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All Americans Should Be Treated Equally

Posted on Monday, 21st May 2012 @ 10:08 PM by Text Size A | A | A

“All Americans should be treated equally.”- President Barack Obama

It is amazing what sets people off.

The national unemployment rate is above 8%; homeowners remain upside down on their mortgages; our children are victims of sex trafficking; and we are involved in multiple foreign conflicts. But these aren’t the issues that people are up in arms about. Gay marriage, specifically, President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage, is what has much of America in a tizzy. Really?

According to a recent USAToday/Gallup poll, 51% approve of same-sex marriage, but only 8 states specifically recognize same-sex marriage. The basis of the resistance appears to be steeped in theology, and I find that troubling. I respect each religion’s right to determine to whom vows will be administered, and one has the right to choose to belong to a particular organized religion. However, I do not believe the laws of our nation should be modeled after such conventions if it means marginalizing a defined set of the population. This is OUR country and we each are entitled the “pursuit of happiness” afforded us by the Constitution.

I am a Christian, was raised by two God-fearing Christian parents, and come from a long line of ordained ministers. I am even married to a minister, so I am well versed on the traditional religious community’s position on marriage. However, I am a 36 year old woman who lives in 2012, and whether two consenting adults of the same sex decide to “jump the broom” is a non-issue for me. I mean NOT AN ISSUE, like whether my neighbors plant red or yellow roses. And while President Obama is an undeniably influential figure in our lives, as a good friend stated, “He is not the Pastor of the United States.” Therefore, President Obama’s personal beliefs on gay marriage are not an issue; and since the President has said that he will not interfere with the administration of law regarding this issue, this is again a non-issue.

A writer for The Nation, Ben Adler, posits that the Romney campaign will probably not focus too much on gay marriage, as Romney’s strength is not in social issues. That could be true, but there is also the fact that within a couple of days of the President’s announcement Romney was recently forced to apologize for his abhorrent attack on a classmate he believed to be gay. So, Romney may have to talk about gay marriage much more than he would like in near future.

Rather than focus on the President’s personal feelings regarding the rightness of same-sex marriage (or his evolving position on the issue), I choose to focus on the overarching theme of oneness in the statement that “all Americans should be treated equally.” Thankfully, both major parties agree that the prominent issue for this year’s election will not be gay marriage but the economy. Thank God.

Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell is an attorney, wife, mother, and runner whose claim to fame is her love of double chocolate brownies. Follow her on Twitter at @lynitamb.

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