Gay Rights in America

by Patrick Dykie

     Before I start this post I would like to make a full disclosure of a few facts. I am not a gay man. I am a married man with two sons, was raised in the Catholic church, and regularly attend services. I like to think of myself as a typical, middle-class working man. I am neither a supporter nor an opponent of the gay rights movement. I do have gay friends, and I think they are great people. We don’t discuss gay issues very much, but I’ve seen some prejudice towards them.

     I decided to bring up a discussion of gay rights in America because it is a very polarizing subject. There are two distinct sides in the debate, and both seem to have intractable positions. My goal today is to stand back, and fairly and honestly look at the situation, and give my viewpoint. What I say will be based on the U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights, many of my personal opinions, and a lot of common sense.

      This post will not involve any religious undertones. Religion will not be inserted into this discussion. I have no doubt that I may be hammered by some people who may not agree with some of the things I’m saying. That’s okay. What makes America great is our diversity of different people, varying viewpoints and beliefs, and our freedom to express our opinions. I hope to look at what is right and fair in terms of what our constitution guarantees all it’s citizens.

     I will be asking some simple questions today. They will deal with the rights and responsibilities of those in the gay community in America today. I will focus on three areas. They will be gay marriage, gays in the military, and the question of gay adoption. Some of you may not like what I have to say, but this is America. We all have a right to speak our mind. You’re going to be reading a lot of common sense today. I hope that you will listen to what I say with an open mind, and take the time to think about it. Remember this discussion does NOT involve religion. It is a view of what our founding fathers intended for all Americans, regardless of our race, religion, or sexual orientation.

     I won’t take too long or make it overly complicated, but here’s a little lesson on our rights as Americans. The quote below is from The Declaration of Independence. It acknowledges that all of us have unalienable rights. Notice how our founders though many were Christians wanted these rights to apply to everyone. That is why they used the word Creator. They understood that to be a strong and lasting country, we had to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs, and differences.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

This next quote is from the 14th amendment to the Bill of Rights. This amendment was added to make sure that an individual’s rights were preserved. 

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

     I included this last item because it is the preamble to the United States Constitution. Notice the first three words. We the People. Who are the people? They are all of us in America today. It is all of us irregardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.”

     Here is an important fact to remember. The three branches of government which include the Executive Branch (The President), the Legislative Branch (Congress and the Senate), and the Judicial (including the Supreme Court), are here to fulfill the obligations of the Constitution and represent its citizens. There job is not to push their own views, agenda’s or beliefs. I hope this gave you an idea of all our rights. Just remember that life is not a free ride. With all our rights we also have many responsibilities.              

     Now that we have an idea of our rights as United States citizens, let’s take a look at some key issues facing the gay community. I won’t go into great detail. I’ll try to keep this as simple as possible. 

 Should Gays be Able to Serve Openly in the Military?

       I thought about this for only a few minutes and it seemed pretty obvious to me. Why do we still have the “Don’t ask, don’t tell policy?” Why are those in the military who acknowledge that they are gay still being harassed, and drummed out of the service? How does being gay affect the performance of those who risk their lives so that I can live free and my family is protected? We should be honoring these people, not making their lives miserable. I never served in the military, but I respect those who have served. I make it a habit to thank them whenever I get the chance. When a flag draped coffin returns to America, my first thought isn’t,

I wonder if the soldier was gay?

     My first thought is, “How sad that a young, promising life has been lost in a far off land protecting my freedom. His or her parents must be sad, but also proud of their child.”

     I have a few questions you might want to think about. Have any of you had a sick child being operated on by a surgeon? Before the operation did you ask him or her if they were gay? No you didn’t. The only thing that mattered was that they were good, capable and able to help your child. Here’s another one. How many of you were ever in a burning building and being rescued? Did any of you ask the fireman as he reached out his hand to you if he was gay? I don’t think so. If I were in the military, and were under fire, it wouldn’t matter if the man or women next to me were gay, straight, had a head the size of a beach ball, or were purple with pink polka dots.

 Is it Okay for Gays to Adopt Children?

     This is a tough one, but I did some research on the subject, and after some thought, I’ve decided that gays should be allowed to adopt children. Let me bring up a couple of facts concerning how I reached this conclusion. I’m not the smartest man in the world, but my parents did give me a good dose of common sense. Let me clear up a misconception that some people have. Children raised by gays do not necessarily grow up to be gay They could, but that is only because they were born gay. Being gay is not a disease. It is what and who you are when you enter this world. I also believe that a good parent is defined not by someones sexual orientation, but by love, caring, kindness, support, and decency. I have some startling statistics to share with you. They are all approximations from the latest government data from 2010.

1.25 million children suffering some type of abuse in America.

775,000 children suffering some type of parental neglect.

325,000 children being physically abused.

135,000 children being sexually abused.

* It should be noted that these are only the reported cases. I have one last statistic which is for 2008.

1740 children killed by a parent or caregiver.

     I’m not going to get involved in the argument of which home is better for raising a child. Whether it’s one with a traditional mother and father, one with a single parent, or one with gay partners. I will ask two simple questions. Please answer them honestly, or at least take the time to think about them.

If you could go back in time and were able to save one abused child, or one of the children who were killed by their parents, but you had to then place them in a home with two, good, loving, gay parents; would you do it? Would the children be better off?

Should There be Gay Marriages?

