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Column: Intolerance To Gays Opposes American Values

This story was written by Daniel Seco, Independent Florida Alligator

Americas drunken love affair with the notion of change has led the nation to completely overlook the shortcomings that continue to ravage our country.

While the results of Nov. 4 show the world that racism may no longer be a prevalent issue in America, irrefutable evidence reflects widespread hatred for lesbians and gays.

Am I unfair to assume that my fellow Americans have quashed the hopes and dreams of millions out of sheer disdain toward their sexual preference?

Please, I beg you, bestow upon me the tiniest bit of understanding: Why did you vote in favor of Amendment 2 if not for hate?

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community wages war every day to fight for the same rights the rest of Americans have come to take for granted. Why must our country continue to go out of its way to make the lives of gays and lesbians so difficult?

Let us not forget that samesex marriages were already banned in the state of Florida. Not once, not twice, but through four eerily similar statutes.

All across the country, we are robbing our neighbors, classmates and colleagues of the civil liberties intended for all Americans, not reserved for a select few. The idea that my peers have made a concerted effort to ensure that the lives of others are made more challenging solely based on their sexual preference is sickening.

What is it to you that partners in a domestic partnership are able to share health care benefits?

Shouldnt two people in a committed relationship be able to have the peace of mind that their pension will provide for the others future in the wake of a tragedy?

Do not hide behind your Bible and preach to me about the pitfalls of samesex marriage. Do not tell me I am going to Hell for standing up for the LGBTQ community and condemning your vote. Do not look me in the eye and say that voting in favor of Amendment 2 is about being a good Christian, rather than fear mongering.

I am not gay, nor did I have a vested interest in the outcome of the vote. Should that matter?

I voice my indignation because there is something so starkly unAmerican about taking away the rights of others when it has nothing to do with you. My strong Catholic convictions may shape the course of my daily actions, but there is no denying that being right and just toward my fellow man transcends any religious teachings.

As Americans, we pride ourselves on being a nation proven capable of change in the wake of a historic election. There is no taking away the monumental steps we made in electing the first black president, but so much will be lost if our country replaces blacks with gays as the scapegoats of America.

We cannot allow archaic ideology that shuns lesbians and gays from enjoying the same basic rights and privileges granted to all Americans to continue under the next presidency.

The greatness of our nation is built upon the ability for all citizens, regardless of personal differences, to live a life afforded equality nothing short of the next man.

We must learn to be selfless and understanding of our diversity. We must bear in mind the necessity of nothing less than absolute change. The strength we draw from each other will lend a hand in the renaissance of our country.

Daniel Seco is a journalism graduate student. His column appears on Thursdays.

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