Gay marriage opponents are the ones making it a big issue

March 02, 2011

When you invest all of your effort against gay marriage, don't complain that marriage equality is a distraction from "more important issues." Don't blame me, don't blame the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, and don't blame the liberal agenda. I'm a high school senior going off to college in a few months. I have a Spanish test to study for and sleep to catch up on, so I'd rather not have to get involved. I'd be just as happy to sit back and let the state of Maryland follow its constitutional obligation to secure basic rights for all people — regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. You're the one making this a much bigger issue than it needs to be.

This being said, I understand how difficult it can be to change the beliefs you were raised with; it takes courage to put your own values under scrutiny. But if you are against gay marriage, don't justify it by saying that homosexuality is against Christianity. It is my personal belief that God doesn't really care who we marry, but what it comes down to is that marriage is a legal issue, not a religious one. America has a long-standing separation between church and state, so I implore opponents of gay marriage to reevaluate their stance, distancing themselves from religious doctrine.

Why then, I fail to understand, do so many people stand against gay marriage? Do you think you're better than a gay or lesbian couple, more deserving? Let me get inside your head. Help me understand exactly how you have been able to mangle Christian virtue and our own Constitution in order to make it OK to legally discriminate.

Opponents of gay marriage, you do not have some invisible knapsack on your back, full of rights and privileges that exclusively belong to heterosexuals. You have no reason to believe that you were born with the inherent right to marriage while others are not. In America everybody is equal, and it is my hope that together we can allow tolerance to triumph over hate and ignorance.

Derek Siegel, Reisterstown

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