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Misconceptions About the Marriage Equality Debate

You may have noticed some of your Facebook friends changing their profile picture to that red equal sign. Perhaps you wondered what it was and decided to Google it. Perhaps you discovered that it’s a symbol for marriage equality, and perhaps you were surprised to find that a friend of yours has decided to let his or her opinion on the matter be known publicly.

The problem is that you may not be fully aware of what your friend really believes — so don’t jump to any conclusions. I’m not here to spark a political debate on the hottest topic going, but I am here to debunk a few myths about marriage equality.

The Huffington Post recently published this article about 5 Constitutional misconceptions about same-sex marriage. In an effort to simplify things, here are the two pillars of this debate:

The Basic Rights of All Americans

Those in favor of marriage equality may not actually be for or against same-sex marriage. They are, however, against the idea that the government has the right to pick and choose which Americans are bestowed certain rights. Those who argue that the government should legislate marriage fear allowing same-sex marriage would be a so-called slippery slope. It is a valid argument, but it’s also an argument you could make for any other issue involving the basic rights of Americans. Gun ownership can certainly be a slippery slope, yet nearly all Americans are legally able to own a gun if they want. Using marijuana has for years been considered a “slippery slope,” potentially leading to harder, more dangerous drugs, yet it has been decriminalized in some states. The point is, no government, state or federal, should have the ability to grant certain rights to person A but not person B.

The Separation of Church and State

Most people forget that one of the biggest reasons people came and still do come to America is to escape religious persecution. The Constitution was written to give all Americans the ability to believe whatever it is they want to believe (as long it doesn’t put anyone in danger). Those who argue against marriage equality often make the debate about religious beliefs. The fact of the matter is no one is saying a person can’t believe that homosexuality is an abomination. This is America, you have the right to think that if you want to. To use religion as the basis of an argument for a topic that has nothing to do with religion is actually counterproductive. While religion is certainly a powerful and important thing, it has no place in determining the rights of Americans.

The bottom line is you have the right to take whichever side of the debate you want, but at least understand what it is you’re fighting for first.

 *The views and opinions above are my own and do not reflect the beliefs of this station or of Townsquare Media.

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