By Nick Thompson
Right now, America is in a state of soul searching never before seen since the Civil Rights movements of the 60s and 70s. With each day that goes by, the support of same-sex marriage rises — and as the number of support rises, the number of people arguing against same-sex marriage remains rather large. In the part of Ohio that we all reside in, it would be very safe to assume that the majority of people who live here believe that same-sex marriage is a sin and should continue to be against the law here in our state. But then again, we must keep in mind that there are others who reside in our communities that would argue otherwise.
I respect that people have the right to their own opinions and views. Being a libertarian, I believe that every individual has a right to live their own lives as they see fit and also has the right to hold steadfast to their own morals and beliefs. That being said, this comes at a price. Whoever is reading this right now should already know that their life is no business of mine – and that my life is of no business to them. So why are some so assertive about keeping something that does not affect their personal lives in any way, shape or form illegal? (Assuming “they” are against same-sex marriage).
Some would argue that same-sex marriage is just simply immoral. It goes against the beliefs of Christianity because the Bible forbids the act of homosexuality. That would be a valid argument since it certainly does say that homosexuality is a sin in the Bible; but the issue is that this great country of ours operates on the laws of the Constitution — not the Bible. Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founding Fathers, wrote in a letter in 1814, “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” Meaning: Christianity is not a part of U.S. law and it should always be kept that way. Even John Adams, another Founding Father, stated in the Treaty of Tripoli: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion (…).”
It is fine if someone holds traditional Christian beliefs, Islamic beliefs, or Jewish beliefs or what-have-you, however that person cannot force anyone else to adhere to their beliefs. Everyone has a right to be an individual and believe differently. So now one might say, “Well, the gays are imposing their beliefs on us.” But how is that so? A gay man getting married does not force anyone else to do anything. It doesn’t even force someone to accept same-sex marriage because, again, everyone has a right to their beliefs and no one can take that away. It’s the gay couple’s business, not anyone else’s. Just like how a straight couple’s marriage is of no business to the gay men. Hell, even a gay marriage is of no business to another gay man! A marriage is a private matter and affects no one except the individuals involved. And unless the person is directly related, why is the marriage of someone they don’t know of any concern to them?
Now I am 20 years-old, so I will admit that I am part of a new generation of people who have the mindset of, “Why is something that doesn’t affect me of any concern to me?” or to quote Thomas Jefferson, “If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, then what difference does it make to me?” If we can all learn to just be tolerant of each other, then things can begin to be much simpler. If we can’t tolerate something, then just don’t worry about it and ignore it unless it personally affects you in a harmful way. Otherwise, as Jefferson said, it is none of our business.
So if you personally believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, then good for you. But the Declaration of Independence states that we all have a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and continuing the ban on same-sex marriage in Ohio is preventing same-sex couples from pursuing their own happiness. So in conclusion, let me make it absolutely clear: you do not have to accept it, no one is asking anyone to accept it. All that is being requested is that we simply allow other people to live their own lives in harmony while we continue to live ours in harmony, just like it has been and always will be.
— Nick Thompson is a local journalist