     This is the toughest question of all, and the one that seems to cause the most polarization among Americans. I have many friends who believe as the Bible says that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. I respect their beliefs, but this post today is not about what the Bible says or about people’s religious beliefs. We’re also not discussing marriages that are held in Churches. We’re talking about the rights of all American citizens. I mentioned the words, “We the people,” before, as a key part of the Preamble to the Constitution. We can all agree that gays are people.

     The Constitution says that any American who obeys the law, pays his taxes, contributes to society, and lives in peace and harmony with his fellow Americans has certain guaranteed rights which are unalienable. We all have these rights regardless of our race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or even our limitations. If you’re short, tall, in a wheelchair, strong, or weak; you all have the same rights. What makes this country great is not only our diversity, but our tolerances of those who are different, or as I like to say; unique.

     I would like to end this post with something for you to think about. Do you know that the lowest and most vile criminals in some of our worst prisons have more rights than gays do? Seems kind of crazy if you think about it. People who abuse children, rob or hurt others, and sometimes kill have more rights than gays. Do you know that many prison inmates can get married, have conjugal visits and produce children. This is on top of free food, medical care, and legal representation. Ask yourself this question. Shouldn’t good, decent, hard-working gays who obey the rules, and contribute to society have at least equal rights as criminals?

     After reading this post, you may think that I’m “pro gay.” I like to think of myself as being, “pro people.” Take care.

11 Comments to “Gay Rights in America”

  1. This is a polarizing subject and indifference to all, thank you for your hard work to put this together! Sincerely, Emily Guido

  2. Thank you Emily. It was very hard to write. Sometimes it’s easier to write on noncontoversal subjects. I have my own personal, beliefs, but tried to be as fair as possible. Whether people agree or disagree with me, I hope the post gets people to think.

  3. Nicely written. I like to think of myself as pro-humanity, which is just another way of saying pro-people. I don’t really care whom you sleep with, whom you fall in love with, whom you rear children with as long as you aren’t hurting people in the process.
    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed, wasn’t it? I though homosexuals could openly serve in the military now.

  4. Excellent post Paddy. I too believe all people have the same rights anyone else does. Especially when it comes to adopting children, getting someone knocked up doesn’t make you a parent, being a good person does. Who says gay people aren’t capable of that?

    Gay people not allowed to serve in the army, oh yeah because they’re going to bum you while you sleep, that’s what they all do right? Get real.

    They should have all the rights straight people do, whoever is in charge of these states that disallows gay marriage, you need to pull your head out of your asses and realise this isn’t the 1940s anymore.

    • We had sodomy laws in America up until 2003, some where aimed at homosexuals, some broad enough to outlaw it between opposite sexes, and some even banning acts between married couples. It takes us a while to pull our heads out of our asses.

  5. I can appreciate the effort you put into this, and your desire to leave certain aspects of the discussion out of the picture.

    But because of that very point I can’t, in all conscience, like the post. Sure, I like the conclusion, but the logical reasoning you present above seems vacuous without discussing why these things are issues worth of discussion in the first place.

    That logical argument is handicapped by the fact you do not explore the basis of the objections. If you seek to change some minds, to promote debate, to bring the issue into scrutiny, then the above piece does not quite hit the mark precisely because you left out one very important aspect of the discussion.

    Ironically, that itself is part of the argument . . . religion should not enter into this discussion. If we go strictly with the laws as written, these issues would be moot, and this post would not be necessary.

    My humble opinion, of course. (disclosure – I’m not religious, and I too wrote an opinion piece last month, but looking at it from the empathy angle, human to human).

  6. Religion should not meddle with gay rights stuff. As you’ve said, gay people are PEOPLE just like you and me, and like any humans on this Earth and I can’t understand why they can’t be equal to the other people just because they are attracted to the same sex. Is attraction harmful in any way, really? It’s not plague or any contagious diseases that cannot be cured. It’s simply a different kind of love. And love is love. It’s worshipped and approved. It’s not as if gay people were a big terrorist organisation or something… -.-
    You emphasized on good and important points! Great post 🙂

  7. Thanks Pdk, if this Post is in response to My E-mail to The Dark Globe Crew, to Challenge Ourselves and Write some Provocative, and what might be considered “Touchy”, or “Not Talked About” Subject Matters, Then This Post Hit The Nail right on the Head.

    I thank you ahead of time for any Not Friendly “Hits” you might receive in Response… The further Unity of Our Country is one of the Best Hopes we’ve got, in all things that are on our Table as a Nation right now.

    Economy… War… Human Rights… And the List goes on.

    One thing I will Add to your Post is, as far as I know, the Percentages of Kids that are Abused within “Gay” Marriages is much, much Less in Comparison… Why, primarily because those that are out there Trying Their $#@4’s Off To Adopt, and Raise a Child, are generally Good Parents… They start out with Focusing on The Kids right off the bat… Something that isn’t always possible with Random Pregnancies… But this probably falls true with “Any” that Adopt Kids, whether they’re Gay, or Not.

    Anyway, Thanks Again Pdk, this is a very “Thought Evoking” Piece.

    DJ-

  8. Thank you from the bottom of my pro people heart!!! I am proud to see there is still some common sense left in the US of A.

    🙂

  9. Reblogged this on BuddhaKat and commented:
    I hardly ever reblog, but I am so proud to see common sense spoken here, I must…
    🙂

  10. I thank all of you that have commented. This subject is a very contentious one here in America. Hopefully we will continue to have frank, open and respectful discussions. I’m glad to see that you are all good, open minded people. Thanks for the re-blog Buddhakat. Hey Pete. I love seeing to see a big, tough, rowdy guy like you that has a really open-minded view, and a good heart. Don’t worry. I won’t spread it around too much.

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