Saturday, February 22, 2014

How I Feel About Gay Rights

With the recent news in Arizona, I'm a little pissed off. Normally, I stay out of politics, and don't share my opinions, but this is just ridiculous. If you don't know what happened, quite simply, Arizona lawmakers passed a bill that, if signed into law, would allow business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian customers. This is terrible. Especially when so many states are moving forward and bringing about acceptance and greater rights to the restricted, this is a huge smack in the face.

Personally, I don't think there should be a such thing as gay rights, or women's rights, or men's rights, or children's rights, or any other type of rights that are applied to a specific group. Now, don't assume I think these groups of people don't deserve these rights. They absolutely do. HOWEVER, segregating it into different groups is the part that bothers me. HUMAN RIGHTS is the over-arching issue. Gays and lesbians, at the core, are human. Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Europeans, Americans, at the core, are human. Women are human. Men are human. Children are human. At the bare basics, what matters is humanity. I don't care what color you are, how tall or short you are, how thin or fat you are, what religion you subscribe to, what your sexual orientation is, or anything else that can be up for discrimination. If you're human that's what counts. (I care about other stuff besides humans, but that's not the point of this post.) If you're a good person, that matters a hell of a lot more than if you're gay or straight, male or female, or anything else. If you're a jerk, well, you're a jerk. There are people out there who get along so well with everyone, and then as soon as they find out someone is gay, all of a sudden that person is labeled, put down, and rejected. Because of who they are. And that's fucked up.

What I don't understand is why people can't put there differences aside and just treat people well. Calling someone a bad person, or evil, or rejecting basic human rights because of who they are is one of the worst things that you can do. So many people have fought so hard for human rights. There was an entire freaking Civil Rights Movement because of it, yet here we are. It's 2014. In the United States, you can be black and go wherever you want. Some areas of the country still don't like it, but damnit you're allowed to be there. In this country, 17 states and DC have legalized gay marriage, 8 Native American tribal jurisdictions issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and many other states will accept gay marriage licenses from other states for varying purposes. Many other states are slowly moving toward a free-er society for gay and lesbian individuals by naming same sex marriage bans unconstitutional. And then along comes Arizona and says "Fuck you, we'll do what we want". To be perfectly clear, I have nothing against the state of Arizona. My issue stands purely with this bill that basically says segregation and discrimination are entirely acceptable at the free will of others.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has a number of articles that apply to this situation, to which I underlined the specific portions that I feel stand out. These are not rights outlined by any specific country or government faction, but by the United Nations which is an organization "committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights". They are as follows:

Article 1.
  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2.
  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3.
  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 5.
  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 7.
  • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 16.
  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Now obviously there's a damn good chance people are going to disagree with me.  I respect any and all opinions that are not fueled by ignorance, and are presented in a respectful manner. I understand and accept that people will disagree with me. I am open to hearing all points of view, as long as they are presented in a respectful manner. As much as you might disagree with me, others will likely disagree with you. It's life. It happens. I'm just saying... please don't be a jerk. Everything I wrote here is MY OPINION, some of which is supported by fact (laws in place, written documentation of generally accepted principles, etc). In no way does that make my opinion fact. It is simply how I feel. With that being said, my rant is over.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. 50 years from now our kids' kids are going to look back at these assholes with the same disgust and loathing we have for the idiots who opposed civil rights 50 years ago.

    Human rights for -all- humans!