Let people love who they want

Kellie McCown

Of all the horrors that are going on in the world –hunger, drought, war, drones– you would think that peoples decision about who they decide to spend their lives with would not be at the forefront of America’s current events, much less on the docket of the United States Supreme Court.

But once again gay marriage is making headlines with Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, in the news once again.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in gay marriage.

I believe that same-sex couples should be entitled to all the same pros and cons of marriage as heterosexual couples. The fact that so much time, energy and money is being put into trying to stop two people who are in love from getting married while saving the so-called “traditional institution of marriage” is shocking and embarrassing.

First of all, let’s be real. Marriage is no longer a sacred, traditional institution. 40 to 50 percent of marriages in America end in divorce according to a study by the National Marriage Project. Another study conducted by Men’s Health magazine showed that 1 in 20 men cheat on their wives, while 1 in 22 women cheat on their husbands. Ashleymadison.com is a multi-million dollar web-based company designed to give its users the chance to enter into an extra marital affair. They actually guarantee it. Maybe heterosexual couples should take a closer look at their own marriages before they turn their eyes to judge the relationships of homosexual couples.

Besides, gay marriage is considered protected by the Constitution’s commitments to liberty and equality. The U.S. Supreme Court seems to forget that it declared in 1974 in Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur that the “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause.” It’s this same clause and the rights to equality that allows first cousins to marry each other in 25 states, including California.

That’s right. The state of California has no problem with you marrying your first cousin, but marrying someone that you love that just happens to be the same sex as you? Big no-no.

Just as mixed marriages during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s never affected same race marriages, no gay marriage has affected a heterosexual marriage today. In fact, I can’t think of one marriage that has ended in divorce was caused by gay people getting married. Recently, actor and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres said “Portia [De Rossi] and I have been married for four years and they have been the happiest of my life, and in those four years, I don’t think we hurt anyone else’s marriage. I asked all of my neighbors and they say they’re fine.”

I can see why some people wouldn’t be comfortable with the idea of same-sex marriage, and that’s fine. But someone’s personal discomfort should not determine if two people who love each other can come together in marriage. Because who does it really hurt? Do gay people getting married really have that big of an effect on straight people getting married? In a world where cheating has become something that a person can profit on, can gay marriage be considered less moral then straight marriage? There are so many other prevelant issues going on around us that deserve our attention, and our money.

Furthermore, I believe that we as a people should come together and find ways to encourage each other while setting an example for further generations to except those who may lead a different lifestyle then our own, rather than force them to conform to what we personally believe to be right.