Marriage is a right, not a privilege

By Kaitlyn Mattiace

In my opinion, people are born with a certain sexual orientation. It is not a choice; it’s a natural desire. Many homosexual people don’t come out until they know they are completely ready because they want to avoid being judged or treated differently for having this inclination. It’s not easy for people to find themselves and know who they are, much less to tell other people who they are. If they weren’t afraid of the harsh reality of certain outlooks on homosexuality, then they would come out as soon as they knew that they were homosexual. Some people feel that they must hide their true self, in fear of what the people around them will think. No one should ever have to hide any part of themselves.
The North Carolina House of Representatives recently passed a bill that will give voters the choice of amending the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. If passed, this amendment would make it impossible for homosexuals to be legally married in North Carolina.
May’s vote will be a significant one. Amendments to the Constitution cannot be changed unless there is another amendment put into order for the purpose of changing or contradicting the first.
Banning gay marriage can only hurt people; it does no positive deeds to anyone. Not only would banning gay marriage prohibit couples from participating in traditions and making their commitment official, but it would also deny couples rights that married people have access to, such as inheriting property, visiting a sick partner in the hospital and providing citizenship for non-citizen spouses.
Does it really bother people that much that they must make the effort to officially ban homosexual people from being married?
A ban on marriage sounds like a ban on freedom. In history class, we study heroes of civil rights movements and their success in defeating unjust laws or proposals. If we ban marriage, we are going to see leaders and heroes stand up to fight for their rights. Could these be heroes that our children will read about in their history textbooks? Those who fought for a right that they deserved, and were wrongly banned from? I truly hope that this will not be the case, for no one should have to put up such a fight in order to obtain the rights that they deserve. By this point in history, we should be able to see this opposition and do the right thing before it happens.
Differences in sexual orientation have always existed, but they have not always been accepted. If everyone were able to see people in their natural light, then no one would feel afraid to express who they are. If you can’t be open with others, then you start to lose touch with your true self. You become ashamed of who you are and might try to change yourself, which never works.
Advocates for passing this amendment argue that same-sex marriages could be detrimental to the well-being of the child or children raised by the couples. I think that no matter the structure of the parental unit a child has, what matters most is what occurs within this marital structure.
Who thinks that a ban on gay marriage is going to stop homosexual people from following their natural desires? Whether or not a couple is officially married, they will still be together if they want to be together. Why not just let them be married? Marriage is a tradition that everyone should have the right to participate in. After all, if we can afford to let heterosexual people marry an unlimited amount of times, what would be the problem with letting everyone that wants to be married be married.
Marriage is not a privilege; it is a right. Legal marriage was created for people, by people. Therefore, not one group of people can possibly have the right to determine whether or not to allow another group of people to participate in a tradition that their own ancestors created. We are one entity of humans and we need to love and be loved, accept and be accepted.

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