"I don't get to vote on your marriage. How come you get to vote on mine?"
With that simple question to the Iowa State Legislature, a gay man recently laid bare the fundamental wrongheadedness of all the laws and referendums aimed at either permitting or forbidding same-sex marriage. Such a pursuit of happiness is a right, not a privilege subject to the approval of voters -- something that Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is addressing right now with hearings to repeal the pernicious "Defense of Marriage Act" designed to obstruct same-sex marriage.
The wrongheadedness of both the prejudice and the failure to recognize such a right has not been self-evident forever, of course. When I was a teenager in the '50s, I freely joined my peers in denigrating "queers" and "homos" and had no qualms about using the word "nigger" either -- to my everlasting shame and regret and astonishment. Astonishment, because my parents were as devoted to civil liberties as any two people could possibly be in their generation. They abhorred any and all prejudices and strove consistently to wipe them out.
But their sons proved perfectly capable of ignoring such models, preferring to flow along with their peers until creeping maturation realigned us to our parents' stance. My own evolution has progressed through a pronounced series of stages, from teenage peer-compliance, to admiration for my parents' understanding, to the influences of seminary, to the testing of my convictions when confronted by parishioners' negative reaction to my support for gays and lesbians.
Complete article at Huffington Post : http://huff.to/rr93OM