POLITICALLY INCORRECT ZONE: The Continental Divide in the Land of the Free

shop arial, recipe sans-serif;”>Political-correctnessBy Kevin Harris

order arial,sans-serif;”>Last week the U.S. Supreme Court legalized marriage for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation. I support the ruling, both on moral grounds, and on legal, Constitutional grounds. But I also recognize and acknowledge that the ruling comes during the most divisive period among Americans that I’ve ever known. And while in one sense I celebrate the victory for gay Americans, their families and their supporters, I do not shroud my Facebook avatar in rainbow colors. Because as I look around, I can’t help but feel that few Americans today truly deserve the Liberties they enjoy.

First let me briefly explain my support for the decision. While it’s true that the issue of marriage itself is Constitutionally, a state issue, it became a 14th Amendment issue (Federal) when some states tried to outlaw same-sex marriage. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, though initially written to give blacks equal rights in a white-dominated society, guarantees equal treatment under the law for all Americans. One way I look at it that makes it simple is this; the Second Amendment was written to guarantee that all Americans had the right to bear arms, which at the time meant flint rifles. But that is universally, legally understood to mean today’s more modern weapons as well. Same with the Equal Protection Clause… not just blacks, but ALL minority groups of Americans being denied equal rights.

And an analogy. Suppose the People of California voted to prohibit all Californians with blue eyes from legally driving withing the state. I chose California because, well, it’s not as crazy as it sounds! But I digress. Would you argue that it was a state issue? Or would you suggest that blue-eyed Californians’ Civil Rights were being violated, and that they were not being treated equally under the law? Remember, we don’t CHOOSE our eye color. And most people in 2015 realize that homosexuality is for the most part, not a chosen lifestyle, any more than heterosexuality is.

To be clear, this ruling does NOT force clergy to perform marriages that violate their religious or moral values… and that is important to point out. If it did that, I would never get behind it. It simply says that all states must recognize same-sex weddings as legal and legitimate. It would NOT open a “slippery slope” that would have humans marrying farm animals or their pets, or young children. Animals and children cannot give consent! Will it cause massive hurricanes and earthquakes? Well… maybe.

But here’s the part that really gets me. On Sunday, as Father Jonathan Morris was walking near a gay rights parade in the Bronx, two gay rights activists spat on him, in broad daylight. Also, some states said they will ignore the Supreme Court ruling and continue to deny same-sex wedding licenses. And parts of the conservative world seemed to explode with the news about the ruling – as if conservatives themselves were being rounded up and burned at the stake! Because two men are now allowed to have the word “marriage” stamped on their certificate, with all the rights that go along with it, somehow YOU are being oppressed? I will go to me grave never understanding such resistance.

But this poisonous divisiveness goes far beyond the limits of same-sex weddings. The Left wants to outlaw “hate speech,” though technically there is no such thing. There is free speech, or there is not free speech. Same with violent crime. They are ALL “hate crimes.” Not just when blacks are victimized. ALL lives matter! The Right wants to outlaw flag burning. Guess what? That’s free speech too. The Left wants to outlaw guns while the Right will continue to try to make same-sex marriage illegal. The Left tries to outlaw American Flags and Constitutions on college campuses, while the Right works hard to keep personal drug use and some private, consensual sexual behaviors illegal.

Are you seeing a pattern yet? Americans haven’t learned tolerance yet, and we know nothing of Liberty. We all want Liberty for ourselves, but we’re not willing to give it to anyone else. And that is simply not how it works. So there will be no rainbow colors on my Facebook avatar… not while the gay community fights to take away my gun rights or to restrict my free speech. We all have a long way to go, my friends.

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Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris is a former reporter, editor and journalist, and previous President of Cal State Northridge’s Society of Professional Journalists. He is now a realtor and videographer, and lives with his two children in Oak Park. 

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One Response to POLITICALLY INCORRECT ZONE: The Continental Divide in the Land of the Free

  1. Laurence Hunt July 25, 2015 at 11:40 am

    This is the only response to this topic I have seen that takes this angle on the issue. You have stated that you can’t help thinking that “few Americans today truly deserve the Liberties they enjoy.” By digging into this question, you have taken the issue to the next level. Hopefully, one day, civics classes will begin to address the more fundamental dilemmas, and we’ll have a generation of clearer-thinking citizens. Thanks for the breath of fresh air on the topic. I think this essay in fact raises the “real” questions underlying the issue, and I only wish you were also writing in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal!

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