Civil Success Begins in Colorado Senate

Lance Hostetter
The Paw Print

In the coming months and years certain political issues will rise to fore.  So called hot button issues that have often been placed at the bottom of the legislative pile will surface and will finally be dealt with.
Several issues like abortion, gun control, and same sex marriages or civil unions have long been pushed aside because it is politically dangerous to support or oppose these issues (depending upon which side of the aisle you sit).
Civil unions, same sex marriages, and homosexual equality has gained significant momentum over the past several years.  Recently, the Colorado Senate approved legislation to allow civil unions in Colorado with a 20-15 vote.  Democrats, of course, call the vote an “historic and civil” victory, whereas Republicans call the vote “a dramatic and radical change to marriage.”  The differing opinions, however, are rooted in outdated, paranoid thinking.
A few weeks ago at the prelude to the Homeland Security hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, Co-director, Foreign Policy in Focus and Huffington Post contributor John Feffer wrote in opposition to the hearings.  In his editorial, Feffer argued Americans have an issue with fear – fear of change and fear of what is foreign to most Americans.
Much like the hearings, there is another group significantly oppressed within this country that claims freedom for all.  Homosexual couples are not afforded the same rights as many heterosexual couples, a fact that should crumble in the coming years.
The argument against civil unions and homosexual rights has been exhausted in the public eye.  There are those who are ardently for equality; there are those who are ardently against homosexual rights; and there are those who simply do not care one way or another.
The Colorado bill was introduced by Sen. Pat Steadman and Sen. Mark Farrendino, both of whom are gay.  Steadman’s voice wavered as the announcement was made, indeed showing real human emotion.
Opponents of homosexual rights tend lean towards the religious argument and moral argument.  The First Amendment states that all people are granted freedom of religion, which means that people can believe in any God, gods, or no god if they so choose.  That, of course, begs the question of why we make arguments based on religious belief in the first place?  It seems contradictory to grant freedom of religion and argue politically through certain religious beliefs.  To truly have religious freedom, political and governmental arguments must remain out of the religious spectrum.
Morals are different to different people. What is morally right?  Is it morally right to deny equal rights to another solely because someone else disagrees with them?  Is it morally right to suppress another segment of the population because their beliefs and tendencies do not match the majority’s?  Is it morally right to condemn someone because they love another person, which has nothing to do with anyone else?
Opponents of homosexual equality argue America would suffer, the institution of marriage is sacred, and the family would be hurt.  What about the enormous divorce rate, broken families, parentless children, and any other thing wrong with the heterosexual institution of marriage?  When divorce and adultery run rampant throughout the country, the argument that marriage is sacred becomes irrelevant to the majority.  Marriage may very well be sacred to some, but certainly is not to everyone.
The civil union triumph in the Colorado Senate is but a stepping-stone in this generation’s battle for civil equality.  With more and more people becoming less and less afraid of homosexuality and learning that people are just people, equal rights for all will take another step in the right direction.
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