Article for school newspaper: "Non-heterosexuals deserve equality, too." Addresses the civil marriage issue.

Essay by tarabal April 2004

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"All men are created equal"-- unless of course you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transexual. They aren't regular people, so they don't deserve the same rights as regular people, right?

Wrong, but this seems to be the mindset of several Republican senators who are trying to pass a bill that will amend the Constitution so it defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. Not only will same-sex and transgender couples not be allowed the simple pleasure of calling one another "husband" or "wife", but all other legalities that go along with a civil marriage (a marriage recognized by the government) like inheritence, tax deductions, health insurance benefits, and the right to make medical decisions, will be nonexistant.

I have heard, as an explanation for these injustices, the assertion of the fact that our country's laws were founded on "Christian" principles and beliefs. It's those same "Christian" principles that led people to persecute many strong-minded women as witches and made slavery legal.

The document that established most of our laws, the Constitution, also established the separation of church and state, leaving no room for God in the government or its decisions. A few religious political leaders have no right to take away millions of people's human rights just because their religion does not approve.

Same-sex and transgender couples are not demanding that they be allowed to marry in every church under every creed; they are just asking that they be allowed the same right as every American: the right to a civil marriage and that it be acknowleged as such. It is because of this fact that the issue of civil marriages should not be about one's personal beliefs--it should be about human rights.

If this bill passes and the Constitution is amended, we might...