A Plea for Equal Rights for Gays

Dear Editor,

I, such as many other Californians have heard a lot about gay marriage.
Starting from the 2008 election where it was denied, all the way to recent times where Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled proposition 8 unconstitutional and overturned it.

At the celebration in West Hollywood that followed this event, L.A. Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa compared the struggle for gay equality to that of the civil rights struggle of the ’60s, telling the crowd “this is a fight about respect and tolerance.” Even the president of the United States is against banning gay marriage.

Which leads me to wonder: why are homosexual couples not granted the same rights that the rest of us heterosexual couples have?

Even though I realize that this is a hot topic for most people, specially religious groups, I think it is time that we address every aspect of the issue so we are able to reach a just decision.

First and foremost, most people who have gone against gay marriage have done so because their religion labels it as wrong and not a union that God would approve of.

I, like many other Californians, have a hard time understanding this concept. Church and government are separate entities so why is one of the main reasons that people are against gay marriage have to do with religion?

I personally don’t understand this concept and find it to be unjust. I’m almost positive that in most, if not all religions, God frowns upon stealing, lying and cheating. So why is it that when someone is convicted of a crime there is no mention of religion?

Simple answer is that religion and matters of the state are not intertwined. So why is the number one rebuttal for gay marriage having to do with religion?

Secondly, I believe that gay marriage is a civil issue. I think what some people that are against gay marriage fail to realize is that as a married individual, people gain certain rights that they wouldn’t have if they were not married.

Married couples have the right to have a say so in their spouse’s medical treatments. A good example would be if their significant other is on their deathbed and they have to make a decision on pulling the plug.

A homosexual couple that has been together for years does not have a say so in their partner’s final moments. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking that must be, to sit there while someone else makes decisions for the one you love.

Another example would be tax breaks that married couples receive. Why shouldn’t a couple that wants to devote their life to one another have the same rights as a heterosexual couple? I don’t see how that is fair.

I would also like to point out that almost half of all marriages end in divorce.

Clearly marriage does not hold the same values as it once did. We see so many celebrity couples that seem to change partners in a couple of years. It is almost a joke in Hollywood where a marriage of about five years is considered a lifetime for them.

Celebrities aside, regular, everyday couples seem to be doing the same thing. Most rush into marriage, it seems. A lot of these couples have not been together for a sufficient amount of time to really know one another before entering into a union whereas some gay couples have been together for decades and are not able to marry.

Which leads me to ask this question. How can God bless a union that is entered into so lightly and not with enough thought and consideration and yet a homosexual couple that has devoted their life to one another and have been together for a number of years is deemed wrong?

I do understand that this issue is a touchy subject for most people and debates have been going on this topic for quite a while now but I would hope that in my lifetime the gay community will enjoy the same privileges and rights that the rest of us heterosexual people have.

Thank you for your time

Anasheh Margoosian