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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

While much social progress has been made, some groups still remain unequal

Despite broad proclamations to the contrary, not everyone in America is equally free.

The nation has a history of discrimination. It began with the near-extermination of the continent’s indigenous population and extended to the suppression of women and the enslavement of blacks.

Immense social progress has certainly been made. However, women still receive less pay than men for equal work and an overwhelming majority of Americans die in the same class into which they were born.

Questions which at one time seemed controversial and up for debate have been dealt with. Any citizen of legal age now has the right to vote, without property or race requirements. Yet somehow, the question of gay marriage continues to be debated as though there even were anything to debate.

The arguments against gay marriage are all embarrassingly silly – every last one of them.

Perhaps the most laughable is the notion of the ‘sanctity of marriage.’ According to this argument, marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman, and it would violate the sacredness of the institution to allow any other union to enter into it.

Proponents of this argument must either be willfully or actually ignorant of the fact that more marriages end in divorce than not. Are the drunken imbeciles marrying in Las Vegas, or the ‘shotgun weddings’ of certain communities, examples of entry into a sacred bond between a man and woman truly and deeply in love and committed to one another?

In reality, the invocation of marriage is a sacred institution is a not-very-well-concealed way of bringing religion into the argument. Of course, some commentators will maintain support for separation of church and state and claim the issue of religion is irrelevant. They do this, in all likelihood, because simply saying ‘The Bible says so’ is no longer adequate support for government policy (another positive mark of social progress).

What the Bible actually says about the matter, if anything, is still unclear. Even supposing the Bible is the literal word of a true and just God, it still doesn’t say much of anything about the issue of gay marriage, or even homosexuality in general. It is famously derided in Leviticus, and according to that book to be punished by death; yet I’ve never heard any mainstream Biblical scholar suggest King David ought to have been beheaded.

And the discrimination of gays extends beyond their denial of marriage. Even opponents of gay marriage would likely grant homosexuals civil unions, theoretically entitling them to all the same benefits enjoyed by married couples without actually qualifying as a marriage (also ridiculous). But allowing them to serve in the military is out of the question.

Reasons for this are also convoluted at best, and without any basis in reason. One fear is that gays in the military might be a distraction – we can’t have soldiers falling in love, they must be completely focused on their duty.

But consider this: If you have no deep emotional attachment to your comrade in the trench, there would be no reason to go in after him. Fighting would be far more valiant if you were fighting not only for your country, but for the man or woman you loved.

Perhaps the fear of the military is that allowing gays in would create willing sexual partners for the men in uniform. Again, even moderate scrutiny of the view reveals its deep flaws. If straight men are so predisposed to succumbing to temptation when they are so far away from home and their girlfriends, then the sexual orientation of the recruit doesn’t matter anyway. Surely we can give the soldiers more credit than this.

Famous cases have come to the fore of honorable soldiers being discharged from the military for the orientation. At a time when the military was short on Arabic translators, fighting two wars in a Middle East theater, six of them were discharged. Despite his promise to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, President Obama has remained idle on the subject and it isn’t looking like anything will be done.

History has demonstrated that all social progress comes from the ground-up. Rights will not be handed down from above, but must be worked for. Just as women and minorities did early last century (and at other periods of history), equality will eventually be achieved. Non-women supported women’s causes, non-blacks supported black causes and non-gays ought to – and often do – support gay causes.

Contrary to the ridicule usually afforded them, the American people are mostly enlightened when it comes to treating their fellow man equally. All gays need to do is continue fighting for their cause – it will be met.

The further humanity comes along, the closer we get to universally accepting the old adage, ‘We are all in this together.’

Respond to Kyle at [email protected]

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