From this country’s founding, equal rights for all citizens was an admirable goal that never materialized despite the sacrifices and hard work of various groups. It is astonishing, and shameful, that after 236 years, there has been progress to fulfill Jefferson’s ideal that “all men are created equal” and have “certain unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but more than half the population faces discrimination every day in every aspect of their lives and do not enjoy equal rights. It is unfortunate, but Republicans have not embraced equal rights for all Americans and their drive to subject women to inequality and discrimination is only matched by their punitive actions to restrict gays from marrying the person they love. President Obama has been tireless in advocating for equal rights for women, minorities and gays, but his historic announcement on Wednesday that he supports gay marriage defines him as a true advocate for equal rights for all Americans.
The opposition to gay marriage is based solely in religious dogmata, and by legislating against same-sex marriage, Republicans are sanctioning church-based discrimination laws that are unconstitutional. Republicans claim that not following the Christian prohibition on homosexuality threatens traditional marriage, destroys children, and will lead to America’s demise, but they have no evidence to support any of their claims. The immediate push-back against the President for supporting same-sex marriage informs that Republicans and their conservative media outlets Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are advocates for inequality and discrimination that emboldens homophobic Americans with the right to punish gays. Giving the gay community the right to marry is not only about ending social discrimination, it also means the end of financial penalties for being gay.
Gay couples have enough trouble living amongst homophobes and bigots in a social context, but by not allowing or recognizing their right to marry the person they love, they lose the ability to take advantage of “married” status on federal income tax returns that punishes both partners. For example, gay couples with two income earners cannot claim exemptions that traditional married couples enjoy, and regardless of income, one partner always has to be the “head of household” and one has to be a dependent therefore losing out on the deduction any traditional couple enjoys. Same-sex couples also lose next-of-kin inheritance rights and the right to make end-of-life decisions if one partner is incapacitated all because of religious dogma. Giving same-sex couples the right to marry will not affect social discrimination and bigotry, but it will correct the financial inequality Republicans are intent on legislating against the gay community.
The fact that Republicans immediately, in the dark of night, attached an amendment to a $51.1 billion Department of Justice and Commerce funding bill that reinforces the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) proves they are serving the Christian bible and not the Constitution. It is more evidence that Republicans are bible-inspired bigots who hate any American who is not a white Christian male and does not fit their paradigm of a good American married couple. The blatant hatred Republicans have for the LGBT community that they are willing to spend taxpayer dollars to defend discrimination and punish same-sex couples is nothing less than passive bullying. Willard Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president and member of a pseudo-Christian religious cult went beyond passive bullying during high school and physically assaulted another student by holding him down and cutting his hair. Yesterday on Fox News, Neil Cavuto gave Romney the opportunity to blame his bullying on President Obama’s campaign by asking if he thought the president planted the bullying story. Romney did not deny the story’s veracity, but he did insinuate the President’s campaign was “holding up very shiny objects, many of them will be with regards to me.” Romney is anti-gay and has been his entire life and it is directly attributable to his religious inclinations like all opposition to gay rights. Not all Christians are homophobes, but nearly all homophobes are Christians and it is all attributable to the bible’s prohibition against homosexuality and Romney will perpetuate homophobia if he is elected president.
Romney has signaled that he will actively pursue proponents of same-sex marriage as part of the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) presidential pledge he signed. Romney’s signature obliges him to “establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections as needed.” It is not that the pledge will investigate harassment, it is that the Christo-fascists consider proponents of same-sex marriage guilty of threatening traditional marriage and a Romney-appointed commission will be exclusively Christian fundamentalists who will take their job as serious as Romney took bullying a fellow student because he “suspected” he was gay.
It is increasingly difficult to believe that Republicans are not just religious bigots, but religious bigots who feel duty-bound to punish the gay community financially, socially, and unconstitutionally. They may not be physically bullying gays like Willard Romney did in high school, but they are legislating state sponsored discrimination under authority of the Christian bible and they are breaking their oath of office to support the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights in the 14th Amendment, and failing to abide by the Separation Clause in the 1st Amendment. Their assertion that same-sex marriage is an attack on traditional marriage is fallacious in theory and practicality, but they are not known for objectivity when fear-mongering has worked so well for them in drumming up religious opposition to same-sex marriage.
President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage does not have as its basis opposition to traditional marriage like NOM, Fox News, or Rush Limbaugh asserts, but in his belief in the Constitution and equal rights for all citizens whether they are gay, straight, minority or just hateful religious bigots like Republicans and Willard Romney.