as important. I see marriage equality as a subset of civil rights, and for a nation that (supposedly) espouses equality for all, shouldn’t the people consider gay rights as part of the big picture? I’m glad that Obama won the election….the Romney/Paul stances on gay rights and abortion especially scared and offended me….

    • Exactly. It’s sad that so many cannot see the importance of marriage equality. And, yes, Romney/Paul scared me with their stance on social issues as well as how they vacillated on so many other issues. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Tommy

    Agreed, I don’t think that gay rights should even be controversial, equality of all people was claimed long ago. I believe the campaign slogan “Forward” answers the question of whether gay rights is a “big picture” issue in our nation – we must never forget to move forward, to forward human rights, regardless of other problems. Your mention of the rights of black people reminded me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8JsRx2lois Can’t say how long, Thomas, but the day will come!

    • Yeah I know, it’s sad how gay rights is such a dividing issue in some respects – however, people need to fight for it to claim what’s fair, and then it can fade away a little bit. Also, I saw that video! I love how he did that and it certainly proves a point, though it’s scary how history repeats itself in terms of the oppression of minority rights… and I agree, hopefully it will come in our lifetime!

  3. If I were American, I would have voted for Obama, too, so congratulations!

    On the issue of prioritization, I think that, just like the zero-sum mindset on immigrants taking jobs away from ‘real” Americans, the civil rights v economy debate is an illusion. Governments certainly should be expected to have the capacity to attend on both civil rights and economic fronts. Also, who’s to say that progressive policies about civil rights would not have a positive effect on the economy?

    • Interestingly enough, I read an article about the opinions of those living overseas or in countries other than the US about who they would’ve preferred to win the Presidential election. I think every country supported Obama more than Romney, besides two – I think they were Russia and Iran, but I’m not sure.

      Anyway, I agree that it’s an illusion. With the government’s scope and size, it should be able to tackle economic and social issues – which it’s done in the past. Also, allowing gays to marry would definitely have a positive impact on the economy, as shown in the link I posted in the second sentence of this post.

      Thank you for your thoughts, as well as for reading and commenting!

  4. This was a wonderful election cycle, particularly because of our progress on so many social issues, including the passage of marriage equality initiatives. It’s far better than 2008, when California’s Prop 8 dampened the joy around President Obama’s historic win. I am very optimistic. My impression is that the Supreme Court is swayed by public opinion, despite being an unelected body. This is more than about gay rights–it’s about what the government can do to regulate people’s personal lives. That should be important to everyone.

  5. Yes, I agree. This year we didn’t see any “bad news” in terms of marriage equality initiatives or gay rights – our country only has more room to improve. I also think you’re right that the big picture includes the fact that gay rights (and the rights of blacks, women, etc.) all are interconnected within the framework of what is fair and equal for all human beings. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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