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By: Corey Henderson | Our Voice Contributor
Today I want to talk to you about the civic mindset. It starts with the story of Mary and Taylor, high school sweethearts who marry shortly after they graduate. Unable to have children of their own, they go though the long adoption process, and after several years their dreams of starting a family comes true. Mary quits her day job to be a full time mother, while Taylor becomes the sole provider.
Their family progresses normally – but it’s not without some rough spots. Mary falls ill with cancer, but with Taylor by her side in the hospital she remains strong and eventually fights her way back to health. After the kids grow up and many long years of life and love, Taylor unexpectedly passes from a heart attack. Mary, mourning the loss of her lifetime friend and lover, assumes sole control of the estate they built together over their life. Eventually, this gets passed to her children.
This is what being in a civilized society grants us; familial rights that give family through adoption, support through hospital visits, joint material assets, and inheritance. There’s no denying the necessary provisions here provided by a government of we, the people, for equal opportunity under the law.
Now what I didn’t mention is that Taylor is a woman. This is a story of a gay marriage. Up until now, it sounded like a regular marriage, right? That’s because it is a regular marriage. Two people in love who make a lifelong promise to each other and create a family.
Until recently, this wasn’t possible. They wouldn’t have been able to adopt, at least not as a couple. Taylor wouldn’t have had rights to be in the hospital with Mary, at least not without a mountain of unnecessary paperwork. And when death ultimately happens, transfer of assets isn’t so straight forward.
Whether you agree that marriage between two people of the same gender is moral or not, there can be no denying the very basic things that marriage provides that everyone should be able to enjoy. To exclude people who are gay from this is discriminatory and against the very nature of what it means to be American.
From the preamble of the constitution itself, we, the people, “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
This is where we must have a civic mindset, the ability to identify the difference between morality and liberty. That morality is a perspective that shifts based on a persons background, race, and religion. But in order to live together harmoniously between different positions of morality, that’s where liberty comes in.
Liberty isn’t a perspective, it’s supposed to be unchanging between individuals. It’s how we get justice, domestic tranquility, and common welfare, as the constitution puts it. “Don’t tread on me” as many people put it. Another person’s marriage doesn’t tread on you, whether you like it or not, whether you consider it moral or not.
If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t have one yourself. By engaging in activities to stop others from having a thing that doesn’t affect your liberty, but does affect theirs, one would be, by our very definition, acting UN-American.
We all have our own identities. Christian, Muslim, Atheist; Gay, Straight, Transgender; Liberal, Conservative, Moderate; let us not forget that it’s Liberty that let’s us be our own identify.
It’s Liberty that gives us peace.
Don’t tread on Liberty.