There has been much consternation over allowing members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) community marriage rights. Not too long ago, there was discussion of a Constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman. There are numerous states with amendments that in some form or another ban gay marriage.
The issue is still talked about, as there are appeals before the Supreme Court challenging these state statutes. The most likely outcome will be the Supreme Court overturning a state statute, which would bring about a showdown between Congress, the White House and various powerful interest groups, or it will leave the issue to the states, which will continue the status quo.
There are innumerable variables that need to be considered when predicting the impact of any decision. One thing is clear: an activist Supreme Court will certainly mobilize all sides and draw clear and deep lines among them. One disaster scenario for Democrats would be trying to defend the House, Senate and to a lesser extent, the White House, from attacks from powerful conservative interest groups, if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of the GLBT community during the early years of a new Democratic president.
If the Right is mobilized, takes its frustration to the polls and elects Republicans en masse, this would certainly threaten getting any agenda through Congress. This can be said for the governorships and positions in the state legislatures as well. There is no easy “political” answer to the question of gay marriage. Will Democrats be willing to sacrifice a large swath of the electorate in order to keep the government in Democratic hands? It is a good question. If Democrats finally get their hands on all three branches of government, the sky is the limit.
I am a registered and voting Democrat and support giving members of the GLBT community equal rights. The reasons are based on common sense. I firmly believe that most of the positing against the granting of such rights is based on fear and ignorance, all of which is unfounded.
What would change about the amount of bills you receive and pay out per month if gay marriage were legal? Would you lose job security? Would you have to forego a pay advance or annual/seasonal bonus? What would change about the interest rates that banks provide you and how you save money? Would you be unable to protect your family, home or material goods from invasion? I ask again, how would granting marriage rights to this community impact any of the aforementioned?
How would granting marriage rights to members of this community impact how your children are taught in schools and interact with their friends? Would the school have to replace all of the textbooks? What would have to change about the curriculum? Would there have to be a change in the dietary regimen provided by school cafeterias? Would we have to raise or cut teachers’ salaries? Would our children stop climbing across monkey bars and swinging on swings? Would there be more bullies on the playground?
Would our taxes go up? Would they go down? Would our municipalities have to transfer resources and manpower from one vital department to another? Maybe crime would skyrocket. Would our government be overrun with anarchists?
Stop! What is it that we are really concerned with? A common sense approach to the issues that are most important to our people shows that there would be no impact whatsoever in how business is done in this nation. What are really afraid of? What is it that we are really rejecting?
I support equal rights for members of the GLBT community because I can find no single way in which granting such rights would negatively impact any part of our community. And for me, I need to be able to measure impact before I can be called to act for or against it.
We must keep our eyes on the prize and not let individuals or organizations distract us from the real issues of the day that impact our communities greatly. These issues include: the war in Iraq, nuclear armament of unstable regimes, suicide terrorism, the rising cost of oil, free trade, violent gangs, corrupt government officials, high and misappropriated taxes, bridge/road safety, disaster preparedness, racism, sexism, ableism, etc. The list goes on. These are issues that Americans can speak to and understand as impacting their daily lives.