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Column: America Must Be Patient For Civil Rights Gains

This story was written by Ben Moriarty, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

It's been a long time comin', but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.Sam Cooke, you were right. Tupac, when you said we weren't ready to see a black president, you were wrong.America has successfully jumped a hurdle that many thought we would never make: electing a black man to our highest office. No matter who you supported in this election, this should be a proud time for us all -- unless you're racist.For many, including myself, we could finally say that we're proud of this country. I apologize for the mandated outrage zealous patriots must express hearing that statement. "Imagine the nerve of this brat, saying he's not proud of America while soldiers are dying for him?" Correctively, there's no doubt there are things to be proud of about our country. As far as I know, everyone can vote now and black people don't have to ride in the back of the bus.We are really rich compared to the rest of the world, and we have this amazing thing called the American Dream which is only partly affected by the socioeconomic class you're born into.For many though, this pride and joy was halted by the fact that there was nationwide support for banning gay marriagesin California, Florida and Arizona, despite two of them voting blue this election. Their pain was not offset by the fact that both Massachusetts and California approved propositions that supported animals being treated all nicely and stuff.The desperation regarding the approval of gay marriage is becoming very apparent in this country. People are crying hate, saying that those who vote against it are homophobic bigots. People are saying that it's a civil rights issue. People are saying marriage is a right.All of these things are true -- to very limited degrees. People who are against gay marriage aren't against it because they hate homosexuals, although there are always some pitiful exceptions. Unless gays can't drink from my water fountain and are going to be unfairly discriminated against in many ways, it's not a civil rights issue. To be honest, making the comparison of what gays are going through now to what blacks went through not only devalues Obama's victory but also devalues what every single person involved with the Civil Rights Movement in the1960s went through.

Really, it's just hyperbole and if it wasn't, you would think that maybe more than 30 percent of blacks would have sympathized with California's proposition. Marrying who you want is not a right, and I know this because I tried to marry my brother. I thought I could kill two birds with one stone, but the Man showed marriage ain't always a right.I apologize for the mandatory outrage liberals must express to such words. To clarify, none of those things mean that gay marriage shouldn't happen. The reason it won't happen is because it's not meant to happen now and it can't happen right now. Like the Madman from Nietzsche's "The Gay Science," it's come too soon.In California, 61 percent of people under 30 voted against the ban, in Florida a little over half and Arizona about half. The important characteristic is the trend, where from older to middle-aged to younger, the percentage of those against the ban consistently increased.Attitudes on gay marriage are influenced more by cultural upbringing than religion. Yes, religion obviously plays a factor, but by looking at young religious people today and seeing the growing support for gay marriage and belief in governmental equality from them, it's not hard to see a dominating decisive factor.If we've learned anything from American history, it's that America loves to be slow with granting groups of minorities things they want.It doesn't matter what side you're on. Gay marriage will eventually happen, whether decided from a Supreme Court case or from the fogies dying and our generation taking over -- maybe even from Lance Bass telling us gay marriage is OK.Aren't youdamn proud to be an American? If there's one thing we're good at, it's holding out for as long as possible and ignoring the inevitable. Baby steps. Can't go too fast. One generation at a time, folks.

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