Friday, May 7, 2010

Gay Marriage in Washington

Hi, I'm Maya Cohen. My essay is about the law against gay marriage in Washington state, and I feel that people should have the freedom to marry who they want.

Right now in Washington State, civil unions (which give gay people some of the same rights as heterosexuals) are allowed, but gay marriage is against the law, leaving countless couples heartbroken that they cannot marry their partner. And Washington is not the only place with homosexual-related issues. In some countries, being gay can give people serious punishments like life in prison, or even the death penalty. This is a serious and unfair problem, and we must address it.

Formerly, gay people had less rights than heterosexuals, such as the right to visit a loved one in the hospital. Recently, though, President Obama signed an executive order that gives everyone the right to visit loved ones in the hospital. Obama supports gay rights and civil unions, but not gay marriage. He explains this is because of religious beliefs and traditions. Still, I believe that everyone should have equal rights, as stated in our Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...".

I also believe in privacy. Who you love is your business, and should not be decided by others! No one should be able to choose who you marry. Nobody should be able to choose what your lifestyle or family is like, which also relates to the idea that we are all created equal, and that we all deserve equal rights. I have a friend whose parents are gay. They are a perfectly fine family. They deserve just as much privacy as others and my friend shouldn't get teased at school. My friend's parents shouldn't be ashamed of their sexual orientation.

Lastly, I think that people deserve freedom of religion. Guidelines of religion should only apply to those who practice that religion. You see, most conflicts with gay marriage have to do with religious and homophobic people protesting against gay marriage. Some argue that if gay marriage was granted countrywide, everything would turn into chaos, but I disagree. I think that the United States' gay population needs to get a break from criticism and just be at peace.

Right now in the United States, only 5 out of our 50 states allow gay marriage. Many stories in the news are about protests against the law preventing gay marriage. Forty-five states in America are gay battlefields. We need to turn these battlefields into gardens where everyone can bloom and flourish and where everyone can be themselves. Please come and help nourish this garden.