Different But The Same

Michy Benavides, Opinion Writer

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I remember what they said to the new girl. I just don’t want to repeat it.

She had short hair. At least, shorter than what is expected for girls to have.  

The name-calling came to degrade her possible “inclinations” since her hair had to mean that she was attracted to the wrong gender.

The way she wore her hair was the problem.

This wasn’t what I saw. I didn’t see her as different. I saw a human being. I saw someone who – if she could make it beyond this bullying – might find happiness in life, and maybe one day get married. She could be one-half of a couple – just like the couple who lived near my house who still became a target of other’s hate.

When I first saw this couple together, I wondered, “What’s wrong with their marriage?”

Yes, this same-sex couple was married, something that’s been legal throughout the United States for almost two years.

Marriage is a very common way that society creates order all around the world.    

Marriage can be considered as part of “the pursuit of happiness” as written by Thomas Jefferson in The Declaration of Independence back in 1776.

On June 27, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled in a case that effectively legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. This caused the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community to be more optimistic about their future in the country, something likely to be celebrated during Pride Parade, most of which are scheduled for this June.

Since 2015, their fellow Americans reacted in both a positive and negative ways to this change. Public attitudes surrounding this issue continue to shift toward acceptance.

Last year, Gallup.com illustrated how the people have changed their minds on same-sex marriage. In the organization’s survey taken in March 1996 when compared to March 2016, many Americans moved from being against same-sex marriage to being in favor of the legal practice. When asked, “Do you think marriage between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?” only 27 percent believed it should be valid, 68 percent said it should be invalid. By contrast, in 2016, 61 percent of Americans polled felt same-sex marriage should be valid, while 37 percent said it should be invalid.

In this way, public opinion is on my side.

More people believe that everyone has the right to the pursuit of happiness without having people judge them and pepper them with negative comments.

So why do we still treat each other this way – the name-calling, the bullying?

Sadly, I think it is the way that some of us are raised. Or at least that what people blame.

I hear the excuse of that same-sex marriage is a sin based on an individual’s personal religious believes. Religion is a belief. But the law is the law, the system by which we organize our society. Religion is an opinion. It is an opinion that should not be forced onto others.

I understand, we are so used to seeing a bride and a groom getting married that seeing a bride and a bride, a groom and a groom, may seem strange.

However, while both our times and our public opinions are shifting, love is still love. Right?  

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